As a business, you need to make sure you are marketing the right product, to the right person at the right price, in the right place and at the right time but it can be difficult to know where to start.
Here we break it down into the 7P’s of marketing.
Your product should meet customer needs, who better to ask what those needs are than your customers. Don’t be afraid to ask what they think of your product/service, if they are satisfied, what they would change, how their needs might change in the future. Customer feedback is key to the continuous development of your product/service, listen and learn from them.
Analysis of profitability of each product/service you provide is key to understanding what support services you can offer, how it could be improved and where you could add value whilst limiting costs. Take a look at the 80/20 rule, it will help with your calculations.
Place refers to the distribution you chose depending on the type of product/service you are marketing. If you sell through wholesalers and retailers they will each need to make a profit from the sale, this will need to be considered when pricing. Products will also need to be promoted to all those who stock your products and the end customer so they purchase your product.
It’s important to get this right, you need to make a profit otherwise your business will not survive, however you need to ensure the pricing is correct for your target customers so they purchase your product/service. Pricing too low may put customers off as they may feel a lower cost means lower quality but you don’t want to price too high as customers will feel the cost outweighs the benefits of the product/service. Work out what the cost of your product is, what you would need to change in order to ensure you break even and build up from here. Review your competition, what are they pricing at? Pitch your price from here.
This will depend on the budget you have. The promotional mix is made up of five elements, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing and personal selling. If your budget is not going to stretch to advertising during the Coronation Street break then consider other avenues. With the technology available today it can be at a minimal cost.
Understand the customer, what do they read? Where do they go? Work out what the quickest route to your customers is. Social media is a must and with minimal costs attached it can’t be overlooked.
The next 3 elements are fairly new to the marketing mix and were introduced following the shift to a service led economy, the following 3P’s extend the marketing theory to intangible services and not just tangible products.
Regardless of what department and job role marketing is the responsibility of everyone in a service organisation. Every interaction customers have with your employees will be a reflection on your business therefore it is essential to make sure you’re people are delivering the image and brand intended.
Unlike tangible products that are made ‘behind the scenes’ a service is done with the customer present. The delivery of your service is what the customer is paying for so it’s important to get it right. What frustrates me is slow delivery, lengthy waiting times, and failure to answer queries. Think about customer expectations and tailor your process to exceed them.
You might not think you deliver a tangible product but it’s very unlikely any business is a pure service without delivering physical products to the customer. Think about what they are. Here at Caunce O’Hara for example we deliver documents to our customers, whilst we are predominantly a service we do have to think about how these physical elements look and feel to the customer.
The marketing mix is used by marketers on a day to day basis but you should adapt it to fit your own business model to achieve maximum success. Good luck!