Most organisations exist for the benefit of its customers or clients of some description. To gain maximum effect they need to be marketing themselves.
Marketers have to draw the attention of ‘targets’ to the existence of their organisation and its commodities, all of the time, every day of every year. It is an on-going requirement that never lets up. The basic principles hardly ever change but the up-to-date material, data, information, fashions, etc. change all the time and have to be regularly and continuously revised if you want to be a Winning Marketer with a successful organisation.
When Solar Solve was founded, over 30 years ago, we had to get export orders to survive. I decided to spend 4 days of the week working from home, away from distractions, concentrating on marketing our company and promoting its products.
By the end of 12 months, sales had tripled, which proved to me just how crucial marketing is and how its implementation needs to be well planned and organised. No more ‘as-and-when’ marketing, in future it was all going to be planned, dedicated, well organised and properly implemented.
One of the first things explained to marketing students is the difference between Marketing and Promotion.
The difference is slight. You market your business by stating that you have a shop that sells sweets. You promote it by adding that you have free sweet-making demonstrations on Wednesday afternoons.
Marketing is simply bringing the existence of your business to the attention of your target market, which is all you may need or want to do, depending on what the organisation does.
Promoting the organisation is using strategies to encourage people to use the enterprise, once its existence has been brought to their attention, through marketing techniques.
Here is my definition for the various types of people that Solar Solve aims its marketing campaigns at.
Targets – Everyone who works in the worldwide marine industry are blanket targets. Of those people, the ones who work within specific areas would be Selective Targets for a one-off campaign.
Prospects – People who have been targeted and have responded with an enquiry, or who have learned about our organisation in any other way and have asked for more information or a quotation.
Customers – People who have placed orders and bought from us. At Solar Solve we treat them like Royalty.
In my introduction, I referred to the on-going, never ending requirement to continuously apply effective marketing to become a Winner. That includes the basic principles of marketing that have not changed much, plus other characteristics of your organisation that can be used for effective, permanent, marketing advantage.
Next week, in Part 2, I will review some of Solar Solve’s special characteristics that we use to market the company.
A re-edited article originally written as a Chapter in 40 Ways 2 Win At Marketing published in 2013.
John Lightfoot MBE, Solar Solve Chairman