How To Use The Marketing Concept As An Entrepreneur In Nigeria- This is really an interesting topic and is important for everyone that has a business or wants to establish one. Every entrepreneur that wants to establish a successful business venture must employ the marketing concepts. As an entrepreneur in Nigeria, you should know that marketing goes beyond selling your products or rendering service (if you are a service provider); you will have to know the real details of marketing and that is what this article is going to show you.
If you are seeing this article, it means you are already thinking of how you could establish one of the biggest business ventures in Nigeria. Mind you, we are not saying this article will make you establish the biggest business venture in Nigeria, we are only saying that since you are seeing or reading this, it means that you are already planning on establishing a long lasting business venture and you are lucky seeing this article as we are going to help you in your quest but majority of the responsibilities still falls on you.
Marketing is an important strategy used by many entrepreneurs and knowing the process of marketing with help in increasing your customer base and also improving your brand; (you can research about this). Every successful entrepreneur has in one way or the other used marketing to establish a defined product and large market size for their goods and services. In marketing, you have to understand the combination of the elements and study your customers or consumer’s demand so as to meet their needs and remain relevant in the market.
So in this article, you will be getting a vast knowledge of what marketing is and how you can use marketing to establish and expand your business. we will be showing you the marketing concepts and how you can use them in your business as an entrepreneur in Nigeria.
We will be dividing this article into:
- Who is an entrepreneur?
- What is a market?
- What is marketing?
- Understanding the marketing concept?
- Market research and its importance
- How to use the 4Ps of marketing effectively as an entrepreneur
Who Is An Entrepreneur?
What’s your take on who an entrepreneur is? Many people have different definitions and opinions about who an entrepreneur is and in most of these definitions, what binds them together is “risk taking” and “problem solving”.
Literally, we would say an entrepreneur is a person who understands the risk of starting a new business or establishing a business enterprise. Some context sees an entrepreneur as a starter, an innovator, an initiator, a challenger and an inventor. An entrepreneur sets up business, sees problems as opportunities, creates a way of solving these problems and adds value to the society. They assume the risk of the business for its success.
The Jeff Bezos’ idea of running an E-commerce company (Amazon) was a means to solving the problem associated with buying and selling and also make trade easy and convenient. He must have been nurturing that idea for a while and decided to take the risk to start up the enterprise to make the idea a reality.
Becoming an entrepreneur in Nigeria is the new trend as the unemployment rate in the country is really alarming and so most people are looking in the way of setting up their own businesses and even the government is encouraging this. This is one way any country can be developed. Entrepreneurs are game changers in any country as they have a role to play in the economic growth and development of a country.
For you to succeed as an entrepreneur in Nigeria you will have to understand the marketing concepts and we will be showing you that in this article so follow us with rapt attention.
What Is A Market?
A market is a place where goods and services are sold and purchased. It is an avenue for buying and selling.
A broader definition of a market will see it to be a place, point or means of communication or transportation where goods and services are exchanged and also where the title of goods change ownership or there is a transfer of ownership of goods and services.
Due to the advent of technology and the internet, we cannot limit the definition of market to only physical contact between buyers and sellers. The internet has created an avenue for online market where you can purchase any product even without meeting the seller in person.
A good example of an online market is Amazon Company. Buying and selling is not restricted to a particular place though we are fond of calling a market a place where people gather in order to exchange goods. It is correct but it is not only restricted to that place.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing is defined as the performance that directs the flow of goods and services from the source of production to the consumer. It consists of all the activities that facilities exchange of goods and services. In marketing, you create time, place, form and possession utility. What we mean is that marketing helps in making goods available in the right place, at the right time and in the right form.
The inability of doing this right can disorganize the flow of goods and services and affect your business as an entrepreneur in Nigeria. The internet has created a wider room for efficiency in marketing and reaching the right consumers of your product. It has improved and restructured the marketing process and made marketing much easier and effective.
Let us look at the online market or digital marketing where digital technologies like computers, mobile phones and other digital platforms are used to promote goods and services. With the online market, you spread a message about your brand, product and service to your potential consumers. This method of marketing will help reach a wider range of consumers or customers in a short time.
As an entrepreneur in Nigeria, it is important you know the basics of marketing so as to create a admired brand, product or service available at the right time and in the right place.
Why is Market Research important to An Entrepreneur In Nigeria?
Market research is about studying your consumers’ or potential consumers’ demand in other to ensure the delivery of quality products. Market research will help you as an entrepreneur or prospective entrepreneur to produce and also sell your product.
Market research helps you get information about the market you want to operate and guide you on what to produce, how to produce, for whom to produce and how to use your resources efficiently.
Most, if not all successful entrepreneurs and business owners engage in market research, it is done on a regular basis because demand changes due to a number of reasons which may be out of your control.
Some of the factors that can cause a change in the demand for your product or service could be:
- Price of your product
- Income of consumers
- Change in taste of consumers
- The nature of the product or service (its importance)
- Price of other similar products
- Change in season and trend
So carrying out a market research will give you up to date information about the market and your prospective consumers. It could be in form of a survey, interview, observation or questionnaire. Some of the importance of market research as an entrepreneur in Nigeria are:
- It gives you an edge over competitors in the market.
- It helps to advise or give you information on how to startup or expand your enterprise.
- It helps you sort out ways to promote your brand.
- It provides information for decision making and problem solving.
- It helps in making an idea a reality.
- It helps you to determine the current level of the demand for your product or service.
- It helps give you information on how to determine price for your product.
Understanding The Marketing Concept
You must have heard the saying that “the customer is always right”. Well this is what marketing concept is about. It is an idea or belief that customers or consumers should be treated as “kings”. The interests, desires and needs of consumers should be taken into consideration in creating your product and brand or in rendering your services.
The basis of marketing concept is consumer orientation. The establishment of your business, expansion of your business or creation of your brand must be built around the satisfaction of your consumers or customers.
Consumer sovereignty is very important and should be adopted by every entrepreneur, young entrepreneur, sole proprietor, startup and existing business owners especially in Nigeria. This tends to give you an advantage in competition. The ability for consumers to choose from alternatives has made marketing concept essential in production and distribution.
Marketing concept will not only help you develop marketing strategies that satisfy the needs of your consumers or customers but you will also accomplish the goal of your organization.
Marketing concept involves the following:
- Consumer needs
It is imperative and important to know the needs of your consumers so as to serve them better. Understand the level of the demand for your product or service.
- Product development
Knowing or getting information about the needs of your consumers will help you in creating your brand and develop a product that will meet the needs of the consumers.
- Planning and organization
The understanding of your target consumers and their needs will help you in determining the best marketing strategy for your product. You will develop the best way to reach your target consumers and best satisfy their needs.
- Post sales activities
Many organizations now carry out after sale services like installation, maintenance etc. Carrying out post sale activities will ensure that your products or services are satisfactory to the consumers and it is a way of marketing as the consumers will definitely patronize you again.
How To Use The 4ps Of Marketing Effectively As An Entrepreneur In Nigeria
The 4Ps of marketing are also called the marketing mix. It is the combination of the elements such as product, price, place and promotion of goods and services so as to influence the behavior of customers in a bid to satisfy their needs and increase the sale of goods.
The concept of marketing mix was talked about first by Neil Bordon and later Mc Carthy used a useful mnemonic “the 4Ps” to denote the four elements of the mix in his book “Basic Marketing”.
For you to know how to use the marketing mix to your advantage as either a business owner or entrepreneur in Nigeria, you must first understand the concept so as to ensure that you’re a putting the right product in the right place. The fact that marketing is a comprehensive term makes the marketing mix or the 4Ps of marketing elaborate.
For someone that wants to start up a business in Nigeria, it is certain that you must have thought about the business idea critically but for you to proceed with the establishment, you must have to study the market in which you want to operate, try to analyze what you want to produce, how you want to produce, for whom you want to produce and how to use your resources efficiently.
In marketing mix, you take into consideration the process of promoting your product, method of price determination, the packaging of your product to meet the needs of your prospective consumers and also putting the right quantity of goods in the right place.
We are going to break down the 4Ps of marketing into bits for your better understanding and so you can see how to use these 4Ps of marketing effectively. The 4Ps are:
- Product mix
- Price mix
- Promotion mix
- Place mix
A product can be tangible or intangible that is goods and services that a buyer receives from purchase. This could be a bundle of physical or psychological satisfaction. A product meets the demand of the consumer.
The product mix lays emphasis on creating or developing the right product for your target consumers. It buttresses on the product line, quality, style, assortment, design, brand name, packaging and modifications. The cynosure of this mix is to develop a product(s) that will satisfy consumers’ needs.
So as an entrepreneur or prospective entrepreneur in Nigeria, you have to analyze your target market and consumers, understand their needs and preference and this will guide you in determining the right product for the target market. This product mix has different stages or cycle and for every stage, you must be able and ready to adopt and adjust so as to continue improving.
When the product is first launched into the market (introduction stage) after careful analysis of your consumers’ needs, there is a high degree of product failure or success because consumers will definitely try the product to see if it best satisfies their needs and if the product passes this stage, it proceeds unto the growth stage where profit and sales rise rapidly and at this rate, competition becomes high because new entrants become attracted to the market and existing products undergo modification or repackaging. At this stage, you as an entrepreneur and manager should adjust to the competition.
At the maturity stage, your sales and profit are rising but you have to be careful not to be carried away instead intensify on pricing, advertising, packaging and modification.
Price is the money consideration for goods and services. It is the value or exchange of value for goods and services. It is the cost the consumer pay for goods and services.
Price mix focuses on the provision of appropriate price that will stimulate demand. The price mix looks at the price level and pricing policies so as to determine the selling price in order to stimulate demand and achieve a target return on investment. The components of price mix are discount, margins, credit terms, allowances and setting base prices.
As an entrepreneur, there are basic pricing policies to use that will help you gain a larger share of the market and create demand for your product. After you have developed a suitable product for your target consumers, there is a need to fix reasonable prices for your products or services so as to enable the consumers purchase the product or service. You can use the following pricing policies I will mention below.
- Market Penetration
Here, you set the price of your product at a relatively low price in order to gain instant dominance of the market and penetrate the market in a short time. The production of a quality product and setting a relatively low price will definitely increase the demand for your product especially when it is a new product or you are entering the market for the first time.
- Market Skimming
Here, you set price of your product or service relatively high so as to make much profit in the short run and then lower it gradually as competition increases. For instance, a new product with little or no competition, the method is suitable as you get a return on investment before competitors starts entering the market.
- Variable Pricing
Here, you fix the prices of your product according to the demand. The variable time demand of some product makes it possible for you to take advantage of extra-profit. Here, you sell your product at high prices when there is a higher demand so as to meet up with the time they have a low demand.
There are many other pricing policies to promote the sale of goods and services.
This strategy deals with the communication aspect of marketing. The idea is to make or inform prospective customers about the product and its features. In this mix, you create awareness. You tend to create demand through advertising, personal selling and sale promotion.
The goal of promoting your product is to reveal to consumers why they need your product and why they should pay a certain price it. Both the place and promotion mix work hand-in-hand in this computer age as they are more of online than offline.
As an entrepreneur, it is important to carry out activities that will bring your products or services to the knowledge of your target consumers. It could be through advertising media or publicity or even personal selling.
In some cases, some sale promotion methods such as free sample distributions, premium offers, trade fairs, special discount or even sales competition for sales staff can be used to promote the sale of your product or services.
The promotion mix or strategy has been made easily and faster in this digital age as many businesses use the online platforms to promote their products or services and also reach a large or wide range of consumers. Many companies have developed websites where consumers can go to read about the product or services of the company and even purchase the products of the company.
This element has to do with the distribution or placement of goods and services to the consumer at required place. This is making the goods available in the right place and at the right time (time and place utilities). The place mix emphasizes on the channel of distribution, storing and warehousing, transportation, handling and selection of middlemen.
As an entrepreneur, or prospective entrepreneur in Nigeria, you should determine the routes and methods to get your products to your target consumers. The distribution of your goods and services should be packaged in such a way as to create and maintain demand for your product.
This placement strategy will help you assess the channel of distribution that best suits your product. Your main aim is to get your goods and services in front of your target consumers. You analyze the mode of transportation for your product and how it can reach your target consumers anywhere in the world. The Amazon Company is an example of a company that really used this placement strategy as their goods and services are suited to reach their target consumers or customers anywhere in the world.
Marketing is a very elaborate activity that is geared towards the satisfaction of the consumers. As an entrepreneur in Nigeria, you will have to understand the marketing concept as it is very essential in the growth of your business venture. Your business shouldn’t be solely aimed at making profit alone as it is not a lasting goal or objective in business. Make your customers the reason you are running your business and try to meet their needs at all cost.
Building customer loyalty and trust will surely help your business to grow even if you start small but it doesn’t mean that you do this at your own detriment or loss. Remember that “the consumer is always right”, so employ consumer sovereignty and give your target consumers quality product to get them coming back for more.
Also as an entrepreneur or prospective business owner, it is important you adopt the marketing mix we have highlighted in this article and use them to your advantage so as to increase your productivity and maximize profit.