I’ve given you an overview of some basic concepts of marketing. Today I want to emphasize the continuous nature of marketing. It’s an ongoing process with definite steps. As a business owner, you need to recognize these marketing process steps and include them as part of your marketing plan.

Marketing Process Steps

As is the case with most things in your business, marketing works best when you have a plan. In other words, you decide ahead of time what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it.

Here are a few marketing process steps that will help guide your planning.

Analyze the environment

Economic, geographic, demographic, financial, and other factors all affect how your business operates. So, spend time analyzing your environment.

Conduct a SWOT analysis to assess yours and competing businesses to serve as the basis for your marketing plan.

You may also want to conduct a PESTLE analysis, which stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental.

Marketing process steps: Develop a plan

You need a short and long-term plan for your business that includes how you will market your products and services.

Your plan should facilitate several basic functions:

  • Identify and take advantage of opportunities that create competitive advantages.
  • Facilitate decisionmaking for you, your managers, and your employees.
  • Encourage you to always think before you act.

Choose your target market

The modern marketplace is more fragmented than ever before. In other words, numerous groups of customers exist that have unique problems, needs, and desires.

Most likely, your business can’t be all things to all people.

Instead, you must discover and choose to market to the group of customers that you can best serve. That group is your target market.

Define your marketing mix

Everything that you use to achieve your marketing objectives comprises your marketing mix. If your business is like most, you manipulate four factors while connecting your products with your target market:

  • Product.
  • Price
  • Promotion.
  • Place.

As you manage your business, always keep these four Ps in mind.

Also, now is a fantastic time to brush up on the previous installments of this series on marketing fundamentals.

Also, you can visit Forbes.com to learn more about how the 4 P’s of the marketing mix have evolved.

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