Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Term Paper:
Marketing Challenges for Small Businesses
This research paper is about building and marketing a small business. While marketing plays an important role in the day-to-day running of a small business it's also about planning for its long-term development, which requires multi-dimensional objectives beyond mere cost-per-sale. The emphasis of marketing is on understanding the diversity of consumer behavior, implementing segmentation strategies, cultivating consumer-oriented definitions of innovations, adopting a policy of continual improvement and exploring every opportunity to broaden their industry. Small business can now compete in a global marketplace with big businesses, thus making a significant contribution to the national economy. The Internet offers small businesses a worldwide structure of business promotion.
Although customers and their needs are the focal point of the marketing process, few companies start with this in mind. Invariably somebody had a good idea for a product or service and this became the initiative to start the business. The "product" refers to the commodity that the company will offer clients, which may involve concentrating on a narrow product line, developing a highly specialized product or service, or providing a product-service package containing high-quality service. The business owner needs to conduct market research to gather information about the business to create a marketing plan.
Entrepreneurs tend to be an independent group that has particular talents and trades, and this can result in a focus on "production" or "doing" and a lack of emphasis on marketing. Indeed, the marketing acumen of many small business people seems to be derived from informal (and convenient) verbal exchanges with suppliers, distributors, and customers (Johnson and Keuhn 1987). While such exchanges are an excellent source of information, they cannot replace a systematic approach to seeking marketing help and developing marketing plans.
(Weinrauch et al.)
While many businesses see the product or service to be at the heart of the firm's marketing efforts, the company must learn to see its output as flexible and subject to development and adaptation. In 1964, the Harvard Business Review published a landmark article entitled "The Concept of the Marketing Mix." In this article, Harvard professor Neil Borden coined the term "Marketing Mix" to describe the variety of different marketing elements that must be "mixed" together to produce an effective marketing plan.
The ingredients in Borden's marketing mix included product planning, pricing, branding, distribution channels, personal selling, advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing, physical handling; and fact finding and analysis. E. Jerome McCarthy later grouped these ingredients into four categories - product, price, promotion, and place - that today are known as the 4 P's of marketing." (Borden)
The most fundamental task of the small business owner is managing the marketing mix. Each of the four Ps is capable of influencing demand either separately or together with the other marketing mix elements. The "product" consists of the services and benefits that the company will offer clients. "Price" relates to the fee structure that the business adopts. While some new business owners may believe that unless they offer the lowest possible price they will not win the order, it is better to build one's reputation on quality workmanship and service rather than quoting low prices to get a job and then doing poor-quality work to make it pay. Bear in mind that the customer buys a "package" of benefits, which includes aspects such as reputation, quality of workmanship, and before and after sales service; and the price ought to reflect the value of the total package. "Promotion" is concerned with how to communicate with customers and prospects. In practice the promotional element of the marketing mix falls into two broad categories, namely personal promotion (face-to-face dealing with customers) and impersonal promotion (advertising, promotions, direct marketing).
Marketing is a vital aspect to the success of a small business. Personal promotions is a two-way process that gives the prospective purchaser the opportunity to ask questions about the product or service; the sales message can be tailored to the needs of individual customers; and the salesperson can build a relationship with customers and thereby lay the foundations for repeat business. Today the salesperson needs to be extremely knowledgeable about developments in related industries as well as one's own products and services. It's no longer enough to know the benefits of one's own product or service to make a sale; the salesperson must also know what the competition is doing and the likely future of their industry. The marketing plan must be re-evaluated at regular intervals to test its effectiveness.
Impersonal promotion takes the form of advertising and sales promotion, which includes all the options available to the business: standard media advertising (i.e. newspapers, magazines, radio, television), direct-mail advertising (leaflets, brochures, press releases), promotional items that incorporate the company name and contact details (t-shirts, pens, calendars, mouse pads, key chains) and Internet advertising (banner ads, affiliate programs, news releases, electronic newsletters, e-mail, message boards, web-site, viral marketing, and Weblogs). Even a company's stationery and appearance of its vehicles represent the business' identity.
Intuitively, small business researchers know that small businesses are quite innovative in adopting "shoestring" approaches. This perception is sometimes highlighted in the popular business literature. Many shoestring approaches are reported in the form of business vignettes, anecdotal stories, or occasional case studies. Moreover, some recent books dramatize marketing techniques for "bootstrapping" the small business (Davidson 1988, Weinrauch 1989). However, empirical studies that record small business owner experiences, perceptions, and levels of success related to marketing practices are lacking in the literature. www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001679465" (Weinrauch et al.)
Place" is the essential task of marketing that requires the business owner to match a firm's resources to customer needs in a way that gives satisfaction to both parties. It also means that the company has to search continually for something that will give them a competitive advantage over their competitors. The company must also keep an open mind about distribution channels and evaluate the effectiveness of existing channels on a regular basis.
The hottest medium going right now seems to be the Internet. The website is an excellent place to provide in-depth information about a company's products and services and to create awareness. Web advertising may take place through the use of display banners and the establishment of a website that provides more extensive information about the company. Advantages of advertising on the Net include message tailoring, interactive capabilities, information access, creativity, and international market potential. The way people purchase goods and services, manage their finances, and use and obtain information clearly seems to have redefined the business environment and changed the rules of business.
While the "four Ps of the marketing mix" is probably the most famous phrase in marketing, some business analysts add elements to the mix to include "people," "physical evidence" (such as uniforms, facilities or livery) and "process" (the whole customer experience) to the list of demand-influencing variables. "It is generally regarded by marketing professionals that the ultimate success of selling a product into a marketplace will come down to your business's ability to get these areas right." (Business Gateway)
Effective planning begins by gathering relevant information to write a business plan, which includes a marketing strategy. It also includes other information such as an analysis of the marketplace, an organizational plan, and measurable financial objectives. It helps to clarify all aspects of the projected business before the business owner spends too much valuable time and money on it. "The importance of a comprehensive, thoughtful business plan cannot be overemphasized. Much hinges on it: outside funding, credit from suppliers, management of your operation and finances, promotion and marketing of your business; and achievement of your goals and objectives. 'The business plan is a necessity. If the person who wants to start a small business can't put a business plan together, he or she is in trouble,' says Robert Krummer, Jr., chairman of First Business Bank in Los Angeles." (SBA)
No business or marketing plan is ever complete and inflexible. Additions or deletions may be necessary. Some things may not work out as expected, while others will have gone unnoticed in the original plan. It is important that the plan is reviewed on a regular basis. "Despite the critical importance of a business plan, many entrepreneurs drag their feet when it comes to preparing a written document. They argue that their marketplace changes too fast for a business plan to be useful or that they just don't have enough time. But just as a builder won't begin construction without a blueprint, eager business owners shouldn't rush into new ventures without a business plan" (ibid).
Monitoring environmental change
The prerequisite for monitoring environmental change is an effective marketing information system. The use of market research on an ongoing basis is vital to an understanding of the changing requirements of the customer. A straightforward questionnaire given to customers and prospects can help business owners to assess their marketing strengths and weaknesses or identify opportunities that affect sales and profitability. While it is important to monitor aspects like population shifts and legal developments, business owners should also…[continue]
"Marketing Challenges For Small Businesses" (2004, May 20) Retrieved December 9, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/marketing-challenges-for-small-businesses-172321
"Marketing Challenges For Small Businesses" 20 May 2004. Web.9 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/marketing-challenges-for-small-businesses-172321>
"Marketing Challenges For Small Businesses", 20 May 2004, Accessed.9 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/marketing-challenges-for-small-businesses-172321
Small Business Strategy Small Business Marketing Strategy A television commercials business The small business will be termed as a television commercials business. The business involves marketing of products and services that include television gadgets, programs, hardware, software, and services related with television services. The small business will start operations as a small entrepreneur that accommodates and sells small and support gadgets that are related to television services in town. The objective of the
management and operational issues that are faced by the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are being discussed. When we talk about the management and running of a small firm, this fact has to be kept in mind that the operations, management, activities are all very different from those of the large firms. In the small firms the main focus in on maintaining, managing and carrying out the day-to-day or
Marketing Challenge The primary marketing challenge at Flare Fragrances is to develop an appropriate and competitive marketing strategy for the new Savvy brand to be launched in 2009. The specific issues in this challenge include the question of whether to launch Savvy in the first place, whether to distribute it through conventional or through new channels, and whether to associate it with the Loveliest umbrella brand or to give it a
Small Business Plan A Business Plan for the Reorganization of a Small Restaurant Company Overview & Strategy Revised Statement of Mission and Vision Mission Statement Vision Statement Product and Service Marketing Macro Environment Target Market & Customers Facilities Business Performance Analysis Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats PESTEL Analysis Political Economic Social Technological Environmental Factors Legal Factors Financial Projections Risk Analysis Action Plan The Hometown Grill is considering making changes to its menu to become both healthier and more sustainable. Several lines of investigations were conducted including an industry overview analysis, a PESTEL analysis, as well as a
Small Business Taking a small clothing store to the online world is a bold proposition. There are a few strengths that this store can draw upon to help it succeed. The first is the name recognition of the Jersey Shore -- people actually know where it is now and that will help the store by putting it into some context. (We will assume that the context is good, at least for
Marketing Plan Mission and Business Objective Products and Services Keys to Success Macro Environment Economic Value Added Cash Value Added Cash Flow Return on Investment This report is a detailed marketing plan for a new financial service company called Online Analyst, Inc. The company is a combination database management company that also specializes in the financial services markets. The company will offer a plethora of information, data and financial-based market services such as online real time market segment
Video Tape and Disc Rental Rentals Catalog/Mail Order Retailing Health and Personal Care Stores Retailing Table 2: Comparisons of Most Risky Small Business (BizStats.com, cited by Telberg, 2003) An Engine of Economic Growth More and more, Craig, Jackson and Thomson (2007) argue, policymakers perceive the small business sector "as a potential engine of economic growth. Policies to promote small businesses include tax relief, direct subsidies, and indirect subsidies through government lending programs." These authors stress that encouraging lending