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Get Hands-On, Proven Marketing Basics with This “Bible” of Business Marketing
Marketing is the lifeblood for succeeding in business. What venture can survive without customers? Every business, whether large or small, has to understand who its customers are and how to sell to those customers cost-effectively, be it products or services.
This all-new sixth edition of the marketing classic, The Market Planning Guide, contains everything needed to develop comprehensive, customized marketing plans and effective and focused marketing strategies for every size business—from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 companies. Readers will learn the questions to ask in order to create their own outline for a comprehensive marketing plan, including targeting the most profitable customers, standing out from the competition, pricing to maximize profits, and selling that yields results.
From mastering the basics to applying marketing principles to the actual marketing plans of two different companies, this user-friendly workbook gets readers up-to-speed fast, and:
· Generates solutions to customer-retention issues using Web tools.
· Delivers a simple process for creating and supporting sales forecasts.
· Identifies differences in marketing for smaller ventures versus larger companies.
· Enhances growth opportunities using the Internet for information sharing and troubleshooting.
The Market Planning Guide is the most comprehensive, yet easy-to-use marketing planning tool available. Author David H. “Andy” Bangs outlines what’s at the heart of marketing an enterprise: the thrill of making a business grow, serving more customers, trying new ways to deliver value to customers, and watching employees grow and develop.
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David H. “Andy” Bangs, Jr., is a longtime entrepreneur, founder of Upstart Publishing Company, bestselling author, and former banker. Calling himself “Writer, Sailor, Appreciator” (not necessarily in that order), Bangs’s genial insights on building businesses have made him one of the most sought-after experts on business planning. From his home base on the coast of New England, he has penned such perennial business classics as The Market Planning Guide and The Start-Up Guide and has coauthored numerous others.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
This book, the sixth edition of The Market Planning Guide, is my latest attempt to help you wrestle with the central problem facing your business: How can you attract enough customers willing and ready to buy your products and services at a price that yields you a profit? To make this more difficult, you have to answer that question in a highly competitive and rapidly changing world.
My favorite definition of marketing is the creation, satisfaction and retention of customers. Any business (more generally, any organization) will thrive only as long as it can come up with a steady stream of new customers. Even if you start with a steady base of loyal customers, roughly 30 percent of that base will erode each year due to fluctuations in the economy, people moving out of your trading area, the encroachment of new and indirect competitors, modification in tastes and habits, and a host of other changes. This is inevitable. Change happens.
Marketing is a challenge for all businesses, not just small ones. Look at two recent examples of marketing mismanagement. Kmart, caught between the low-cost provider Wal-Mart and the better positioning of Target, couldn’t decide where to focus its efforts. The blue-light specials, which worked brilliantly in the ’70s and ’80s, lost out to Wal-Mart’s "lower prices all the times" strategy and Target’s more exciting and slightly more upscale offerings. Stock-out problems didn’t help Kmart either; half-empty shelves have little appeal in a retail environment. Kmart did do a lot of things right—the linkage with Martha Stewart provided some ray of hope. But the major strategic blunder of lost customer focus did Kmart in. If you don’t know who your customers are, how can you possibly know what they want that you can provide?
The other major blunder is Enron. My guess is that towards the end they had no idea what business they were in. Originally they traded energy, buying energy here and selling it over there. But what kind of business were they at the end of 2001? A trader of financial instruments called futures? A gambling casino, plunging heavily on derivatives? (Remember Orange County’s bankruptcy a few years back? Long Term Capital’s bailout? Derivatives are dangerous even for the most sophisticated traders!) What was Enron buying and selling—energy, water, or who knows what else? One of the major keys to marketing success is to know what business you are in and be able to communicate that knowledge to employers, customers, prospects, investors, and other stakeholders clearly and succinctly. And that means knowing what you sell, to what market, and in what fashion.
If you are in a small business you have less margin for error than the Enrons and Kmarts. You don’t have the capital to keep going if you make a serious error in your marketing. If you are in a larger business where your career depends on meeting marketing goals that you may or may not have had a hand in setting, the business will most likely keep chugging along without you. Whether you run a small business unit or something larger, it is in your interest to do what you can to correctly market your products. In any business, some internal marketing will be necessary. You have to sell an idea to your staff, boss, and colleagues. You can’t escape the marketing imperative.
This book is structured around 30 questions. As you proceed, new ideas crop up, new doors open, and old doors shut. You’ll find that you will revise, revisit, amplify, reject, and otherwise improve your plan over time. This is an organic process, not a neat linear job where you can check off Question 1, Question 2, and so on. Think of concocting a stew—you need a few ingredients, some tools, and time to let the flavors blend. You also want to make subtle changes (add paprika, garlic, grated some cheese). Presentation is important: What does the final result look like? Your marketing plan evolves in the same way. You need a few ingredients. You don’t add everything you can find. Selectivity is important. You need information. You need time to mull things over. You need to be flexible enough to make the small changes that separate a good marketing plan from a bland, dull, useless plan. And of course in making both stews and marketing plans, experience will ensure better, more consistent results.
My friend, Pete Worrell, sent me a quotation from Roger Babson, the financier and philanthropist who called the 1929 stock market crash:
Experience has taught me that there is one chief reason why some people succeed and others fail. The difference is not one of knowing, but of doing. The successful man is not so superior in ability as in action. So far as success can be reduced to a formula, it consists of this: doing what you know you should do.
In The Market Planning Guide I try to help you know what you should do. I wish you success!
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Book Description Kaplan Publishing, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. 6. Seller Inventory # DADAX0793159717
Book Description Kaplan Business, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0793159717
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0793159717