It’s so fulfilling to be writing about a subject that remains core to the success of any business venture. I have been keen to observe how many businesses consider marketing as important for their growth and for sure, they are just but a few. The aim of this column is to bring you to an understanding of what marketing is in relation to the success of future businesses. Allow me to start by defining marketing as the process of interesting potential customers and clients in your products and services. Many people think marketing is basic advertising which is completely wrong. Advertising is one way of marketing, however, marketing is more than that because it also involves branding, researching, pricing, promoting, selling, and distributing products and services.

It is said that you don’t know where you are going until you understand where you are coming from and it’s only fair we get a hint on the evolution of marketing. Production before the industrial revolution was usually fragmented, small scale, and aimed at local customers. During the industrial revolution, production became organized into larger units. Towns grew bigger and trade increased as people became more dependent on buying goods rather than producing these goods themselves. Producers and the market to which they sold became geographically separated from each other rather than confined to small localities. It, therefore, became necessary for producers to find out what products the buyers wanted and what product attributes were desired. Mass production techniques increased the number and types of goods in the market. With new cheaper products on offer, demand was such that until recently many business problems centered on production and selling than marketing, since it was more important to produce enough of a product to satisfy strong demand than think about “customer need.”

In our world today, production is no longer the main problem facing business concerns. It is the excess supply rather than excess demand which is the problem. The focus has therefore switched from ” how to produce enough” (supply factor) to ” how to increase demand” (demand factor). It is in response to this switch in the orientation that marketing techniques have been developed. One big question that I keep asking businesses, how many people know that you actually exist to solve this line of problems? The weight of this question can better be expressed by the law of average in marketing which states that; the more people you reach with your goods and services, the more sales you make. No business will ever interest demography that knows nothing about its existence.

We are staring at a future that promotes and demands internet maximization. There are several ways you can put your business online and one of them is through social media marketing. Internet-compatible gadgets are here to stay and the demand for online content consumption is growing every other day. Someone described social media as people’s online diary, their personal space to catch up with what matters to them, discover new things that could matter to them, and to escape boredom. This space is also considered as a “see” platform where most people don’t go with the intent of doing things but end up doing them anyway. The greatest deal in social media marketing is; cost-effectiveness, ability to run different promotion campaigns, targeting audiences with the highest potential to convert into actual customers, obtaining feedback and data that become rich information to business improvement.

Lastly, after you have created a demand for your products and services, priced reasonably, targeted the right people, and made good sales, what is the level of your customer satisfaction? Customer experience is what determines whether these customers will come back for another business and also if they will refer their network to you. For this reason, customer experience must be enhanced because it is the highest form of marketing.

Edwin Kiarie is a marketing practitioner, enthusiast, and consultant. You can reach him on +254 797 086 920 or edwinkiarie27@gmail.com

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