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Marketing 101b

This is the second installment of a series on marketing.  The first installment set the groundwork by defining what marketing is . . . and what it is not.  Now we’ll dig a little deeper into some of the major components of marketing.

The foundational question for marketing is, “What product or service do we intend to offer to the marketplace?”  Our product or service must solve a problem, address a need, or satisfy a want.  The only reason consumers buy anything is to solve problems, address needs, or satisfy wants.  So if our product or service can’t do one of those three things, we won’t have any buyers. 

For instance, let’s say we want to open a restaurant.  Since we’re Greek, we’ll open a Greek restaurant.  There’s a large Greek population nearby and our friends all tell us we create superb Greek dishes.  So the “want” we’re going to satisfy is the want for really good Greek cuisine.  But wait, there are already ten Greek restaurants in the area and they all provide really good Greek cuisine.  Now the question is, does the market really want an eleventh Greek restaurant?  And if so, what “want” does the market expect the eleventh restaurant to satisfy that isn’t already being satisfied by the other ten.

We’ll talk about differentiating yourself from your competitors later, but for now, focus on the problem you expect to solve, the need you plan to address, or the want you intend to satisfy.  This may take some market research but it’s well worth some time, effort, and even expense to get this part right, because if we get it wrong, our product or service won’t even make it out of the starting gate.

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