Marketing is the lifeblood of businesses. Pundits have even observed that human life itself is marketing life. How? They opine that we daily market ourselves in various ways most times without us knowing. Right from the time we prepare to step out of our homes, we are mindful of how we dress, the type of perfume we choose or do not choose to use, how we are perceived by people in the neighborhood, colleagues and bosses in our offices and so on. These are said to be part of self-marketing because our actions and outlooks are what people use in rating us.
If we care about these things and know that our social rating depends on them, then we are consciously engaging in marketing ourselves to the outside world.
Same goes for businesses. Serious business marketing starts from the stage of conception of the business itself. When we take into consideration the potential consumers in the design of product quality and content as well as pricing, we are engaged in marketing function because we’ve taken the consumer into account. If these are not done, then the business is dead on arrival.
In the field, marketers are oftentimes scared of two variables: Competition from rival products and companies and Rejection from prospects.
But thoroughbred marketers ought not to be scared of any of these. Life itself is competition, without which everything becomes meaningless. In fact, it is competition that puts us constantly on our toes, not to be too relaxed. Competition from other brands and companies makes us improve on our product, services and processes including pricing and marketing strategy. If this is the case, then we are bound to soar higher because we will keep on improving first to outdo our competitors and to also be in the market by satisfying the needs of the consumers or prospects. What we then have is top-of-the range products and services.
How to outdo the competition: the most outstanding strategy to be ahead of our competitors is to have what is called a Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Selling Point, commonly abbreviated as USP.
What is USP? The Unique Selling Point or Proposition is that thing that differentiates your product or service from all others. All products and services inherently must have it. It is that thing you propose to your prospect, as making you different or better than others. Smart manufactures and service providers are aware of this and so they hit the market, first time, with this proposition or selling point. Take for example, the Glo hit the market to rattle other existing GSM service providers with per-second billing. This was a unique selling point that made GLO outdo others. Glo continues to invent new USPs and continues to dominate the market especially the data segment. Same goes for modern musical systems that come with Bluetooth. So, to handle competition effectively and be on the lead, your product or service must have or constantly come up with a unique selling point with which you will always put yourself ahead of competitors or the competition. Most times, we panic when competitors come to challenge our market dominance but there’s no need for panic. The solution is simply to invent something, or put up a promise which puts you ahead of them. It could even be in your pricing: better price than your competitors’. This is surely what makes China products and Glo data more preferable to others.
The other phenomenon which scares the marketer to the marrows is Rejection. Even in life, no one wants to be rejected. We all make proposals to the prospects with the high hope of getting the business, especially when we think we’ve done our homework in product design, content and sales pitch. It is natural to melt and get dejected when the client we have put our hopes on so much refuses to buy. This is commonly called Rejection in marketing. But, really, Rejection is an inevitable part of marketing. Marketing gurus agree that rejection is inevitable. There’s no way you will propose to scores of prospects and get hundred percent acceptance which results into actual purchases. Life itself does not give us that privilege. You are bound to be “rejected” at some point, no matter how good your product and price are, even at near-zero pricing. So, if and when this happens, what is the next thing to do? Instead of coiling into your shells in regret, be intelligent enough to find out what exactly the prospect wants in respect of the product or services and pricing. Go back and redesign your product or service and prices to suit the prospects’ expectation. Note that the only reason why your product/service isn’t accepted to purchase level is nothing other than the fact that you’ve not met their expectations. If you can take the rejection in good faith and look inward and go back to meet their expectations, you’ll be shocked that you’ll turn sales adversity to sales prosperity.