Strategic Marketing is a model that can be used by both small and big businesses to adapt to the changes in the environment, in order to meet their customers needs and wants. It takes into account problems, goals, priority areas and moves on to the design of specific products or services for implementation. Here are 8 Steps to creating a marketable product.

Step One: Problem Definition.

Based on identified priorities and opportunities in the environment, define a potential area for change where a program, product or service can reduce the problem and move toward achieving the goals you want.

Step Two: Set a Goal For Your Project

It is important to understand the needs of your targeted audience, prioritize and target efforts accordingly. The goal for this assessment is to obtain quantitative and qualitative information to identify problems, their causal factors and evaluate opportunities for reducing those problems. Always set measurable goals for any project . This will enable you to determine the scope of the plan and a budget. Goals and more specific measurable objectives establish benchmarks for success.

Step Three: Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

At this point you select a specific segment of the population on which to focus efforts.Your marketing strategy will only be effective if you are tailoring products to specific subgroups within the overall population.

Segmentation is used to divide the total market or the total population into smaller targeted audience or segments of people with similar wants.It can be based on observable factors such as age, geographic region, race, social economic factors, marital status, employment and values.

Step Four: Consumer Research And Analysis

It’s fair to say that this is the most crucial step of all. It recognizes that “one size does not fit all” and seeks to understand what would fit the needs and preferences of targeted audiences.

You must allocate time and resources to understand your potential audience, their values and their knowledge regarding the behavior you wish to change or the product you want to engage them in. Market research through surveys, telephone interviews, focus groups, observation, and message boards can be used to determine the interests, motivations and values of your targeted audience.

This step should result in a clear understanding of your intended customer’s needs and wants.

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Step Five: Product Definition And Position

A product is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a need or want. It can be a physical object, program, policy, idea, or message. It’s necessary to determine the market niche or the position this product will have among competitors. Position is the image that customers will have of the product. You can define your product as innovative, cutting edge, culturally specific to one ethnic group, quick and easy to use, solid and dependable, economical, affordable or upscale. You must be careful when defining your product and the niche or position in the marketplace, make sure it is in a way that will be compatible with your target audience’s preferences.

Step Six: Market Mix Variables

This is the step where you must design the product, so it can be successful in its niche, by making decisions about market mix variables. Market mix variables are factors that are directly under the control of those designing the product.

They guide the development of the product and how it will be offered in the market place.

The market mix variables are commonly called the four P’s – Product, Price, Place, Promotion.

This step provides the strategic opportunity to create a good fit between the wants of the target audience and the goals of the Product Owner.

Determining the Four P’s:

Product:

The style, quality, packaging, features and branding .

Price:

To determine the price of your product, you have to consider the costs of putting the product together, labor, and other possible costs.

Do not over price your item, but don’t under price it either. You want to make money with your product, so it’s always advisable to set a price that’s reasonable for your customers.

Place:

Place is the distribution channel for your product. Products and services can be creatively marketed through mass media, schools, work sites, grocery stores, sports clubs and online websites or auctions.

Promotion:

Promotion is the means by which the product is marketed to the targeted audience. It includes word of mouth, press releases, and advertising.

Step Seven: Action Plan And Budget

This step involves detailed planning of the people’s tasks and resources to implement the designed product or service, and determining the amount of money you are willing to spend on marketing the product or service.

Action planning is used to plan or organize work flow. Action planning determines how all activities related to implementation will be organized and conducted. The plan determines in detail what will be done and by whom. The plan also helps to organize all key activities and tasks needed to reach a goal such as designing the product and bringing it to the marketplace.

Step 8: Implementation And Evaluation

In this step you need to carry out your plan by introducing your product or service. It is important that the authority for evaluation, as well as decisions regarding adjustments are clearly defined early in the implementation step.In short, this eight step model can help small business owners and big organizations design products that meet the needs and wants of their target audience.It can also be used to improve existing products and services to make them more consumer-centered.

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