Basic Marketing Principle
We use the word “technology” a lot these days. Depending upon the frame of reference, the word can mean many different things. It can also apply to many different types of ‘products’. Some definitions of technology (compiled from many on the Web) are:
the broad concept that deals with a species’ usage and knowledge of tools, implements, and crafts, and how it affects a species’ ability to control and adapt to its environment.
the human innovation in action that involves the generation of knowledge and processes to develop systems that solve problems and extend human capabilities.
the innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment to satisfy perceived human needs and wants.
the practical application of science to commerce or industry, e.g. applying scientific knowledge to meet an objective or solve a problem.
the collection of any specific information and know-how (whether in tangible form, such as models, prototypes, drawings, sketches, diagrams, blueprints, manuals, software, or in intangible form, such as training or technical services) that is required for the development, production, or use of a product or product family.
We tend to think of technology more in terms of the last 2 definitions on the list rather than the first 3 definitions.
A common thread that runs through these definitions is that they are referenced to us and our place in our existing or to-be-changed environment, and to our needs and wants as we perceive them to be.
For any technology or product to be successfully marketed, first and foremost it must provide a solution for a real or perceived problem. This is true regardless of the product to be sold or the method of selling.
Marketing is always about dealing with customer perceptions. It is very easy to create bad perceptions and difficult to create and maintain good perceptions. Keys to good perceptions are always quality products fairly priced that offer real value to the consumer, along with flawless customer support and service.
Price is not always the key metric attracting customers. According to Copernicus marketing strategy group in Massachusetts, only 15-35% of individual customers consider price as a key factor in a purchase, and more than 60% do not consider price as a major factor. On small ticket items, greater than 80% of customers cannot recall the price paid (correct to within 10%) for a product after 7-10 days. According to Holden Advisors, 65% of customers in the business-to-business segment prefer value over price.
Therefore, strive to offer real value and you can sell at reasonable prices in all business segments.
But… and here is the BIG BUT: All customers remember the Brand/Company, and their experience in the purchase of the product. Those customers now become either your brand or products’ ally or enemy as a result of that experience. Your customers can become/remain loyal to you or jump ship to a competitor that does offer the value that the customer perceives and is willing to pay for.
As a marketer, your task (should you choose to accept it) is to understand your customers perception of value and your value to them, then decide whether or not you can supply it with your product, technology, and service.