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What is Marketing ?

One of the questions people ask and most people get completely wrong is “what is marketing ?”

Most people think of marketing in terms of marketing communications. The communications in the form of television, radio or print advertisements in newspapers or magazines. But really that part of marketing (of course called marketing communications) is the end results of the real essence of what marketing is about.

Marketing or markets are customers. Your customers that are real people who you want to buy things from your business. The real art of marketing is developing products that solve a need. A customer problem. People have issues they need to solve each day. Think about the search engines and the millions of queries people type in on a daily basis - these are people attempting to solve a problem or query they have.

Go onto all the forums online where people are discussing all sorts of issues they have personally or with their business. Then think about the products in the market place - why are they there ? Only to solve a problem or issue someone has.

So at the very top level, the real marketing definition is “to identify and satisfy customer needs…at a profit”

The first element is all too important. Many folks dream up inventions that no one actually want. They develop a product and only then try and sell it to people. And that’s why a lot of businesses fail. Even simple straight forward businesses like cafes or juice bars. Some new business owners want to own a business like this so they go ahead and spend all their money by opening up a new cafe in their local town - but no one actually has a need for it, or there is too much competition already.

So before you start a business undertake as much research as you can. Ask real people what they want. Go into a competitors’ store or website and see what their existing customers are doing. What they are buying. Will they do the same in your store ?

If you simply want to develop your own business just because you want to be self employed then search out what people are looking for first. If you want an internet business go online and trawl the forums. So many people have questions where there isn’t a solution first. And don’t be afraid to start off small. Dominating a niche is a good way to start because you can always expand at a later date or offer similar products to your existing customer base.

So when you think of marketing don’t think of all the glitz first. Think about people rather than markets. Think about solutions rather than products. And think about features when you are communicating your business rather than product features. If you do your development work this way around you’ll have a better profitable business than if you develop a service or product first and then attempt to market it to people who may not want what you have !