By Beatrice Whelan, Social Media & Content Specialist at Sage
I have to be honest. When I was asked to review The Cheese Mall as part of a virtual book tour, I was a bit sceptical. I totally judged this book by its cover and thought, what can two mice teach me about marketing? Well as it turns out, quite a lot.
The Cheese Mall. Key Marketing Skills For the Budding Entrepreneur, tells the story of two mice, Millie and Matthew, as they launch a business and teach themselves the important marketing skills and techniques that every start-up business owner needs.
I was tempted to review Chapter 3 about The Business Plan as Sage provides free business planning software but I opted for Chapter 5 – Market Segmentation as I’m currently studying that topic. As Millie explained to Matthew, market segmentation is a marketing technique that targets different groups of customers with shared characteristics.
Market segmentation makes it much easier to target and position your product or service. Instead of marketing your product at the mass market i.e. everyone that might conceivably want your product or service, you divide the mass market up into different groups and can then create specific marketing messages for each of them and ensure that messages used to target one segment does not alienate the others.
Chapter 5 also explains the five key elements of the marketing mix; product, price, promotion, place and people. Although you will have to read the book to get a detailed explanation of each, for me the most important lesson for a reader to learn from this chapter is that marketing is not just about promotion. People that don’t work in marketing tend to think that this is all that marketing is about but as Millie points out there is a lot more to it.
As the book points out, people can be the most difficult and the most important part of the marketing mix to get right. The people that work for your business, especially customer facing people ultimately determine the customer experience and so have a massive impact on brand delivery.
What I really like about this book is that takes what can in some cases be quite complicated marketing principles and manages to make them incredibly easy to understand without dumbing down the topic. You could easily read this book in a few hours but I would advise to read it slowly while thinking about how each point applies to your own business. It would be time well spent for any mice or (wo)men starting their own business.
The next blog to take part in the virtual blog tour is Moira Geary, Mind Experts Academy where Moira will explore an aspect of The Cheese Mall: Key Marketing Skills for the Budding Entrepreneur on Monday 3rd December.
Bernie Tracey works with enterprise boards and SME companies and also coaches at executive level in organisations. She has worked in many sectors and has over 20 years business management experience which has given her a deep insight into the myriad of issues that business owners and senior executives face on a daily basis.