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Marketing is not advertising

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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.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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