There are five fundamental marketing activities and these are : Consumer analysis, Product Planning, Price planning, Distribution Planning and Promotion Planning.
We will not take a more in-depth look into each of these activities.
Consumer Analysis. Consumer analysis simply refers to the evaluation and examination of the consumer purchase processes, needs and characteristics. Remember that the product you are developing is targeted toward a certain demographic. You develop the product with a target market in mind; a target market that you want to purchase the product.
It is important that you understand that people will only go for a product that is within their comfort zone and that they will be able to purchase conveniently.
Analyzing characteristics, needs and purchase processes is thus important as it will allow you to understand your customers and help you get to know where they are most comfortable.
You should then use this information to avail your product at the point where they are most comfortable.
Product planning refers to the development and maintenance of products, product assortments, product positions, brands, packaging and deletion of old products.
It is never enough to simply develop a product. Various customers have varying needs. No two individuals are the same; every person is unique in their own way. This is where product assortments come in. You will be able to meet the same need in various ways for different people. Assortments can refer to different sizes, different colors, different flavors etc.
Branding is always a good idea. Creating a brand for your product helps you to enhance the loyalty your customers have toward you. Human beings have the tendency to identify themselves with something; they love to have a sense of belonging. Proper branding of your product will give your customers something to identify themselves with; they will be able to create that sense of belonging which will in turn enhance your customers’ loyalty to you.
Packaging is also very important as it is the first thing the customers see when they look at your products. You should package your product in such a way that it instantly captures the interest of your target market.
Times are changing and evolving fast and a large number of things are becoming obsolete day in day out; the moment your products become outdated, it would be good for you to get them out of the market and replace them with newer versions that are more up to date.
Price planning allows you to outline all price levels and ranges, purchasing terms, pricing techniques, price adjustments and the use of price as a passive or active factor.
Pricing is not as basic as it may seem. You cannot just wake up one morning and set a certain price for your product. There are a lot of factors that come into play. These factors include; the laws of the land, your operation costs, distribution costs, your target market, forces of supply and demand just to mention but a few.
This is the reason as to why it is imperative that you first take into account all the things outlined above. Remember that you have to set a price that will allow you to cater for all your costs including taxes, operation costs and distribution costs and still allow you to earn a profit. The price you set also has to be acceptable within the confines of the law of the land. If you set a price that is deemed too high for the consumers to cope with, you will be pushed out of business. Be very cautious when setting your prices and ensure that you carefully weigh all these factors.
Distribution involves the establishing of channel relations, physical distribution, inventory management, warehousing, transportation, allocation of goods and wholesaling.
Distribution is what will get your product to the customer. Without distribution, your product will not be available in the market. It is however important for it to be done right; it has to be both effective and efficient. You have to put effective distribution measures in place and still be able to minimize the costs that you incur.
Your measures have to be effective in that they necessitate the availability of your goods where they are needed when they are needed. You should also try as much as possible to minimize your distribution costs as high distribution costs will automatically result in higher prices for your goods as you will still have to make a profit. Higher prices for your goods might result in your losing customers.
Promotion planning refers to the blending of sales promotion, personal selling, publicity and advertising to generate sales revenue. To earn profit, you have to make sales. To make sales, you have to appeal to the customer. This is the main purpose of promotion planning; appealing to the customer. You get to directly or indirectly influence the customer to buy your product. This is done by outlining to the customer the benefits that they will accrue from your product through the methods mentioned above.