marketing & Distribution

You are convinced of your idea and there is a market for your product or service. The topics of marketing and sales are topics of the business plan, in the best case you already create a market and competition analysis for your business plan. Now it is important to reach the market and inspire it. 

Marketing elements are

  • Product / Service: What is special about my idea, how does it differ from other offers? Specify the customer benefit: What distinguishes your offer from the offers of the competitors, for what reasons should the customer decide in favor of your product or service?

  • Pricing: What does the product or service you offer have to cost in order to be bought and to generate profits in addition to development, production and all other costs? What is the price for comparable services? Can you offer market prices or can you save on development and production? Or is it important to reach other customer groups who might pay a higher price?

  • Communication: How do you reach potential customers with the most important information? There are: What is special, what is the benefit of the products or services? Where and when are they available? What do they cost? The following questions include: How do you inspire the customer groups? Which media do customers use to obtain information? What is the correct address?


The first steps in successfully addressing customers and creating sustainable customer loyalty include:

  • The corporate identity / corporate identity (CI): Name and logo, website as well as the design elements for business cards, flyers and the entire external presentation etc .: The sister graphic artist, a friend of the web programmer? Inquire among friends and acquaintances, maybe you already had contacts to a good agency as an employee - you should definitely consult experts on the subject of CI - and there are some agencies that are attractive for founders -off packages.

  • Media and public relations: From a short message about the start of the company or an opening offer to a detailed report, about product development in a specialist medium to a short blog post and feedback from first buyers: You have to make your offer known on as many channels as possible.

  • Advertising: Advertisements, trade fair presence or well thought-out kick-off campaign?

  • Social media appearances: Today, social media accounts have an important role in communication with numerous target groups: They increase awareness of the company, make offers visible, enable direct customer feedback and thus an important basis for further development and are important tools for customer loyalty and image cultivation. Pay attention to an authentic appearance, create suitable content and adapt your contributions to different channels. But here, too, you should acquire a certain know-how and create a strategy for attracting customers via social networks.

As with most of the fundamental building blocks of a start-up, professional advice is recommended as a first step when it comes to marketing and communication. There are a large number of very good marketing, advertising, PR and brand agencies and freelance communication consultants in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region.
Perhaps you want or need to develop some topics yourself, or business partners or employees have marketing experience and are interested in taking on sub-areas - professional providers as well as information and recommendations for good workshops, online training courses and seminars that provide know-how and imparting and deepening do-how can be obtained at start-up events and fairs, in start-up centers or from the relevant chambers of industry, commerce or craft.
However, do not underestimate the time, (where) manpower and budget for marketing. Because marketing is an ongoing task. The rule of thumb for small companies is to plan at least 2 to 3 percent of sales - and definitely more at the beginning - for marketing.

Sales

The fourth marketing element is sales: The good news to start with - you can learn how to sell successfully.
But how are purchasing processes initiated, designed and ultimately successfully completed? How do products and services find their way to the customer on time and how can customers be won and retained over the long term?

You can sell your products and services in different ways:

  • Im Own or direct sales deliver them directly and after consultation with the customer, in your company (or agency services, gastronomy, lawyers, physiotherapists, tax consultants, etc.) or via your own online shop.

  • That is more expensive External distribution through wholesalers or retailers. You can sell products to a large number of potential buyers nationwide via call centers.
Third-party sales are associated with significantly higher costs - you have to budget for transport costs, dealer discounts and commissions. What quantities do you have to keep, to what extent can you offer services? Plan consciously - with regard to scope of delivery, production and transport times as well as financial and human resources. Nothing annoys a customer more than long waiting times or poor products.


By the way: It is worthwhile to inquire about measures and programs to promote sales and distribution by the federal and state governments:

Important tips are:

  • Keep in touch
    Inform customers regularly about new offers. Inquire with the customer whether everything is in order or whether there is any further need. Getting the right amount of contact is often a tightrope walk between insistence and disinterest.

  • Service is capitalized
    You should ensure good availability, quick reaction times in the event of problems and good complaint management. This includes, for example, free delivery and support with the commissioning of devices.

  • benefits
    Offer your customers an advantage if they shop with you regularly. These include, for example, discounts, special offers or free gifts when purchasing.


think Find out how you can not only meet customer expectations, but exceed them. This increases the likelihood that they will buy from you again, and that they will also make positive advertising for you and thus become a multiplier for the products and services of your company.
Do you have exciting topics, good offers or services that allow a newsletter? Or is the personal and direct approach your trump card?


You can find an initial sales checklist at:

Further information on sales:

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