Mostly entrepreneurs test their products and services among people they know – friends, family and relatives. These initial customers provide positive feedback as they do not want to hurt sentiments of entrepreneurs. Armed with such feedback, entrepreneurs assume their product/service is fit for market. They assume customer will love their product and they do not need marketing strategy and people will automatically recommend it. They consider advertising in media as a full-fledged marketing strategy.
At Biruwa, we encounter a lot of entrepreneurs that think in a similar manner. Most of them have some common misconceptions about marketing. Following are some of the misconceptions debunked:
I know what my customers want.
You can make assumptions, but you cannot be sure about it.
It’s important to understand your customers: who they are, what they think, how they feel, and why they choose to buy from you. Many entrepreneurs think that they know what their customers think, but what if they are wrong? Ideally, such analysis should come from an independent third party for honest objective feedback. Entrepreneurs who develop a marketing strategy with their initial evaluation usually are unable to capture understanding of a large base of audience.
If I start advertising, customers will definitely come.
Do not confuse advertising with marketing. Advertising is a part of marketing.
Other important parts that are often neglected in marketing are – Market research, public relations, distribution, sales strategy, customer support etc.
Advertising without proper market research results in unnecessary spending. For example – If you are targeting youth, it does not add much value if you put an advertisement in national daily. In this case, social media marketing will be less expensive and more effective.
Marketing is an expensive activity – I don’t have enough budget for it.
It would be difficult to make any revenue without Marketing. Marketing is vital for growth and to create profit.
However, it is not an expensive activity if you know your strategies. Usually marketing becomes expensive when companies go to mass media. Huge newspaper advertisements, fancy TV commercials with celebrities is costly. Such advertising will be required for large industries but might not be necessary for startups and small – scale industries. Developing appropriate marketing strategies can save significant amount of time and money.
I need to hire a marketing personnel before formulating a marketing strategy.
The Marketing department or the marketing personnel do not own the sole responsibility of Marketing. Everyone in the organization should be responsible for it.
Entrepreneurs usually neglect importance of marketing strategy. For most startups having a dedicated marketing team takes up resources. However, entrepreneurs can create their marketing strategy by building an understanding of their customer base. Research your customer base and identify ways you can serve them. Obtaining constructive feedback through all departments where customers interact can be a starting point for marketing strategy.
I can replicate my competitor’s marketing strategy.
Copying marketing strategy rarely works – it may even backfire.
While entrepreneurs think that copying competitors’ successful marketing strategy is developing a blueprint for success – mixing someone else’s marketing strategy with your own can be dangerous. It will create confusion and mistrust among customers. They will not be able to differentiate your product/service from your competitors’. Organization should create their own strategy which stands apart from the rest. Even if you borrow an idea that works well for a competitor, it doesn’t mean the same mechanism will work for you.
There are numerous other misconceptions about marketing which organizations need to be aware of. It is advisable to seek professional help while developing marketing strategy that fit to organization need.
Biruwa support entrepreneurs, startups and organizations in developing marketing strategies that are suitable for them. With our extensive understanding of Nepalese market, we believe in developing cost effective market assessment service for our clients.