When is the time for business to think about marketing?

“We will do it first — then we will sell it to someone” — as owners and business leaders often think, and this is the wrong approach. Any product must start with market research. Why this is important, and how to reconcile marketing and sales departments, talks about Vladislav Ryzhikov, deputy director for marketing and public relations at McDonald’s in Belarus.

Marketing VS salesWhen to start thinking about marketing?McDonalds has been working in Belarus for 23 years - how it became possible?

Marketing VS sales

The division of functions within the company is transparent and even elusive. It is important that people with different responsibilities understand each other well and cooperate, rather than compete. But between the sales and marketing departments there can be serious wars. Sales managers are often outraged by the fact that the client does not want this, and they have to sell "what they were given."

To prevent this from happening, marketing must always be at the forefront. Marketers — the first line of attack and defense.

There must be very close cooperation between the sales and marketing departments. In no case can not talk about competition for budgets — they are moving in one direction. The conflict between sales and marketing is a clear sign of a systemic management problem that needs to be urgently addressed.

It is right, when the products are developed by different specialists — including from the sales department. If the product is made at all without the participation of salespeople, it is likely that it will not take off. When the development team is chosen correctly, everyone feels their responsibility for the result.

When to start thinking about marketing?

At the very beginning. If I had invested, for example, in a catering establishment, I would have thought about marketing even before I had invested the first money. At the start, you need to clearly understand who your product will be for, whether it is needed, what task of the target audience it will solve. Our businessmen have a prejudice to the expenses (investment) on advertising. But at least it can be seen, but there is no marketing research. Therefore, the prospect of spending money on them causes even greater misunderstanding.

But now there are a lot of different tools for marketing research — it can be spent for $ 50, for a thousand, and for three. Investments in startups are valued at tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. And 2-3 thousand dollars spent at the beginning of the path to market research, can correctly adjust the vector of your movement. The change of the vector at the very beginning by 3% in the long term changes the result vector by 30%. And if you save a few thousand on marketing research, you can subsequently waste hundreds of thousands.

Make a marketing strategy for the next 2-3 years — taking into account the speed of changes in society and the pace of technological development, it makes no sense to talk about a longer period. Every year, conduct a revision of the strategy — adjust it as necessary.

Marketing is an integral part of the business. If a company of any size and level of development has no idea where it will be in at least two years, then it does not have any strategic marketing. It is just an operational activity and tactical actions without a strategy.

Remember that the heart of marketing is the consumer. The main thing is to understand his needs and know how you can satisfy them.

McDonalds has been working in Belarus for 23 years - how it became possible?

All this time we have been investing in marketing and public relations, in order to be known and loved. The brand competes with other catering establishments, cafes and restaurants. In fact, any housewife is our competitor. Therefore, constantly reminding about yourself is at least to at least remain relevant.

We owe our success to the stability of the product we offer. This is achieved by uniformity of procedures, employee training.

The main problem of catering in Belarus is that the concept with which the institution enters the market changes over time. And then they say about such establishments: “The quality of products is deteriorating, the level of service falls.

If I did not believe in the possibility of developing business in Belarus, I would have left for a long time. In terms of life, we are somewhat lagging behind Western European countries. But we have a business evolution, and this is attractive: here one can show much higher growth rates than in a stable developed economy. You can grow easier and faster. And the level of competition in Belarus is much lower.

Source: StartUpON — accelerator for startup entrepreneurs.

Trainers: Irina Dubovik and Yury Bespalov.