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As a huge advertising site DIY Doctor gets asked a great many questions about advertising and marketing and the most often asked questions by the tradespeople we work with is; “What exactly is marketing and why does a small company need to know about it, surely that’s is for bigger firms”.

The answer to this question is a resounding NO !!!! Marketing is for every single company regardless of the size.

Many people believe marketing is simply advertising dressed up in a grand name but it is so much more than this. Over the next few weeks we will be offering you a lot of free marketing tips but firstly, lets sort out what it is!

The Chartered Institute of Marketing define marketing as ‘The management process responsible for identifying , anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably’

Philip Kotler defines marketing as ‘satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process’

The main theme here is that marketing is to find out exactly what a customers wants or needs and provide it in the right place, at the right time, for the right price….BUT, this does not just mean the product !

What the customer wants, as well as the final product, is a good experience on the way to getting the product. The customer wants to be treated as a special person. They want to feel their wants and needs have been heard and understood. They want to feel their money is safe with you and that you are a reliable company. They want a good experience, not just a good product.

If you go to the restaurant and your meal is the best food you have ever tasted but the service is diabolical………Do you go back? Mostly no.

If a customer rings you for a quote and your phone is answered by a 3 year old who obviously can’t take a message…….Does the customer call back? Mostly no.

This is marketing. From the moment you put an add in the paper, or start a website you must be marketing. Your customers must get a good experience. It must “feel right” to use you for their needs.

Regardless of people who say, “Its too expensive”, very very few jobs are turned down on price. Price is a great customer excuse, but it is rarely the real reason you did not get the job. The reason you did not get the job is usually because the customer felt that their needs were not going to be met by you.

Marketing is listening. Marketing is providing detailed quotes which list every operation for the amount of money to be charged. Marketing is about presenting the quote in a professional way. Marketing is about asking the customer whether your quote answers all the questions they have buzzing about in their heads. Marketing is about presenting yourself and your company in an appropriate way. Marketing is about your demeanour and you appearance. Marketing is about your company vehicle and the way you explain things to potential customers. Marketing is about your customers, not about your profits.

If you get your marketing right, your profits will follow. If you do not, you will only ever earn wages, not real money.

More soon. Let us have your thoughts and questions on marketing. Its our business to make the very most of your business and we do this, here, for free so join in if you feel so inclined.

Mike Edwards

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