free home business course freedom to work at home







Free Home Business Course - Part 4


Hi ,

Today let's talk about writing a Marketing Plan that gives results for your home business!

I'm excited that you take time each week to let us into your life. Please feel free to write in and share any of your tips and ideas on home business and how we can make this course more informative and meaningful. We'd love to hear from you!

Your home business success directly depends on your ability to build, grow, satisfy and maintain the customer-at a profit!

The word 'Marketing' continues to be a mystery even among top executives. Well designed million dollar Ads may nose dive to the dirt while a simple 20 word 
classified may produce smashing results.

I have seen this happening! In one of the companies I worked, our best laid Ad plans worth a fortune just disappeared into nothingness while a simple notice  inserted in an English daily thrown into homes on a rainy day gave us more responses!

Make sure that, before you buy those expensive CDs, DVDs, check out "Internet Marketing For Stay At Home Moms + A Guide To Working At Home + 3 Audios" by Clicking Here. You won't regret!

The moral is do not ignore your gut feeling and Intuitions when it comes to marketing. Properly gel them with the usual marketing tactics. 

Improve your marketing results considerably by the intelligent use of tried and tested methods. To understand your customers better use the modern method...Marketing concepts.

Marketing concepts


Marketing concepts

The marketing concepts involves in recognizing and acting on how important a customer is to your firm. To use the marketing concept you must

  1. Identify the needs of your customers 
    (Market research)

  2. Improve your competitive advantage 
    (Marketing strategy)

  3. Identify your specific markets (Target-marketing)

  4. Identify how to satisfy your customer needs 
    ( Marketing mix)

  5. Determine how the above 4 points have served 
    your customers (Marketing performance)

Already confused! Okay we will see the above 5 important points in a little more detail now.


Market Research

A thorough marketing research will tell who your customers are, what they want, where and when they want and from whom they want. 

What to look for while doing a market research?

Look for Customers, Customer needs, Competition and Changing trends.

Customers:             Determine their Gender, Age, Income,
                           Occupation, marital status, family size, own
                           residence or not, Interests and hobbies.

Customer needs: 1. Is your product limited for a short time?
                             e.g. diaper
                          2. Does your customer wants faster service?
                          3. Does they want guarantee?
                          4. Frequency of buying e.g. more for grocery,
                             less for a car.
                          5. Does your customers want to buy from
                             more more convenient locations/wider 

Competition:         1. What is your competitions market share?
                          2. How much is their sales volume?
                          3. How many such competitors do you have?
                          4. What product-features attracts customers
                              to them?  
5. What is their strengths and on which of
                              their strengths do they advertise?

Trends:                   1. Look for population shifts (Govt.policy
                              changes, legal, regulatory etc)
                          2. Local economic situation
                          3. Life style changes? (single parents,
                              nuclear family working women, etc)

Where to get the information from?

1. Already accessed data may be taken from these sources

  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Trade associations in the business
  • Professional market research services
  • Local library

2. Own research efforts for more customer information try the following means:

  • Telephone surveys
  • Local and national newspapers
  • Surveys sent by mail
  • Questionnaires
  • Local TV and radio stations
  • Interviewing
  • Customer service cards

3. Your own Employees is one of the best sources. They can give a pretty good profile of your customers as they hear customer complaints more than you on a day-to-day basis.

4. Your customers themselves. By asking the customers about product improvements will give you not only first hand info but helps in building customer confidence too.

5. Monitoring competition can give valuable inputs to small business operators. This will help you to add/delete product features and to capitalize on 'unique' attributes of your own product.

6. Often go back to your company records. You are sure to unearth valuable data from sales records, receipts, complaints, prospect sheets etc. 

Conducting a market research need not be expensive. Forget about techniques and data. Just think what 'useful information' you can have to determine your customers likes/dislikes. And what your competition is doing about them. That's all!


Marketing Strategy

From the data gathered from 'Market Research' let us move on to building an effective marketing strategy.

I know from personal experience that the best way for a new business is to focus on areas ignored/unattended by your competition. Consider the following areas to develop a marketing strategy.

Offer a:

  1. Better or wider distribution.

  2. Specialized products instead of Broad based products 
    (or vice versa)

  3. Lower price 

  4. Better value for money-quality

  5. Improved/Modified product/service

  6. More dependable product/service

  7. Better Guarantee/Warranty

  8. Better customer support service


Target Marketing

The word says it all! Know your target-group before you start marketing. Once you are through with your marketing strategy determine to which customer group the marketing strategy will be most effective.

I know some of you are bit confused about all these 'strategy talk'.

Look at this way. If you have arrived on a Low price or value for money strategy, your product may be more appealing to a family.  i.e. family is your target group here.

where as if your strategy is Better guarantee/Warranty it may appeal to credit/loan purchasers.

Get the idea! Use the collected data and a make winning combination that works best.

The market can be divided into various segments. Some examples are:

1. Geographic: Specialize products targeted to people who live in a certain locality, region or climates.

2. Demographic: Target Advertising/Promotions to families, retired groups, to the occupation of the customers etc

3. Psychographics: Promoting to the opinions or attitudes of the customers e.g. Political, religious etc.

4. Previous customers: Promoting to previous buyers.


The Marketing Mix

Marketing mix nothing but the intelligent analysis of the 4 P's! That is

  • Your Product (Services) attributes

  • The  Price of your product

  • The  Place it will be sold and distributed

  • The  Promotion that you employ

The main benefits to derive from arriving at a correct Marketing Mix are,

  • To deepen the customer base

  • To increase Market share

  • To increase sales

  • To penetrate new geographical markets

  • To increase customer traffic

  • To dispose of excess inventories

Once you are clear on which of the above objectives that you want to pursue...determine a date to accomplish your objectives.

Products (services): This stage is your last chance to rethink and modify your product! You might want to consider changing the color, Size etc. Whatever it is do it now!

Promotion: With a clear-cut marketing strategy and objectives, arrive at the right promotional tactics and advertising. You may try promoting your product through

  • The yellow pages
  • A press release
  • Sponsoring a social event or activity
  • The newspaper
  • Classifieds (Very cost effective)
  • Billboards or posters
  • Flyers or handbills
  • Direct mail advertising 
  • The radio

Other Sales-boost tactics may be

  • Offer 2 for 1 
  • Discount/ Gift Coupons
  • Special time-bound prices
  • Rebates
  • Sweepstakes/contests
  • Freebies as Give-aways

Pricing: The other important factor is how you price the product. The pricing must be competitive, affordable and in proportion with the perceived value of the product.

Key Note: Dr. Ken Envoy offers Make Your Price Sell valued $14 as free download for joining his free affiliate program. Very good manual to put the right price on any product. Get a copy of it.)

Place: Here is where you decide how to distribute the products. Working through established retailers is the most cost effective way for a new business. If the product nature is of impulse-buy then find out retailers who has high traffic and a very visible shop to go along with it.


 Evaluate Marketing performance

Once you begin to implement your marketing mix, it needs to be evaluated often and monitored continuously. Is the objectives being met? which strategy is working and which is not?. You may want to evaluate on

  • Has the Market share increased? 
  • Has Sales objectives being met?
  • Is the Strategy working out. 

Evaluate on Promotions,

  • Did advertising penetrate the precise target groups?
  • Were the promotions timely and effective?
  • Did customers respond to special offers, coupons, or discounts.

Evaluate on Service,

  • Is the customer satisfied?
  • Do the employees make sure the customer's needs satisfied?

An objective review of the marketing plan reveals loop-holes that need to be plugged. For the grand success of the business you need to continually update the plans, adapt to new market situations, realize early changing customer tastes and the prevailing economic conditions.

We appreciate you! Take care ,

Courteously -- S. Kumar

P.S: BTW, Here are some gifts for you. Please go here to download them. These gifts are not the same that you downloaded in the last lesson.

Back To Lesson 1

Go To The Next Lesson

Back to Home






Copyright All Rights Reserved.