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Seven Fundamental Marketing Principles for Small Online Businesses
20 August, 2010 - Mumbai, India

I grew up practicing aikido. When I began, my sensei made me practice falling and rolling over and over again until the right way to fall and roll were instinctive. At the time, learning how to fall and roll correctly may have been frustrating and painful but in later years as I learnt advanced techniques, this thorough grounding saved me from hurting myself and gave me a solid foundation to rise through the grades and degrees. I have found in business like aikido that knowing the basics instinctively makes it easier for me to maneuver around pitfalls and anticipate new challenges.  

One of the most important skills for an entrepreneur to master is marketing. Drucker defines it as, “Marketing is not only much broader than selling, it is not a specialized activity at all. It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer's point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise.”

Simply put, marketing is a set of techniques that you can use to make potential customers of your website and offerings. By marketing your website, you can build awareness, establish a brand presence, build creditable and develop a relationship with customers and more. When creating a marketing message, you not only need to know 4 Ps of marketing, you need to know the other fundamentals that will help you develop a message that speaks, attracts, and communicates the benefits of your product or service to your potential customer. Here are 7 fundamental marketing principles that  every entrepreneur should commit to memory as they can help enhance your marketing strategy and compel your potential customers to contact you.
  
1. Identification: Figure out (indentify) what your target audience wants and needs. The ever-changing trends influence the wants and needs of your target market, which in turn, influences the products and services that you offer. It also influences your marketing mode. For example, if majority of your target audience spends time on social networking sites, posting online banners on a magazine website will prove to be fruitless.

2. Product’s Relevance:
We live in the internet and ipod age; there is no point or demand for tape players. The products and services you offer need to be relevant.You also need to position and promote your products and services so that they are attractive to the target market.

3. Benefits, the Key to Sales: A common mistake amongst merchants selling online and offline when developing their marketing message is focusing on the features of the product or service rather than the benefits it offers. People purchase products and services because of the end result (benefit) not because of the feature. By emphasizing the product or service’s benefit in your marketing campaign, you will be able to connect with your potential customer more easily and effectively and ultimately compel him to buy.

4. Build Relationship: The purpose of your marketing campaign is not only to sell your product or service. It is to build a relationship with your target market. You need to demonstrate, through marketing, that they need you and that they will be better off because of what you can offer them.

5. Be Consistent: Be consistent in how you brand your business. There are thousands of merchants online selling or offering the same or similar products and services. To secure sales and to build a relationship, your marketing strategy and campaign should illustrate your uniqueness; have a consistent branding message and fullfil of your promise.

6. Simplicity Over Show: When you begin marketing your website, the desire to make a big splash and for everyone to have your name on his or her lips is common. This need to build brand awareness in one go often leads to showy and over the top marketing plans that can be too much to manage and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Start simple and build your strategy over time. Take a phased approach when rolling out your marketing efforts. This will be easier to manage and more effective.

7. Continuity: Marketing is a continuous process; it never stops. If you want to be sustainable and profitable, you need to invest time and energy in marketing continuously.

We hope these seven marketing principles will enable you to bolster your marketing campaign and strategy. Good Luck!


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