Advice

Nurturing Potential: A Roadmap for Youth Empowerment in Rural Western Africa

Nurturing Potential: A Roadmap for Youth Empowerment in Rural Western Africa

Introduction:

In the heart of Western Africa, where vibrant communities thrive amidst the vast landscapes, youth empowerment is not just a goal; it’s a pathway to transformation. At Black Business Diary, we are committed to empowering the youth in rural areas, equipping them with essential skills to not only navigate challenges but to lead and innovate within their unique contexts. This blog post is a guide to practical tips and tailored resources for mastering key skills crucial for the development of youth in rural Western Africa.

The Essence of Skill Development in Rural Contexts

1. Leadership Skills for Community Impact:

In rural Western Africa, leadership takes on a communal significance. Encourage youth to embrace leadership roles within community-driven projects. Provide guidance on consensus-building, effective decision-making, and collaborative problem-solving. Tailor leadership development initiatives to align with the cultural nuances of the region.

2. Cultivating Effective Communication in Diverse Settings:

Communication in rural communities often involves bridging diverse perspectives. Offer insights into effective communication within tight-knit communities. Advocate for storytelling, local dialect usage, and interpersonal skills that resonate with the rich tapestry of cultures found in rural Western Africa.

3. Project Management Techniques Aligned with Local Realities:

Recognize the unique challenges of project management in rural settings. Introduce project management tools and techniques that accommodate limited resources and connectivity. Showcase successful projects from similar contexts, demonstrating practical and achievable approaches to implementation.

Tailored Tips for Skill Development

A. Rooted Goal Setting:

Start with goals that resonate with the immediate needs of the community. Empower youth to set goals that align with local aspirations, ensuring that their endeavors contribute meaningfully to the sustainable development of their surroundings.

B. Holistic Learning Within Local Contexts:

Advocate for learning that integrates traditional knowledge with contemporary skills. Recommend local mentors, community elders, and traditional institutions as valuable sources of wisdom, supplementing formal education with insights rooted in the region’s history and culture.

C. Community-Centric Networking:

Emphasize the importance of community networks. Guide youth on building connections with local leaders, businesses, and grassroots organizations. Encourage attendance at community events and celebrations as platforms for networking and collaboration.

Tailored Resources for Skill Development

1. Localized Workshops and Webinars:

Highlight locally organized workshops and webinars that address the specific needs of rural youth. Showcase events that focus on agricultural practices, community development, and sustainable entrepreneurship.

2. Storytelling and Oral Tradition:

Recognize the power of storytelling in rural communities. Recommend resources that leverage oral tradition, folklore, and community narratives as tools for communication and preserving cultural heritage.

3. Partnerships with Local NGOs:

Forge partnerships with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that understand the intricacies of rural development. Showcase programs that provide mentorship, training, and resources tailored for youth in Western Africa’s rural areas.

Conclusion:

In the vast landscapes of rural Western Africa, the empowerment of youth is a transformative journey. By tailoring skill development initiatives to the unique context of these communities, we not only nurture individual potential but also contribute to the collective prosperity of the region. Together, let’s build a future where the youth of rural Western Africa lead with resilience, creativity, and a deep understanding of their roots, shaping a legacy that reflects the richness of their culture and the promise of sustainable development.

Transform Your Image And Accelerate Your Success

Being a lifelong student, I am regularly attending seminars etc. to become the best I can be in all areas of my life.

In the past year I have undertaken an Image and Brand Management Program with Image Group International and the knowledge I have gained and applied has affected so many areas of my life and my business.

Being a ‘holistic’ program it has encompassed topics like branding, colour psychology, personal image, inner image, communication and so much more.

In this article I’m going to focus on personal image and how it affects your results.

Do You Dress For Success?

Being an avid networker, I get to meet many people and am constantly astounded by the way the majority present themselves.

I met a ”coach’ who raved about how successful they are and what they do for their clients. This person was at least 10kgs overweight, her chest was exposed and her clothes were very inappropriate for a business environment. If you were looking for a coach, would you consider investing in her services? She obviously had her own issues to deal with. What she said didn’t match how she looked.

The accountant who called himself a ‘wealth strategist’ had a beard, looked very unhealthy and was wearing a tweed jacket. What impression did he make? None. He appeared scruffy and obviously didn’t take care of himself. How could he take care of other people’s affairs?

In contrast to these people, the mortgage broker who was dressed extremely well in a tailored suit ,who obviously took pride in her appearance and looked confident and competent. If you were interested in borrowing money would you consider utilizing her services? Of course you would. She gave the impression that she knows what she’s doing. By the way, whether she is competent or not you’ll only find that out if you do business with her. However if she cares about herself, chances are she cares about her clients and provides a good service.

Perception is Reality.

Would you prefer to do business with someone who looks confident and credible? Whether we like it or not people will pass judgment on you within a few seconds of meeting you. They will make assumptions about you personally and your organization.

Would I Do Business With You?

Think about it, what opinion would you form about a person who looked old fashioned, dressed in ill – fitting clothes and wore heaps of make-up? You’d probably think their ideas were old fashioned to match their image. And that also gives an impression of the organization they represent.

What about the 50 year old lady I met who runs conferences and turned up in high-heeled shoes, short skirt, long hair and big dangly earrings?

Did she look like a competent and professional person?

What first impression would she create?

How about the manager who wears a cardigan, light grey suit and brown shoes. He also has a moustache. Would you feel confident using his services? Does he appear to be ‘with it’? Would you think his organization is up with the times?

And the personal assistant with the low cut top and tight fitting pants? Is she being perceived as a competent person and someone you’d take seriously? She may suit the image of a trendy organization and yet what opinions would you form if she worked with you?

We’ve all seen or know of people like this. Perhaps it’s you and you don’t even know it!

Image in the Workplace

It’s a serious business. Image Coaches are being hired by organizations to teach their people how to present themselves in the best possible way. How are you and your people perceived by your clients, prospects and suppliers?

Your personal image can be either positive or negative. It can accelerate your success or hinder it.

How to Transform Your Image

If you seriously want to enhance the results in your life, consider seeing an image coach. In fact as part of the services we offer, we’ve included image coaching as it has been so beneficial to many of our clients.

Some of the results achieved have been astounding. An accountant who was considered a ‘pushover’ by her staff and business partner had a total transformation. Because of her quiet nature she wasn’t taken seriously. She also dressed in a way that reinforced her lack of confidence.

Since having coaching around her image looking how to dress in a more flattering way with credibility and power, she is far more confident and has become very assertive. It’s also made her look 10 years younger!

The image coach you’ll work with will show you how to present yourself in the best possible way. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good you attract people to you like a magnet!

So if you want to attract the right type of people to you in business and in your personal life, then this is definitely one area you should invest in.

Looking successful is just as important as being successful. Whether we like it or not, people judge us in a number of ways. To be credible we have to look like we know what we’re talking about as well as having the skills and abilities to deliver.

Don’t forget; you are your most important asset and you are worth investing in.

To Make More Sales, Get Out There and Network!

Do you have a routine of networking? If you are not reaching out on a regular basis, how will people know about you? You have to show up to networking groups consistently and persistently to build relationships.

Remember, EVERYONE you speak with is a potential client, referrer, center of influence, or joint project partner. Once you start viewing each person you meet as one of these things, it becomes easier and easier to engage in small talk at events.

When people ask you what you do, give them a compelling answer. Don’t be shy – speak form your heart about what you do. It’s what you believe in, so speak with passion. Get out there and TOOT your horn! Why keep yourself a secret?

Join associations and groups where you can rub elbows with your prospects in large numbers. To ensure you are attending regularly, plug meeting times into your calendar for the entire year. Keep in mind, you are building relationships with clients for the long haul. People are mulling your services over – just keep reminding them how remarkable you are – eventually they will do business with you or refer an associate.

One thing that is important for you to realize is that people aren’t waking up in the middle of the night thinking I need a {fill in your profession here}. Instead, they are thinking about their problem: I don’t have enough money, I’m in pain, I need to lose weight, I need to get out of debt, I need to save for my kids’ education, and so on.

Your products or services provide them with a solution. But, services are generally an investment that people want to consider for a while. And so, part of your role as a remarkable marketer is to make sure you stay in front of them to remind them of the value you offer.

Here are a few ideas beyond networking events to help you stay in front of your customers and prospects:

-Give speeches about your area of expertise at the events your clients and prospects attend.

-Give free educational seminars.

-Write articles that give tips and advice to help your clients. Post these on your website in a resource area, send them in a print newsletter, or slip them in a handwritten note to your client.

-Provide free seminars online and send out an e-mail invitation.

-Provide a free newsletter with helpful advice.

-Create a blog that provides valuable information.

-Attend networking events consistently.

-Ask clients, prospects, and referrers for “coffee dates.”

Remarkable networking is not about quantity; it’s about quality. It’s enjoyable, and it enriches the lives of both parties. If you want others to open the door for you, open it for them first. Building relationships takes time and patience, but it will serve you for life. People trust people who are their friends.

Often when we have a goal of making a sale, we try just once or twice and then give up. We say, “Well, I guess it’s just not going to happen.” To be truly successful, keep at it! This is true with networking and reaching out to prospects. Successful business owners are not at the top of their game because they are “naturals.” It’s because they don’t give up. When at first they don’t succeed, they try again and again and again until at last…they realize their goal.

Ultimately, people buy from people they trust and feel like they know. Eventually, you will get work from your networking efforts because you just happen to be in the picture at an opportune time. Or, it may be they have an associate who is looking for a service or product you have to offer, and who better to recommend than you?!

Keep in mind, you aren’t going to stay in business if you keep yourself a secret – so get out there and make sure people know about what you offer when they are ready to buy!

10 Ways To Work Through A Business Slowdown

In running any kind of business, it’s inevitable that sometimes business will slow down. This might occur due to an upcoming holiday, seasonal variations, or uncontrollable circumstances. As a small-business owner, you have a choice in terms of how you view the slowdown – it can either be a time of increased stress, frustration, worry – or you can view it as an opportunity to upgrade your business processes or improve the quality of your life.

Here are ten strategies you can use to work through a business slowdown:

1) Market more concertedly. Statistics suggest that new businesses spend (or should spend) about 40-60% of time in marketing and related activities. If you are experiencing a business slowdown, it’s always a good time to create and launch another marketing initiative. It is important to continue to promote your business creatively and cost-effectively. What better way to spend a slow period than in taking actions to attract new business? (Plus, taking action will keep worry or stress from overwhelming you.)

2) Relax. This strategy works if you are feeling good about your business and your accomplishments. Use this time to catch up on some sleep, read a few good books, in short, take some time off for rest and relaxation. Sometimes, time away can help spark creative ideas or profitable insights.

3) Get ahead. Use slow time to get ahead on weekly or monthly projects. Look ahead to future months and see if there are any steps you can take, today, that would position you more solidly in the future. This can help you feel more in control as the pace picks up again.

4) Invest in additional training/learning. A business slowdown is a great time to upgrade your knowledge and skills, you have the time and the incentive. Take classes, learn more about your industry, become even more valuable to your customers by adding new products or services based on your new knowledge.

5) Follow up with old/existing customers. Most small businesses focus more on getting new customers rather than retaining old ones. A business slow down is a great time to get back in touch with your customer base to find out what needs they have, to remind them of your service, or to offer them special discounts for reactivating their accounts. It’s always easier to sell to someone who has bought from you before – so make the extra effort to stay in touch.

6) Offer free samples or giveaways. If your business needs to attract new prospects, use the “slow time” to offer free samples, hold contests, or offer giveaways to bring new energy and potential customers to your door.

7) Plan. Take time to review your progress so far, checking it against your goals, and making any necessary adjustments. Use “slow time” to plan for how you’ll tackle new projects, or expand your business or offerings. This can be really fun.

8) Relate. Use this time to add a little extra to the “bank account” of your important relationships. Spend more time with your spouse, significant other, child, or friends. Put some extra kindnesses into your close relationships – you’ll have more to “withdraw” when you need it.

9) Network/socialize. Use “slow time” to get out and meet more people to talk about what you offer, learn what they need, help them connect with appropriate resources. Take this time to increase your contact base, and to attend meetings or events you might not usually have time for. An added bonus to this tip is that you might perceive new trends in your industry which can help you guide your business.

10) Upgrade equipment or processes. During a business “slow down”, it’s a great time to find easier, more efficient, and better ways of running your business. You might upgrade equipment so you can serve customers more effectively. You might automate parts of your sales process, or invest in additional training for your staff. You might use this time to make sure you are in compliance with all the relevant state laws, or to paint your office space.

Selling to a Woman Vs Selling to a Man

Different approaches should be taken when selling products or services to a man when compared to a woman. As they say that men are from mars and women from Venus both of them think very differently and hence, their thinking should be influenced by different methods.

For example, when a man decides to buy a car he looks out for the latest model, speed, mileage, etc. But when a woman goes out to buy a car she will choose a car depending on the color. She would like it match it either with her work dress or accessories like watch and will be concerned whether there is enough space to store her necessities. Because their psychologies differ so much, they should be convinced to buy a product using different methods.

Presentation is also very important. The salesperson talking to a male client doesn’t have to concentrate much on looks and cleanliness. It is okay if he doesn’t have the required documents on hand and his sleeves are folded up. But when the same salesperson is referring to a female client, he should be spotless from head to toe. He should comb his hair properly, have manicured nails and even his shoes should be well-polished. The salesperson should be prepared with all the necessary documents before hand and shouldn’t go rushing in front of the customer. Women seek perfectionism.

Words should be spoken with extra care in front of a woman customer. Women are better listeners and they will analyze each spoken word. A lot of emotion should be involved in the talking because women are drawn to emotions immediately. Like when selling clothes to a lady, tell her how you will feel bad for her if she has to sweat badly in the summer due to her nature of job. Pick a nice cotton dress for her and ask her to try it. The customer will be highly touched and will take less time to buy the product. Seventy five percent of the job is done if she is won emotionally.

Next important point is to never stop talking in front of the female customer. The moment the salesperson stops talking, she will start thinking deeply about the product and will start examining every detail of the product and will give a second thought to the product. Women have the capability of multi-tasking. They will be able to listen as well as read the manual at the same time. So keep her involved into many things at a time. A man lacks the talent of multi-tasking. If a male client gets involved with something else, stop speaking immediately because he will be unable to concentrate on both the things and it will lead him into a confusion state.

Another point to be taken care of is, it’s not a good idea to have a woman salesperson when a male client is to be handled. Women talk a lot and men are bad listeners. The woman salesperson will go on and on about the product and the man will just nod his head without getting any meaning out of it. They will not able to express properly whether they are getting the point or not. But on the other hand, a woman client can easily express how much she has followed. Even if they don’t speak it out, her facial expressions will tell it all. So when a salesperson is dealing with a female customer, he or she should watch out for the client’s expressions. If she shows any state of confusion or dislike, try taking a different approach.

Men clients can be made to understand about the product by simply drawing the outlook of the product using a simple pen and paper. Men have a good capability of visualizing the three dimensional images of the product which is being referred to. But women are not so good that. To present a clear picture, the sample or the actual product should be shown to her.

Complimenting a male customer is a very good idea. He will be over whelmed and will take it in a good sense. But a woman is a careful listener, so any compliment should be given with extra care. Any fake compliment will be immediately detected.

Doing Research on Marketing

Research on marketing is essential to understand the pattern of marketing. This is possible by searching existing knowledge related to business marketing. It is a form of business research, business-to-business marketing research and business marketing research. Marketing research is done in many forms and all these forms are known as problem-identification research.

Research in advertising is done to determine the copy testing of advertisements. It is also used to know the efficiency of ads placed in any medium, the customer attention it gets, the message it delivers and how it motivates the customers to buy the product. Commercial eye tracking is done to understand the visual behavior of the customer. Ads, websites, etc., are analyzed for this. Before an advertisement is released in the market, its performance can be forecasted with the help of copy testing which takes consumer’s level of attention, motivation, brand liking, and entertainment into consideration.

When a customer buys something online he analyses it in order to make the decision, this one of the criteria on which consumer decision research is done. Interviews and surveys can be done to understand consumer’s level of satisfaction, which is known as customer satisfaction studies. The demographic and psychology of the people of a particular geographical region can be studied with the help of segmentation research.

When analyzing is to be done about brand recognition, brand performance, brand preference and awareness, ad tracking is done. A favorite brand can be recognized with the help of brand equity research. Tests are conducted so as to determine what customer thinks about a brand or a product and it is specifically known as brand name testing. The demand of a product can be understood by demand estimation. After the demand of the product is taken care of, the quality should be checked from time to time. Appointing mystery shoppers who is usually an employee of the market research firm does this. He buys goods through a salesperson and notes down the whole experience. This procedure can be used to do research about rival companies’ products.

Before practical application of a concept, concept testing should be done which tells whether the targeted audience will like the idea or not. Test marketing is done by introducing a product in small numbers in the market and observing the sales, after which the product is launched on a large-scale. After the initial phase, when the company thinks of increasing the price of the product, price elasticity testing should be carried out which shows customer reaction to price fluctuations. Distribution channel audits are conducted to understand the attitudes of retailers and distributors towards specific products and brands.

The more tech savvy form of marketing research is Internet strategic intelligence. The likes and dislikes of the customers can be directly known with the help of chats, blogs and forums. Online panels are a group of experts who accept the marketing research done online.

All the researches that are carried out can be classified as primary research, which gathers original research, and secondary research, which is based on a primary research and information published by other resources. Secondary research costs less as research is done on already researched data, but the result isn’t efficient.

The research designs used by marketing research are either based on questioning or are based on observations. Quantitative marketing research and qualitative marketing research are based on questioning. Quantitative marketing research is done to derive conclusions like questionnaires forms and survey. The number of respondents involved is high. Qualitative marketing research is done to understand something like in-depth interviews and projective techniques.

Marketing research based on observations is called experimental technique and ethnographic studies. Test markets and purchase laboratories are examples of experimental techniques. The quantity measured is determined by understanding the factors that are responsible for the success of a product and then one or some of the factors are changed and the result is observed. In ethnographic studies observations are done longitudinally or done at several instances of time or cross-sectional, or done at only a particular time.

Research on marketing is similar to exit polling in politics. The market is studied from different angles, at different time, and under different circumstances.

How to make a marketing campaign appealing?

Marketing campaigns cannot survive if they boring. Everyday there are more than three thousand marketing messages reaching out to the customers and it is really a huge competition if one expects to be recognized among the crowd. This message should talk to the customer and influence his mind. Strong, creative, confident and exciting are the key factors that a message should have, as that will embed it into the customer’s thinking and he remembers it for a longer time. The customer should feel empowered and should think of taking some action right away. For instance Nike’s catch line is Just do it, it’s a line that has such a great impact on the minds of the people that they use that line even when talking about everything else, along with Nike products. It is obvious that by adding certain features, the marketing appeal can be multiplied.

Scientists agree to the fact that using visuals to make a person learn something is the best option than any other means and as one of the famous saying goes “a picture speaks a thousand words”. So the best bet is to add visuals to promote marketing. Visuals can be anything like pictures, animations, or graphics. See yourself what wonders it does by placing a picture of a representative and products on the company’s website. This not only brings the customers close but also strengthens the relationship.

Different colors depict different types of emotions. Messages can be delivered to people suing colors and meaning can be added to it. Red and blue are colors liked by aggressive shoppers where as yellow color can catch good attention of the on lookers. Green reflects health, money and nourishment, so it can be used in food advertisement. Black means strength and power that is why it has been used by Jaguar, on their website background and advertisement. Wealth and royalty means purple. Colors used on business cards can also be used to attract the customers. But the colors should be carefully played with, too much can be distracting. A professional help can be sought when selecting colors for business cards, website font, website background, logo, etc., to send the right message. On websites, fonts can be added which change colors and graphics that move.

There are lots of options available when thinking of what technology to use. The good news is that most of the options are cheap and easy to use. Audios and videos can be added to your website to attract attention. Like when one visits the Pepsi homepage, they are greeted with energetic music, which attracts teenagers instantly. To make a more realistic approach, welcome message, introduction video, interviews, or how the goods are produced, can be added to the website. Hearing a voice can be very touching and a rapport can be immediately developed with the visitor. Like Adidas’ website opens with a video which truly fits their punch line, Impossible is nothing.

Business cards should be outstanding and at its creative best. Professionally designed graphics can be added to a brochure type of card. Information about the company, contact information, quotations, and picture can be added on four sides of it. The fonts should be the same.

Just listing the benefits isn’t enough. Customers want more, they want their needs to be met. Like if some is thinking of buying an exercise equipment, don’t just say that the machine has display, automatic incline, cooling device, CD player, programs, but also add that there is a program with audio instructions which encourages the person to do exercise, which is meant for people who need real motivation to get out of their couch and to start sweating out. So convey exactly why the customer should use the product, be more precise.

Uniqueness is the biggest key factor. Not only should the products and services be unique, the marketing campaign should be unique too. Not only will the effort be appreciated but also the impression will be everlasting. Once faith of customers is gained, they will be like free walking advertisement and will spread the word to their friends and acquaintances like anything.

How to write a winning sales letter?

Writing a sales letter is tough and writing a winning sales letter is even tougher. Many sales managers break their heads thinking why they can’t get it right. Well, to answer this question they should put them in people’s shoes and ask what “benefit “would I get by reading this sales letter? Remember that word “benefit” which is the crux of this discussion. Many sales people take bits and pieces of information from here and there and create mess out of a sales letter. They literally throw everything on people and then get what they deserve, instant rejection.

One should always remember that a sales letter works only when you have a product to sell and an offer to make. A sales letter should not be an introduction of your product or company. Remember every word is important in the sales letter and do not waste a single one which would distract your potential customer’s attention. They are not interested in the features of you product but an offer or a benefit to them. Think from the customer’s point of view and ask yourselves why should I read the letter? Is there any benefit or offer to me which cannot be refused? Can you convince me that it is really a good offer?

After keeping in mind these things, sales managers should apply thought in presenting their letter. The header or the headline is very crucial to any sales letter. It should target directly to the customers of your product. One also needs to be little tactful in use of words. But if you are not good at the trade do not attempt to do it and rather be simple in writing it. The headline should not be more a line, so try to be as specific as possible but with maximum affect. Nobody has time to read each and every letter in this fast paced era of instant satisfaction. If you are not able to convey your message to the audience in stipulated time, then you have lost those customers. The headline should start with a benefit being offered to the customer. This ensures that the customer goes to the body of the letter at least.

Now, having made a good effort with the heading, it’s the time to work on the body of the letter. How to maintain the level of enthusiasm that you created in the customer’s mind with the heading? Once again it is important to remember to not to focus on features of the product you are trying to sell but on the benefits and offers you are making to them. Things like how much money it is going to save them and how it would affect their lives should be mentioned in the body of the letter. Make them realize a need for it and compare it competitor’s product. Remember, a person reading your sales letter will constantly get questions in mind as to how this will benefit me, after each and every sentence. So be ready to clear those doubts and answer the questions. Being little informal in the approach wouldn’t do a harm and try to grab the attention by relating things to real life things. You can add a little bit of humour but unless you are sure that it won’t be in the bad taste of the reader. Bring in few previous clients to give testimony of your products. But keep the testimonials believable and something that people can relate to.

Once you’ve made clear about the product, do not forget to prompt your audience to take action. If it is an email, prompt your reader to click on a link to act now or provide a contact number if it is a direct mail. Also remind them again that if you don’t act now you will forfeit the offer as the offer is for limited time only.

Once you are done with the letter, one of the important parts of the sales letter is P.S. Many people simply read the beginning and end of the letter. So, try to convey something that will prompt them to go back to the letter and read it. It will be a perfect end to the sales letter.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategy helps organizations to focus their attention to complete resource utilization to increase sales and win over their competitors. Every company applies some kind of marketing strategies to maintain existing customers, attract potential customers and also to maintain and enhance their reputation in the market.

When designing a marketing plan, first a marketing strategy is taken into consideration. The marketing plan consists of steps to be taken so as to attain success in the implementation of the marketing strategy chosen. Big projects involve selection of different strategies at different levels. Usually a strategy consists of well-sketched tactics. They are meant to meet the needs and finally reach marketing objectives. Each of the strategies has pre-calculated results because when a particular strategy is chosen at a particular level, its outcome becomes the goal of that particular level. If there is an absence of a well thought strategy in a marketing plan means it is supposedly lacking a good foundation. A reasonable marketing strategy should not only facilitate marketing goals, but also the action sequence of a campaign.

At regular time intervals the firm should analyze the marketing decision. This is done with the help of strategic models and the 3C’s model is considered for this purpose. To calculate the company’s strategic position, Ansoff matrix is used. The 3C’s model determines the factors, which leads to the success of a marketing campaign. There are three key parties involved in this model the corporation, the customer and the competitors. The involvement of all the three key parties leads to positive results and this involvement is known as the 3C’s or strategic triangle.

The role of the corporation is to increase the strength of the company in the success critical areas, when compared to that of the competitor. The customer and his interest form the basis of any strategy. The competitor also plays a vital part. The competitor-based strategies are based on the functioning of business competitors like design and engineering, sales and servicing, and purchasing.

When making a marketing plan depending on some particular strategies known as mix strategies are used. 4P’s model is used to calculate whether the plan is sticking to the strategies or not. The four Ps stand for product, price, place and promotion. Products are goods produced by the company on a huge scale for the purpose of selling them and earning profit. Price is the money paid for a product by the customer. The price is based on many factors like competition, market share, customer perception and product identity. Place where the product is sold can be either physical store or store on the Internet. It is also known as distribution channel. To make the customer knowledgeable about a product, the marketer does promotion. It involves advertising, public relation and point of sale.

There are different types of marketing strategies based on some criteria. Challenger, Leader and Follower are types of market dominance strategies. Market dominance strategies are used to dominate the market. Cost leadership, Market segmentation and Product differentiation are types of porter generic strategies. Porter generic strategies are built on strategic strength or competing abilities and strategic scope or market penetration. Close followers, late follower and Pioneers are types of innovation strategies. Innovation strategies are meant to trigger the rate of product development and model innovation. It helps the firm to incorporate latest technologies. Intensification, Diversification, Vertical integration and Horizontal integration are types of growth strategies. Growth strategies facilitate the growth of the organization. Marketing warfare strategies are conjunction of marketing strategies and military strategies.

A marketing strategy or a mix of them is chosen only after thorough market research. A marketer should always be ready to face any kind of situations like if the strategy is changed in the middle, he should be able to perform another market research so as to choose the proper strategy, within a short period of time. This can be done easily if you have experience.

Recognizing Target Market

Achieving good sales is the ultimate target of any firm. Many criteria, such as competitive pricing, near perfect product, reaching out to correct audience and motivational advertising, are responsible for this and should be dealt with in marketing.

First things first, all the efforts will go futile if the correct audience is not recognized. It is the major factor in getting abundant sales, because the right customers aren’t targeted, they won’t buy the product. The right customers are known as targeted customers or niche market, those who will be happy to buy products that fulfill their needs and is also less pricey.

Small businesses shouldn’t fear competition with large companies as they produce products considering a bigger spectrum, which sometimes won’t be customer specific as the products are more generalized and they don’t much care about the competition they might get from others. This gives an opportunity to the smaller firms to produce products, which can cater to the need of a section of people whose needs aren’t met specifically by the large companies.

Although it seems like a silly question, but firstly, a firm should understand who are the people they want to target. The success lies behind understanding this, which requires thorough research and analysis. Various factors must be considered. The age group is the first factor, whether the product will be useful to babies or children or teenagers or youngsters or middle aged or old. Sometimes there is a possibility that the product will cater to the needs of all age groups. Next thing to consider is gender. Marital status, occupation, ethnic background, health status, income status, education, hobbies, etc., are some of the factors that should also be pondered upon.

After decided upon the customer group to be targeted, the benefits that can be provided by the product to this group should be jotted down. A thorough examination of the service or product should be done for this purpose. If there is sufficient time, a survey can be conducted on the current customers and pose them with questions like what they liked in the products they are using, anything discomfort they are facing, do they want anything to be changed to make the product better, etc.

After making a list of all the benefits, thought should be applied to which of these benefits will actually help the targeted audience. Make a short list of the benefits that will be advantageous and send it to the marketing department. It can surely help in their marketing plan and can boost up sales.

Internet has made reaching out to the targeted customers can be very easy. Search engines can be utilized to the maximum extent for this purpose. The thing to be exactly searched can be typed as a keyword or search phrase in the search engines and the results brought on the first three pages will be of great value. But lots of time and investment is involved in this process, as different keywords will fetch different search results. So efforts should be made to finally get what is desired.

Next best thing is reaching out by newsletters and e-zines. Many e-zines are related to marketing, finance, shopping, Internet, etc. A number of e-zines websites can be found in an e-zines directory, which even contains the contact information, advertising price, etc. The list of e-zines website sites should be cut down to which are relating to the target market and ad should be placed in the ones selected which should include all the product advantages if the ad allows that many words.

Recognizing the target market is crucial to any successful advertising and sales campaign. Once it is recognized, they can be reached through different channels like websites, newspapers, magazines, etc. This makes the customer think that he is being directly addressed to. And since the whole approach will interest them, the amount of traffic received in return will be simply overwhelming and the whole effort will be worth it.