Even as Covid-19 continues to bite unabated, businesses and individuals are now adapting to new normal and slowly returning to operation.
It is no longer wise to wait for the pandemic to end before charting the way forward for your business. It is wise to plan as if this is the new normal.
In order to thrive, whether your business is new or established, you need to go back to the drawing board and do marketing aggressively.
The marketing at this point is not about going to the market to try and push what you have to customers and to win prospective customers. It is it is doing in-depth research to establish what customers need and how they need it so as to provide it.
You will hardly get a potential customer who is just waiting for your products to buy and solve their problems. Your potential customers are either using other products in the market to meet their needs, or spending their money elsewhere, to satisfy different needs.
To get a share of their money need to get a strategy of showing them that your value proposition is sound. This is only possible if you understand their current needs and priorities.
Even if you are lucky to have a product or service that has little or no direct competition, you still have to persuade potential customers to change from what they are spending on and divert the money to acquiring and using your products.
As a business owner there are a number of things that you can do immediately to make your products more visible.
First you must understand your prospective customers and the easiest way is to look at things from their point of view. Find out what they need rather giving them what you have. Change or tailor-make your product to suit their current needs, taste and capabilities. If there are sacrifices to be made, be the one to sacrifice first.
Secondly you must understand why your prospective customers continue to buy superior, inferior, expensive or cheap products from competitors.
For instance, why do some people stick to one mobile company when they know a competitor is far much cheaper and is offering more or less the same quality of airtime?
Generally, people are slow to change. They need compelling reasons to move away from trusted products and this reason is not just about price or saving money.
Often changing people requires time and a lot of value-selling compared to price selling propositions.
Thirdly personalise your messages and direct to individuals or a small section of the market rather than use broad ‘spray and pray’ strategies. Learn from the lion; it knows to get a meal on a normal day it must focus and isolate only one animal in a herd.
It is better to target and focus on a small market and win progressively than spread resources to a larger group where there is no guarantee of getting noticed.
Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and the author of The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market. [email protected]