What is Marketing?
Marketing is the methods and techniques involved in transferring goods from producer to consumer, consequently converting these goods into money. Although this is not a single activity, it is often used interchangeably with selling. Selling is but only one part of the process.
The term marketing refers to the whole process of getting your finished product to the final consumer. Therefore, to complete the whole process you must also consider advertising, publicity, promotion, timing, pricing, presentation, and the different market channels. (See Promoting Your Home Based Jewelry Business: the Art of GETTING NOTICED for more information.
In choosing your market, consider your own desires and abilities.
- What do you prefer to spend your time doing? Would you rather work by yourself, undisturbed, leaving the sales as much as possible to others? Then you might sell your work through shops or galleries or with one or more agents or wholesaler who will take care of all your sales. Instead you might prefer to sell your work through your own web site or eBay.
- Do you want to concentrate exclusively on the creation of large expensive pieces that sell through galleries or on commissions, or do you want to sell smaller less expensive pieces or even a production line through retail shops or at craft shows?
- If you like to meet your public as well as work, you will have many opportunities to do this if you sell through craft fairs, home parties, mall shows or through your own studio. To make your sales efforts more productive you might join a co-operative.
No matter which method of sales you choose, you should be aware of the opportunities and take advantage of them as you need them. Try a variety of selling venues to see which ones work best for you.
Who Are Your Customers?
The first step toward understanding your market is to know what you are selling. You'll find it easier to make marketing decisions if you can define exactly what it is you are selling and thus know who the principal buyer of your products will be.
Who are your customers? What is the profile of your typical customer (i.e. age, sex, location, interests, education, etc.?). In finding the answers to these questions ask yourself: Who do you think would probably buy your product or who are you making your product for? Is your product functional or decorative? Is it a one-of-a-kind high ticket item or an affordable product line?
Once you have identified exactly what it is that you produce and who your customers are, or to whom your product is appealing, you can then cater to the taste of this typical customer and seek the best way to reach him or her—and direct your selling to them.
(for more information on identifying your customers and market research, see Market Research for Your Bead Jewelry Designs
Positioning Your Jewelry
Positioning is a way to attract customers, a process used to fix a place for a product in a customer's mind.
One of the major components of selling is competition and this is where the elements of positioning can give you the winning edge. In order to compete, you have to understand and analyze the competition. Your first step is to identify who your competitors are. Do they sell the same types of products you produce? How do your products compare to your competitors', including price, quantity, quality, and craftsmanship? Are their target customers the same as yours?
The only way to compete in the crafts marketplace is to offer products that are new and different. If the same types of products you produce have already reached a saturation point in the market, then you must strive to alter your product or it's use to reach a different target of customers.
In order to remain competitive you must remain alert to trends and developments in the jewelry industry. Keep your eyes on the competition and keep on top of what is new—if you don't you'll get left behind.
Create a Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan will will help you to decide the why, when, where, and to who you are going to sell your products. Click here for more detailed information on preparing a Marketing Plan.
Now that you know exactly what it is that you produce, have identified your customers, and know what your competition is doing, you are ready to position your products in the appropriate selling venues.
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