More often than not, many people confuse marketing for advertising and vice-versa. Every business, small or large, need these departments. While some companies combine the two as one department, others separate them. Marketing is the process of preparing a product for the marketplace, while advertising refers to the process of making a product known to the marketplace. Take heed of these two key words because they differentiate one term from the other; preparing and known. To break it down, to prepare is to make something ready for use or consideration. I will accompany this with a relatable example; before you can eat food, first you have to cook it, and by cooking it you are preparing it for consumption.
Now, by taking the food and putting them on the table for indulgence, you are making the food available and known to the one who is to consume them. That is advertising. When you first started taking baby steps in making your business a reality, you first did market research to see if the product you want to offer is in demand or not, because you don’t want to offer something which is of little, to no demand at all. This puts into perspective how feasible your idea is. Now that you have seen that there is a gap, that there is potential in the market, you now prepare your product, which is marketing. This is where logos, slogans, for example, come in. You want your product to have an attractive image, to have an effect on a potential consumer and catch the consumer’s attention. You make the product’s image colourful and visually attractive to meet the interest of your potential market.
In this process of product preparation, you will be studying your potential customers; who they are and what they would like to achieve from your product. For all this to be achieved, a marketing mix has to be implemented. In the marketing mix, it is really how you put two and two together. According to the Economic Times, a marketing mix refers to the set of actions, or tactics, that a company uses to promote its brand or product in the market. It comprises of the four Ps; Price, Product, Promotion and Place (distribution).
Price: When putting a price on your product, you should make sure that it is competitive and it can win you a share in the marketplace. The question on consumer’s lips will always be; is the value worth the price? Consumers align price against product quality, if the price is steep, expectation is that the quality should be exceptional, and vice-versa. As the seller, you should be sure not to overprice or under – price. A lower price guarantees more customers, but if you are using price to penetrate the market, be wise enough to make sure that the profit made is able to recover any cost to make the product, and ensure the survival of the business. Choose a pricing strategy, which is suitable for the success of the business and also make sure the value is worth the price.
Product This is the item that is being sold. Here, you need to consider the life cycle of the product together with the challenges that may come up with each stage. Product life cycle consist of four stages, namely; introduction, growth, maturity and decline stage. The introduction stage could be the most expensive. Here you will be making potential consumers aware of your newly made product. You need to first penetrate through the paradigm, shift their mind set and view of things. In the introduction stage, you do not focus on making sales since the size of the market is not that big, instead, you focus on making it known and tried out so that sales will eventually increase. Be mindful of the product launch. Plan well and align your budget well for the launch to be successful and effective. The growth stage is when the product is selling well and profits are made. The increase in the profit margin brings a possibility for businesses to invest to ensure for a greater stretch in growth. The maturity stage is when the product sales are reaching their peak but the market is now becoming saturated which slows down product growth. You will need to have a competitive advantage in order to stand out amongst all the competition. Then there is the decline stage. This stage is inevitable. It is when now the sales start to fall. This can be because people decided to switch to other products (like what happened to Nokia when the market switched from Nokia to Samsung), or simply because the market is saturated. This, however, does not mean that business cannot continue; you can opt for less costly production methods so that you may be able to still make profit.
Promotion This is getting the user to know about the product. This can be achieved by advertising on billboards, the media, boot camps, word of mouth, among others. You have to touch as many advertising mediums as you can for the promotion to be a success and to ensure that you reach a larger audience.
Place Location matters a lot! You need to find the right and perfect channel in which you will use for ‘serving’ your clients. The location should be easy for the user to find and make the user comfortable.
‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’
Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.
She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.
“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.
She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.
She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala
MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH
Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.
Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.
“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.
Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.
The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.
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