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A Helicopter View of the Marketing Process

Part of the Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Whether yours is a start-up or an existing business, whether your budget is large or small, whether your market is local or global, and whether you sell online or through a bricks-and-mortar location, your marketing follows the same nonstop cycle.

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  1. Conduct research to gain knowledge about your customers, product, market area, and competitors.

  2. Tailor your product, pricing, packaging, and distribution strategies to address your customers’ needs, your market environment, and the competitive realities of your business.

  3. Create and project marketing messages to reach your prospective customers, inspire their interest, and move them toward buying decisions.

  4. Go for and close the sale — but don’t stop there.

  5. After you make the sale, begin the customer-service phase.

    Work to develop relationships and ensure high levels of customer satisfaction so that you convert the initial sale into repeat business, loyalty, and word-of-mouth advertising for your business.

  6. Interact with customers to gain insight into their wants and needs and their use of and opinions about your products and services.

    Combine customer knowledge with ongoing research about your market area and competitive environment, using your findings to fine-tune your product, pricing, packaging, distribution, promotional messages, sales, and service.

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