May 17, 2012
Determining what your business will offer for products and service to your markets is definitely a business and marketing art form. Detailed business plans and marketing plans must be completed before entrepreneurs and companies launch their products and services. An entrepreneur must design their suite of products and service with the overall goal of meeting the needs of the consumer base, and obviously to generate revenue for a successful, sustainable business.
Some of the questions you will need to answer include what products and services you will offer consumers, whether those products and services meet their needs, and at what price point is the customer comfortable with (buy-in). How does one determine what is needed, the value of product or service, competition, price point, sales avenue, etc.? Detailed marketing plans will help drawn out and plan the products and services mix. Prior to the marketing plan development, you will need to develop some marketing research methods to extrapolate some information and data from your potential target markets.
Surveying your Markets to Determine Product Mix
Conducting your own due diligence in planning processes is critical to successful developing and implementing plans. Surveying is one way to gauge the level of interest, the level of need, and economics and business aspects of your proposed products and services. Whether you conduct the survey or engage with a professional marketing firm to complete those tasks, surveyed information can inform the decisions you need to make around your mix of products and services.
Armed with fresh, relevant data from your surveying efforts, you should be able to draft up a solid marketing plan that reflects your potential product mix, price points, competition concerns, and placement of products. Your marketing plan should go into the depth required to explain revenue generated from such product and service mixes, and the Return on Investment in marketing activities to promote those products and service. It will be extremely important to implement your marketing plan and to measure the results. Reviewing the results will give you an opportunity to analyze whether your plan was working or not, and if you achieved the projected return and benefits from you marketing activities mix. This also gives you the ability to revise and implement a better plan in the future.
Great marketing plans must be funded. Ensure that as you plan, you also plan a marketing budget to cover marketing expenditures. Only a few activities can be achieved at very low-cost, but some marketing activities are going to require you to plan and to provide part of your budget towards marketing. As you fund marketing activities, you also need to determine your return on investment in those marketing activities. For example, social media marketing is only one of many avenues that may generate a return. Measure results and revise your marketing plan accordingly. You may be surprised on the differential in returns between marketing activities and that may change your focus towards more support in one marketing activity category.
Designing Your Product Mix – Tips
- Always start with the why – why are we conducting these business activities, why do we think these product and services meet the needs of consumers
- Obtain solid, objective, external information from your markets, customers
- Undertake surveying to obtain market data
- Analyze your market data
- Form business plans and marketing plans based on solid outside information
- Call upon a marketing professional to strengthen your product and marketing mix (ask the professional)
- Remember that a high level of due diligence is required and that effort will be reflected in the actual results achieved.
You may find that hitting the right markets with the right mix of products and services, timed accurately may be achieved through trial and error. Very few successful companies and marketing strategies hit the nail on the head from the start. Through conducting due diligence, and your readiness to adapt to the changing environment, will provide you with much better results.
Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur
© 2012 Strategy Plan One