What is “Marketing” all about?

There are 5 key elements to marketing, known as the “marketing mix” or the “5 Ps of Marketing”. These are:

  1. Product/Service: carrying out research to determine the ideal product for your company.
  2. Price:  providing information to help determine the selling price.
  3. Promotion:  deciding how to promote your product or service in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
  4. Place:  considering where you will make your products/service available to the potential customers.
  5. Packaging:  deciding on how best to package your product to make it as attractive as possible to potential customers.

Some skills and qualities you will need to develop

  • Analytical ability: to use information to develop a marketing plan, forecast sales and pass on relevant information to other departments.
  • Creative Flair: to spot opportunities, develop ideas and strategies, and use materials creatively.
  • Enthusiasm: you must also be enthusiastic, have a positive approach, be a good communicator and have the will to win!

Your role and responsibilities

  • Selecting a product: all the Company members will meet to decide on one or more products or services to sell. It would be useful if, at this point, you liased with Human Resources to draw up a survey of the skills and experience of your members. Make use of these skills if you can when selecting a product.
  • Research: you will then have to conduct research to assess how practical and feasible the products/services are.  When doing your research you can make us of a market research questionnaire.  Your research will aim to discover:
    • Whether there is a market for the proposed product/service
    • Who are the potential customers
    • Whether there are any similar products already in the market place
    • Where you can sell your product.

You will have to consider where you are most likely to reach your “customers”. Here are a few suggestions, you will think of others:

  • Pupils, teachers, family and friends
  • Friendly local retailers
  • School events
  • Cork Schools’ Enterprise Trade Fairs
  • Mail order
  • Local community

Your market research should also cover what the best price is to charge  for your product or service and what your overall profit margin will be.

  • Writing reports: you will be required to provide regular reports on sales performance and targets.
  • Promotion: you must develop a promotional strategy in order to let your potential customers know about your product or service. These methods must be efficient, cost-effective and should be imaginative. Publicity can include flyers, posters, company website, blogs, stands at trade fairs, newspaper adverts etc…
  • Consistently review your 5 Ps: throughout production you must regularly review your marketing mix:
    • Is your product right?
    • Is the price right?
    • Are your promotional strategies working?
    • Are customers serviced effectively?

Could any of the above be improved?

  • The SWOT Analysis-Problem Solving
    When reviewing your marketing strategy it is useful to do a “SWOT” Analysis: that is, to identify your Company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For example:

    • Strengths:
      • Good product?
      • Effective marketing?
    • Weaknesses:
      • Production faults?
      • Too many competitors?
    • Opportunities:
      • Develop business image?
      • Make new contacts?
    • Threats:
      • Other companies?
      • Overestimating potential?

This will give an overall picture of how your Company is performing, and what its future potential may be.

The trick then is to find a way to turn weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities: easier said than done!

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