A new year signifies hope, new beginning, and a way to have more control over the future. A significant percentage of the people I meet dream of starting a business despite having a foggy strategy. Starting a business is perceived as some sort of freedom, joy and wealth. The fundamental however is that an entrepreneur solves a problem or addresses a need in a different (more often, easier) way. Not everyone can become an entrepreneur. Marketing is an important aspect of any business. New entrepreneurs find themselves wearing many hats as they begin and slowly disengage with marketing activities as they grow. Marketing is as important at the introduction stage as it is at the growth stage of any company. 

Creating a marketing strategy means understanding who your target market is, where they are found, what information they need, why they need the information they seek and where they go to get the answers. Let's explore this a little further.

role of marketing

Source: http://www.techcrates.com/role-of-marketing-in-the-modern-telemarketing/

  • Understanding your target market

Defining a specific target market is essential to keep you focus and prioritize your resources. Not everyone will be interested in your business. Not everyone you meet would want to purchase your good or service. Defining your target will help you determine your marketing activities and marketing strategies.
There is however a difference between your target market and your target audience.
‘’A target market is defined as a group of people that a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its products at. It is those who wish to use and consume the product or service. A target audience is the people that a business expects to purchase the product. The product itself is not necessarily aimed for them to enjoy or consume.’’( Shaun, 2016). Understanding the difference will help you determine the marketing tool to use. Buying a man shoes, for example, may not be of interest to a woman except during special occasions- in that instance, she becomes a target.

  • Where is your target?

Having a marketing team is essential for prospecting. Having a sales team is important to turn prospects into sales. Knowing where your target is means understanding the place they go to, what social class they represent, the needs they have, what they watch- in a nutshell researching your target market.

  • What information do they need?

In order to address your target, you need to be aware of the type of information they require. Defining your target helps develop messages that are appealing and suitable to them, and solve their problems. Does your product/service target women or men? Depending on the age group, their social class…the information deciphered will differ.

  • Why they need the information they seek?

Most people require information to make critical decision, to fill a gap, to address a perceived need. Know the information they seek and provide the details they need.

  • Where do they go to get the information?

The rise of the internet has made access to information quite easy. Does your target prefer online or offline communication? What social media do they prefer? How can you share the information they desire?

The information you obtain will help: shape your message and understand the channels to use to communicate with your buyer, position you competitively, help you focus, and understand better what your primary needs are which can vary from additional staff, to an office among others. This will help prioritize resources. It will also help you define your value proposition, which in business, is primordial for healthy competition.