When speaking about marketing for a small business, there are many different methods in which we could use to drive sales. Each different method has its pros and cons as I'd like to share to you my experiences of running a small business.
I know that 'time' is the most valuable resource for small businesses, and money spent should be money earned at least three times in return, so therefore, I'd like to just quickly share my experiences in this list form below.
Ok then, enjoy and 'leaf' like a tree and grow :) Get it? hehe.. Just a little humor before we begin. :-)
Here it is..
MARKET RESEARCH - We must create the market before selling the product.
Pros - Great for random opinions, & questions answered.
Cons - Waste of time & money if questions do not bring results for decision making.
2. FGDs (Focus Discussion Groups)
Pros - Great for understanding quickly how others perceive your product and competitors.
Cons - Participants vary in character and some might not truly show their honest opinion due to their characteristics (shy, going with the crowd, indecisive, etc).
PRODUCT- When there is a guaranteed market, then product development should take place.
1) Outsourcing Production
Pros - Saves time as you can focus on managing the big picture.
Cons - Unreliable in deadliness and product quality.
Pros - Controlled quality and perfection.
Cons - Time consuming.
3) Reseller (Not our own product)
pros -Leaves us to focus on marketing.
Cons - If manufacturer's product not up to par with our marketing.
PRICING - Pricing determines profit margins.
Pros - Mass buyers.
Cons - Smaller profit margins.
Pros - Higher Standard, and smaller competition.
Cons - Not enough buyers.
DISTRIBUTION - If consumers do not see your product, how are they going to buy?
Pros - Easier to manage, negotiate deal and monitor.
Cons - Depending on one 'source' of basket to handle our eggs.
Pros - The ability to expand channels throughout the market.
Cons - profit margin battle and harder to manage.
3) Self Distribution (on-line or off-line)
Pros - Efficient, good for decision making.
Cons - More to manage and time consuming.
PROMOTION - Promo is the icing on the cake which either makes the cake (product) good or bad.
1) Old Media - Radio, print media, television.
Pros - Easy to create buzz.
Cons - Expensive, limited channel capture.
2) New Media - Digital, hand phones, i-pods, etc.
Pros - Great for fast emotional bonding.
Cons - Fast shift in trend, and boredom.
2) Promo materials - banners, stickers, posters, etc
Pros - Fast attention grabbing.
Cons - Waste of money, as no one cares if low quality or low quality design.
Pros - Great for tying experience with your product.
Cons - Expensive & Time consuming if unsuccessful.
4) Endorsement, Branding
Pros - Great at building quick trust.
Cons - If the endorse e turns into a negative image, your product will suffer.
Pros - Fast and efficient in creating buzz.
Cons - Fighting against other promotion on line as consumers have a 3 second attention span on- line.