How important are customers to entrepreneurial enterprises and, what is the significance of a marketing plan in relationship to the customers?
The customers are core to any entrepreneurial initiative. No business can go on a long run without understanding the customers: their taste and preferences. Whatever the enterprise produce are actually offered to the customers, hence it is important to meet their expectations to be acceptable to the market. We have seen various products, which has failed in market because customers no longer desire buying it. Say, I had used the Microsoft Lumia, which proved to be a nightmare and I replaced it with another phone. Same was others’ thought, which was reflected on Microsoft’s loss intriguing further sale of mobile department later. Hence, we cannot expect a good enterprise to be making a good revenue without giving importance to the customers.
Marketing plan is a doctrine that identifies our target customer, how to reach them and retain them so that the repeated purchase or loyalty to the brand continues. However, the most staggering fact about marketing planning is that most of the SMEs do not have enough knowledge about implementing it though they have a well-articulated idea about its importance. One thing, that a marketing plan helps on is to boil down different ways to reach the customer or market a product in crisp few methods which can be most effective to the given target customer. Here the planner looks at the trigger that has been contributing top-line sales and rank them on basis of their impact and select best among these options. Which helps us find the right channel of communication
On the other hand, knowing the right customer might be a problem to a SME at first, which is moreover dealt by the business plan while determining the right and profitable segment to focus on, going details on their behaviors, demography etc. On the other hand, it also helps us determine our Unique selling proposition that the target customers might find standing out from the competitors, together with determining how we apply the concepts of 4Ps, so that customers remember our brand. On the other hand, what might be an intriguing promotion or advertisement means can be identified by this business plan. Hence, in this way, a marketing plan can be of importance to any business in relationship to the customer.
In my previous job, I was involved with company selling school management software. We had identified our best clients as schools and colleges, though the products could have been used in other insititutions also. So, as we identified the target market, we focused our promotional materials around this target market, so that it would look offering. The detailed marketing plan had included events like organizing quiz contest which would directly engage the schools.