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Module 6 - Marketing

What you will learn in this module

What marketing is and its importance in running a business
The elements of marketing
Evaluating how well the product or service meets the needs of customers
Best techniques for pricing a product or service
Identifying the best way to distribute the product
How to create new ways to promote business
Ways of expanding a business
Methods of solving specific marketing problems
Understanding the different channels of marketing


Session 1

What is marketing?

1 hour 30 min

Session 2

Elements of marketing

3 hours

Session 3

Marketing visit

3 hours

Session 4

Marketing channels

1 hour 30 min

Session 1 - What is marketing?

What do you understand by marketing?

Some responses

The current situation

Adopting to a changing context

The women's groups may lose their businesses when they are exposed to greater competition brought in by the WTO (World Trade Organization) regime. They need to examine the technology they use and their productivity per person and by the amount of Baht invested. In the face of increased competition, high productivity, high quality and good marketing linkages will become essential for the survival of group businesses.

Handout 1: concept of marketing

Marketing is the most important element of a business. Unless a customer buys the product of the business, there is no business. The market for the product refers to the existence of customers who are willing to pay for it.

Every business depends on the market for its survival. Whether small or large, managed by women or men, run by an individual or a group, a business needs customers. Marketing, therefore, is a critical element of any business.

Marketing is becoming even more important with globalization opening up domestic markets to international competition. This means that, often, small producers have to face severe competition from a growing internal and international market.

Because marketing is a critical element of business and as marketing is getting more and more difficult, it is even more crucial that women in business learn about marketing. They need to know:

Marketing means understanding the needs and wants of consumers and providing goods and services to meet these profitably. A business activity results in the flow of goods and services from producer to customer or user.

Entrepreneurs must keep their eyes and mind open, and be alert to their customers' needs. Marketing is a dynamic and continuous process. It is needed not only at the time of starting up the business but also during its diversification. Marketing is not a one-time job. The entrepreneur or business person must be aware of the market's changing needs and respond accordingly.

Handout 2: case study on preparing for competition

The Kho Yor weaving group in Kho Yor Island produces traditional woven cloth using cotton, but sometimes a synthetic blend or silk cloth. The design is unique to Kho Yor, though few outsiders can distinguish the special features of the design. This is why the group feels it is important to continue to produce and keep alive the traditional designs of the area.

The group has developed thirty five traditional designs, which they maintain in a catalogue and produce on a regular basis. They used to buy dyed yarn, but when they found that the colours are not fast, they began to buy unbleached yarn and dye it themselves.

The group has received support from the government, the community development department as well as CPD. They were given 700 000 Baht which they used to purchase equipment and invest in a work shed.

Presently, the group markets its products through supermarkets, sending these by post to different supermarkets. The Thai Government ordered 100 to 200 pieces for Cabinet Ministers in the past few years. Being a traditional product, it is supported by the politicians. The market is mostly domestic and very little of the product is exported.

The group has a list of designs and prices to help customers in placing orders. They are also developing new designs and new products such as curtains and table cloth. They produce about 1 200 Lah (feet) of cloth per month, making a profit of about 40 Baht per month.

Group leader, Wichai Marasena is proud of the fact that the group is helping preserve a tradition, but does not know that they will face tough competition under the WTO rules. The group needs to move from a 'craft-based' and supply-oriented thinking to 'enterprise thinking' or demand-oriented business planning.

Handout 3: case study on contact with market

The women's group in Miang Pia in Ban Phai district makes traditional woven cloth. The members are mostly older women. Many of their designs have attracted the attention of the Queen Sirikit Foundation, which visits the group regularly and orders textiles from them for their exhibitions.

The group has got into the habit of receiving orders and producing only for this select market though other traders come to them as well. In other words, the market comes to the group. The members rarely go out to sell their products.

The women calculate the price on the basis of the material used, time taken and some notion of the intricacy of the design. They do not know at what price their product is sold by traders or the Foundation.

The cost of silk as well as tie and dye has increased over a period of time. This has forced the group to increase the prices of its products. So far, the increases have been accepted by the buyers of the group.


Discuss the benefits and dangers of such a marketing strategy.

Handout 4: case study on taking charge of marketing

A women's group with 30 members makes and sells different kinds of handicrafts such as artificial flowers. The members have organized themselves in order to systematize their production and marketing.

The group is divided into smaller sub-groups of four to five people who are responsible for making particular kinds of handicrafts. Each group is paid on the basis of its daily production. The average production expected daily is decided on the type of handicraft they make. For instance, one of the groups produces 40 pieces of a particular type of handicraft each day.

The payment per piece is calculated to ensure a payment of about 100 to 110 Baht per day to each member.

The group has assigned five people for marketing the goods. These people were selected under the following criteria:

The five marketers are paid 100 Baht per day, the same as other members who are involved in the production of flowers. They are paid an out-of pocket allowance to cover their expenses while they are in the market. This motivates them to go out and market the products.

The group has assigned another member who is an accounts professional, as a full time accountant and pay her 3 000 Baht per month.


Discuss the case study and analyse the reasons for the success of the group's business.

Session 2 - Elements of marketing

Handout 1: elements of marketing

Marketing issues:



Find out about



People and participation

Handout 2: marketing game (Kindervatter and Range, 1992)


'Marketing Mix' is a game that helps participants to understand the 6 Ps of marketing. An enjoyable learning exercise, it needs two to four players.


Prepare enough sets depending upon the number of participants.

How to play


Session 3 - Marketing visit

Session 4 - Marketing channels

Handout 1: marketing chart

Products made by a rural women's cooperative business may pass through a number of hands as shown in the following chart. Each stage has its own costs and value addition. If a women's group sells only in the local market, its profit margin is higher, but they can sell only small volumes. If the group's product reaches city as well as national and international markets through the support of middlemen, then their percentage of margin is less, but they can sell larger volumes.

Handout 2: important factors in understanding marketing channels

Marketing a product means using various channels to bring it to the consumer. It is important therefore that the entrepreneur understands this concept clearly.

- Providing capital
- Ordering the products
- Adding value by processing or packaging
- Providing transport and storage facilities
- Providing billing and VAT charging services
- Using their time to make marketing linkages and orders
- Providing market information
- Keeping in touch with consumer profiles and preferences and informing the producers.

Handout 3: marketing channels

Women's groups can market their products at the local, country (national) or international level using different channels. Four ideas on potential channels are described below:

Type of strategy



Market it yourself

· No need to pay for an agent's services.
· Control of sales and distribution.

· Groups may not have experience with and access to a broad market.
· Many women's groups do not have skilled persons, especially to handle international marketing.

Intermediaries (middlemen, sales agents)

· Can offer their acquired experience and contacts to the producers.
· Remove responsibility from the group.

· They can charge high commissions which automatically reduce group's profit.
· The group has less control of marketing and sales.
· Activities and commissions of intermediaries must be monitored carefully.

Marketing cooperatives

· Share costs, responsibilities and skills among a number of groups.
· If they are women-owned and operated, they retain experience and responsibility in the women's hands.

· May not have developed as broad a range of channels as commercial enterprises.

Alternative marketing organizations

· Often have strong social/educational goals.
· May provide wide range of assistance.
· Provide entry to export market.

· May not have developed as broad a range of channels as commercial enterprises.
· Often restrict product line to handicrafts.
· Often located in industrialized countries.

What you have learnt in this module

A business exists only if some one is willing to pay for a product i.e. buys it.

A product can be sold only if it has a customer. It is necessary to identify the customers before making the products.

Therefore, marketing is a critical factor in the success of a business.

Marketing strategies can be prepared through an understanding of the 6 P's:

- Product
- Place
- Promotion
- Price
- People
- Participation

Marketing is dynamic so there is a need to analyse, evaluate and plan regularly.

Each rural women's cooperative group needs people with marketing skills in order to develop good market linkages.

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