Stronger SWOT Analysis and Marketing 4 P’s (Part 3) by Barry Welford
The product/service package must be developed with the needs of the niche customers in mind. A target will eventually buy if his or her perception of the product/service package is one which meets their needs and in which they can place their trust. As Peter Drucker said many years ago, “Help is defined by the recipient”.
Equally what the potential purchaser is considering buying is their perception of the product/service package, which may be different from an objective evaluation of the package. A target customer’s perception of a product/service package is built up of a host of small impressions. Sometimes the most minor features may have an unexpected impact on the total perception of the package.
With technical products, the purchaser may not be able to evaluate the technical capability of the product. So other signs and symptoms may be used to infer the inherent quality of the product. If telephone calls are answered badly, or there are delays in replying to e-mail requests, or there are spelling mistakes in the technical documentation, then the purchaser may infer that the same lack of reliability may be present in the product. Often these small details, which cost very little to get right, may have a disproportionate effect on the purchaser’s evaluation of the company.
So role-play as one of your target niche customers. Call up your own company anonymously and pretend to be a potential customer. Check whether the perception you build up is one, which gives you confidence in the product/service value and reliability.
The price to be charged for products and services should be determined in the light of the niche prospect’s likely cost-benefit ratio and the financial ability to pay according to the payment terms. Given the typical niche prospect, this may suggest the need for extended payment terms, lease arrangements or alternatively may indicate a possibility for asking for initial deposits.
Publicity is the toughest section in any Marketing strategy, given the information explosion and the reduced time purchasers have to consider any documentation. This is also where focusing on the typical niche prospects will give the maximum leverage on effectiveness. How do your prospects get their information? What are the most reliable sources of information they use? Are there particular channels (associations, professional services, such as bankers or accountants, etc.) that are the preferred way by which your prospects receive information? Once more, standing in your prospect’s shoes will help you best evaluate the ways they will get information most reliably.
“Place” deals with the distribution channels by which your prospects will be able to buy and receive your products and services. Clearly without defining the niche prospects, it is impossible to set up the best distribution channels.
About the Author
Barry Welford of SMM Internet Marketing Consultants helps you find ways to improve your company’s marketing and selling effectiveness.
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