How many P’s in Marketing?
Dependent upon who you follow the numbers vary. The original model by the American marketing guru E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960 was four, and it continues to be a reference point to this day so few can argue with his thinking – they are the first four listed below. However, I believe there are not four but six top p’s which form the basis for analysing the current marketing position of any business reviewing marketing strategy and needing to set new goals.
Number one. Products and / or services. (I know that’s cheating but stay with me)
The product / service can refer to all the features and customer benefits. Does it satisfy customer need? Are there established key features and benefits? Is the quality good? Are there product / service upsell opportunities?
Number two. Price.
Quite simply, is it good value for money from a customer perspective and does it make a good profit? Satisfying both these elements is the trick for any business but it will be based on what price point the market will take and whether that price point is profitable. All too often businesses allow their pricing strategy to be dictated by their competitors. This is unwise because belief in the value of your product / service can be sacrificed by going down such a route. Always remember that it is far easier to reduce your prices than raise them. Any reduction in price is money straight off your bottom line.
Number three. Promotion.
Which marketing channels are the best for your product / service? And is timing an issue? These days there many marketing channels to choose from but the media landscape is quite fragmented. Choosing the best mix of channels at this stage is crucial. Will you find your audience in specialist magazines, niche tv channels or mass market newspapers ? Might direct mail or targeted door to door leaflet distribution suit you better? Will you support the campaign through social media and online blogging or will email marketing be a consideration? All these questions and many more will need consideration before settling on your winning combination.
Number four. Place
Where can your customers find your products and services? They might be distributed through retail outlets or exclusively online, sold direct or through a sales team, through mail order catalogues or at trade shows. Increasingly frequently a combination of the foregoing is typical but the availability of your products and services need to be kept under constant review as the market is constantly changing and complacency is not an option.
Number five. People.
Are all your management and staff as passionate as you are about your products and services? Your brand will only be as strong as your weakest link so product training is a vital element – every staff member should have a good awareness of what your business is trying to achieve through its products and services and if this sounds obvious you might be surprised at how little effort is put into such training by many SME’s.
Number six. Procedures
When the marketing and promotional work is up and running it is important to have basic procedures in place to handle enquiries, capture client information and process orders. With new customers you only have one opportunity to make a first impression so make it a good one! All enquiries handled quickly and efficiently have a better chance of success than one isn’t, even if the poorly handled one offers a better price. When the order is completed and invoiced, do you have a CRM system that will make your customers feel appreciated? Do you thank your customers for the business and ask them their opinion of your service? These procedures all help to create satisfied customers and repeat business.
Those are my 6P’s of Marketing. If you can add to them or would like to get together over a coffee to discuss a marketing issue that you may have, please email me at:: firstname.lastname@example.org.