The world today is changing so fast that it can be difficult just keeping up let alone getting ahead. The world of marketing, advertising and selling is no different.

Customer's attitudes have become finicky and unpredictable — sometimes making planning your small business marketing strategies is more about luck than skill.

Having said that, I think it's high time to focus on what's really important — taking care of customers. After all is said and done, if you cater to them, your bottom line will reap the benefits.

Understand Your Customers

Conduct thorough research on your customer's mind set. Stand in malls and observe their shopping habits and behavior. Different states or countries have different buying tastes. Observe and market your products and services according to their needs.

What sells in one state or country might not sell in another. Identify and market accordingly. Instead of marketing your products haphazardly, do so geographically.

Identify a Need — And Fill It

In the good old days, products were advertised in the hope that people would need them and start buying them. Nowadays, that is way too risky. For your small business to be successful, you now have to identify an unfilled need, and fill the void with your products and services - before anybody else does.

Key elements are timing and pricing.

Understand Quality and Quantity

To make a good profit, you need to have good quality products and sell them in the right quantities. Anticipating supply and demand is very important if you want to avoid losing money through dead inventory.

Bad quality is bad for your reputation — and if you have poor quality products, a lot of your time will be wasted on handling complaints.

Sell a Lifestyle, Not Just Products

Customers, with their newly acquired buying power, now want a lifestyle, not just a product. For example, busy customers buying luxury cars want extended warranties, pick-up and drop-off services and free car washes.

Make sure that your products and services are marketed to appeal to your target market's lifestyle.