Marketing 101 – The basics

You have a small business? Market yourself! Oh, wait, are you one of the (many!) people who just hate to promote themselves? Who just hate to sing their own praises and sell their own skills, abilities, products and services? No worries. Today’s marketing world is about finding the proper niche, establishing a clear position and identity, building trust, and engaging in an authentic and meaningful conversation that’s compelling and consistent across channels.

How about if you let a communication expert do that for you?

And there’s more good news. Marketing is NOT ALL about advertising and sales. In fact, the that is just one piece of the puzzle, and the traditional sales-oriented approach is losing ground in favor of constant engagement and meaningful experiences. According to Australia’s Curtin University, the trend is towards help rather than hype.

Would you like to know about the interaction between paid, owned, and earned media (POEM)? What if I were to tell you that marketing can help you create a product offering which almost sells itself?

Basically, marketing is all about walking in your customer’s shoes. Know what your customers need and give it to them. But do it in such a way that you can also make a profit, to reward your efforts and the risks you have taken. Make them understand what’s in it for them, and help them see the benefits. Offer them real value. Stay engaged.


In order to know what your potential customers want, need, or desire you have to do market research and analysis. That’s one area where can help. And in order to meet their needs with products or services that are exactly what they want, you need marketing tools. The successful combination of marketing tools goes by the name of “marketing mix“.

Traditionally, there were four ingredients in the marketing mix (the 4 Ps):

  • the Product
  • the Price
  • the Placement (or distribution)
  • the Promotion

You’re probably wondering about all these Ps.

The Product refers to what you are selling. It includes the actual product or service, but it also includes pre and post-sale services, the packaging, etc. (the extended product). Every detail of your offering has to be just right for the people you are trying to sell it to. First know what the market wants and then create a dedicated product to cater to that need, that would be the ideal recipe.

The Price refers to how you calculate your price and how you come up with a price that best serves your financial and marketing objectives, in other words, a price that covers your costs AND helps your product sell (at a profit!). Price also has a psychological influence, and there are various pricing strategies that can work for you.

Placement refers to the channels through which you choose to distribute your product/service. Wholesale or retail, chain stores, direct distribution through your own stores, online, etc. How you make your product available and accessible to your customers. It could be a great product, but if it’s in the wrong channel, or your target group cannot find it, or is always out of stock your sales will disappoint. So take great care here.

Promotion refers to ways you communicate your offer – your unique selling proposition (USP, or claim). A mix of tactics, methods, content and media used to make your product/service/company known, sought, and appreciated on the market. Marketing communications, such as branding, content marketing, advertising and public relations, sales promotions and events, professional fairs and direct marketing all fall under this complex category. They are about communicating value and making your product/service/company be known, look good and feel trusted. This is the part where you get people to really want you. Reach them across a variety of channels, including digital ones. can help.

More recently, Kotler and his buddies (Keller, Brady, Goodman and Hansen) have added 3 new dimensions to the marketing mix, thus bringing it to the 7 Ps. What they have added:

  • The Process
  • The Physical Evidence
  • The People.

All of these can be included in one of the first 4, so you’re not wrong if you stick with those, either. The process can be considered a part of the business model and corporate structure, which in turn is part of the “brand” which in turn is part of Promotion. And Physical evidence (concrete features, technical characteristics) can be thought of as part of the extended product. The one really important thing to add to the first 4 Ps is People. Good, motivated people (and partners!) are essential to any organization’s market success. So there you have it.

To wrap it up, marketing is all about knowing, finding and stimulating demand, and creating customer satisfaction in a way that is profitable for you too. Marketing is the art of win-win.

So how do you plan to win or retain customers and improve profits with meaningful marketing communication for your SME? Do you need assistance with empathy maps, experience maps, USP, competition and niche analysis, reputation, content writing, slogan transcreation, etc.?

Request a quote right here! We love to see you thrive.

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