Chapter Outline

LO 11.1  Explain the importance of marketing to small businesses.

Marketing involves all the points of contact between your small business and your customers. Marketing is how you find out what they want and need; it is how you and everyone in your business treat customers; it is how you communicate with customers through selling and advertising. What could be more important?

LO 11.2  Describe the process of developing a small business marketing strategy.

Market segmentation is needed because no business can possibly be everything to everyone. Segmenting involves breaking down a population into target markets that have a common want or need that the business can satisfy. Target markets are the focus of a company’s marketing efforts.

LO 11.3  Discuss the purpose of the market research process and the steps involved in putting it into practice.

Market research provides information about the people who are buying the products of a business. Conditions change, and the owner of a business must know about those changes to be proactive and maintain a competitive advantage. The steps of the market research process include problem identification, development of a plan, data collection, data analysis, and drawing conclusions. Market research can provide valuable information regarding people’s current tastes, preferences, and expectations. It is useful in fine-tuning products that already exist for markets that are already known. Conversely, it is of limited use for markets that do not exist yet or for needs that customers do not realize they have.