The Eight Principles of Marketing
Many businesses fail because they do not truly understand the marketing process or the principles of marketing. Marketing is a process of conversion. Its purpose is to convert complete strangers into repeat customers. Following are the Eight Fundamental Principles of Marketing that can be a booster shot to your business.
1) Why People Buy.
All people are motivated by one of two factors. To Gain Pleasure, or Avoid Pain. They buy for the same reasons. And people buy more to Eliminate Pain than they do to Gain Pleasure.
2) People Do Not Buy Products.
They buy benefits. I submit to you that no person has ever bought: a bed, a set of tires, a pair of sunglasses, or a pair of shoes. What they bought was: a good night’s sleep, reliable transportation, eliminate eye squinting, or the avoidance of aching feet.
3) Benefits vs. Features.
Since people buy benefits, it’s important that your marketing plan distinguishes the difference the features of your product or service. There is a significant and fundamental difference between a Benefit and a Feature (an explanation beyond the scope of this article). Give to Get Marketing by Joe Gracia provides and excellent discussion on these principles of marketing.
4) It’s All About Repeat Customers.
It’s great to have customers that buy your product or service. One of the strongest advantages of a home business to begin with is generating a residual income. It takes five times more money and effort to bring in a new customer than it takes to bring back a previous customer. It takes multiple contacts before someone will buy (that costs time and money). Once you have a customer – your number priority is to get them to come back. The concept of customer service is no longer the key to your continued success. The key to business success in the information age is customer satisfaction.
5) Repetition and Persistence.
52% of people make a buying decision after the 7th contact. Most marketers or salespeople stop after only the 2nd or 3rd contact. Several studies also reveal that when someone sees your name in print 7 times – they will feel they know you. Even if they have never met you before.
6) The Customer’s Viewpoint.
When writing your marketing plan and during your marketing, it is imperative that you always think from the viewpoint of your customers. Thinking from your viewpoint can be fatal because you’re not trying to sell to yourself. You’re already sold – that assumes that you are selling a product or service you use yourself and believe in. Selling and marketing is really nothing more than a transfer of enthusiasm. You are trying to transfer your enthusiasm to your prospect. Once they understand and know what you do about your product or service – they will buy. Every customer has a “solution image” – the perfect solution to their problem or need. The job of your marketing plan is to match your product to their solution image.
7) Marketing is a Multi-Stage Process.
The principles of marketing build a four stage “funnel”. The stages of that funnel are:
Starting with a complete stranger, or a Lead, they are “converted” into a Prospect when they confirm their interest in your product or service. A Prospect is “converted” to a Customer when they have enough interest to motivate them to buy. They are a Repeat Customer when they come back and buy again (either the same product or another one).
This process is a “funnel” because there will be attrition at each stage. As you conduct your business research and gain more experience you will often hear the phrase “filling the funnel”.
8) The WIIFM Radio Station.
All of your leads, prospects, customers, and repeat customers are always tuned into the WIIFM radio station – What’s In It For Me. They are always thinking this. To “convert” leads through the marketing funnel - you must provide an offer that makes them want to take the next step.
It is possible to skip stages – some Leads will skip the Prospect stage and go to straight to Customer. The prudent business owner does not rely on this happening. For a proven step-by-step plan on how to build a winning marketing plan, see Give to Get Marketing by Joe Gracia - an outstanding compilation on the principles of marketing.
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