Your Business Success: A Function of Marketing

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Many at times entrepreneurship seems a perfect choice when we consider its long term gains. However, my recent discovery suggests that success in any entrepreneurial venture is more of

marketing than any other aspect of business. Little wonder, both large and small organisations give more to the marketing department and do not take lightly their marketing personnel requirements.

According to a report I read in an article some years back, it claimed the US Bureau of Labor revealed that Marketing and Sales had the highest number of employees in US organisations. This further buttresses my discovery of the entrepreneurship and marketing function.

You may ask, "What really is this fuss about marketing?" Before I go on to define marketing, I would like to point to the fact that for most people, their understanding of the discipline stem from theories being taught at schools; and usually not really understood. A typical misunderstanding of this concept is when people (even 'experts') equate marketing to sales!

So what then is marketing? Simply put, marketing is analysing and understanding your customer/client requirements and placing value (quality and unique products/services) in their hands at an affordable price and appropriate time.

From the foregoing, we can safely conclude that marketing is to an entrepreneur (or business) what air is to man! Therefore, a successful entrepreneurial venture is largely a function of marketing and not accounting nor administration (though equally important).

One obvious reason many young entrepreneurs still find it difficult to 'sell' their products, services, ideas, or cause, is because they do not fully understand what marketing entails; or probably, they share a misconception of the discipline.

You have a brilliant idea for a product or service - fine! How do you translate this idea into a profitable business venture? How do you locate your core customers/clients? What strategies will help you stay afloat of competition? What are the buyer persona profiles of your target audience? Why should your customers/clients make a repeat purchase? All of these questions and more is what a true understanding of marketing will help you proffer answers to.

You dont just sit there doing nothing and expect your idea to blossom. As a small business owner, your formative years are when you [the entrepreneur] should even work harder and smarter to gain more customers/clients for your business.

In the words of Ken Inverson, Entrepreneurs should be able to spend 80% of their time getting customers.

Even if you have never had an academic or professional background in marketing, thats not an excuse! According to Tony Blair, the then British Prime Minister, Entrepreneurship will become a core skill which all our young people will need to exploit the opportunities emerging from science and technology, culture and communications.

Try to engage yourself in a self-study on marketing, Business Communications, General Management, Entrepreneurship, Advertising, Public Relations, and Selling. Also, attend some short professional training programmes, with an emphasis on marketing and selling.

The truth is that every organization is aimed at selling. Their offerings, however, could be in the form of tangible products or intangible services, ideas or a social cause. Whichever the case is, marketing plays a vital role in reaching out to those target audience whose support, attitude, interest and patronage matters to the wellbeing of the organization.

While marketing is not sales, marketing supports sales activities. Marketing and sales are interdependent on one another.

As an entrepreneur, you need to understand that for your business idea to grow wings and fly high into the sky, you must have a good understanding of marketing, and have a plan. Such plan should consist of simple but vital information as:
1. Your intentions [statements of purpose, mission or objectives]
2. Your offerings [products/services]
3. Your target audience [customers/clients]
4. Your marketing strategies [packaging, price, distribution, promotion, etc]
5. Your rivals [competitors]
6. Your budgetary allocation [finance]
7. Your evaluation [control]

A fuller understanding of these seven basic points will help in your quest to grow your small business to become a giant in the next few years.

Read 780 times Last modified on Monday, 04 May 2015 03:39
Ayokunle Bankole

He is a self-starter, Nigerian serial entrepreneur, a company formation specialist of about a decade, and a small business advisor. He is currently on the board of Directors of some few startups: Delivery Merchant Ltd, Furnishing Effects Retail & Installation Ltd, Citizens & Expats Agency Ltd, and Global Infosolutions Nigeria Ltd.

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