The 4Ps Marketing Mix & the 7Ps of Marketing
Neil Borden first devised the phrase Marketing Mix as the key factors that come together to product the best marketing results. Over time these were refined until Edmund Jerome McCarthy streamlined these factors into the now more well-known ‘4Ps of marketing’.
Understanding these elements means that you can ensure your marketing is as effective a possible, and can uncover some key considerations that you should make when it comes to your businesses marketing strategy.
What are the 4Ps of Marketing?
In McCarthy’s book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach (1960), he outlined the 4P conceptual framework as:
The basic theory is that to market to your consumers optimally you need to provide a product that they want, at a price that meets their expectations of that product, available to them in the places they would expect to look and offered to them at the right time.
The first of the 4Ps of marketing is product: understand your product, what are its benefits and who will it benefit most? Knowing your product is key to understanding your customers and only then can you market to full potential. We recently worked with a local personal trainer in Northampton who had a product idea. We simply detailed to him the following points and he launched within 1 week.
– What are the key aspects of the product or service you are offering?
– Where will it be used?
– What is your/its USP (Unique Selling Point)?
– How is it different from competitors’?
– When will it be used?
– How will it be used?
The price element of the 4Ps is all about finding the right balance between being too cheap and too pricey.
– How much does it cost to produce the product?
– How does the current price compete with competitors?
– Is it what the customer would be expect to pay for this product or service?
There are several different pricing strategies’ a company could use, the typical one that businesses aim for would be the Competition Pricing / Neutral Pricing, which is charging the same – or a similar – price to your competitors.
The place 4P marketing factor is about ensuring that your product is available in the places your customers would expect it to be – ie. where do you plan on marketing your product? Online? In stores? Both?
Think about the following:
– Where is your target market?
– How can you reach them?
– Are you targeting locally or nationally?
The promotion 4P focuses on brand awareness, advertising at public places such as press releases, exhibitions and events, conferences. Exposing your product or brand at the right time will ensure your marketing efforts are the most successful they can be.
All of these factors come together to help you pin down your target market: who they are, what they want, and where and how is best to sell to them. Mastering these marketing elements will help you get the best return on your promotional and sales strategies.
The 4Ps marketing mix developed into the 7Ps of marketing
Over time, the 4P marketing mix expanded and became more comprehensive, and three more Ps were added as strategy evolved. These addition 3Ps are as follows:
Physical Evidence (Perception)
Perception or physical evidence in marketing is about brand image and the perceived value in your product or service, which can be incredibly powerful. Creating an emotional connection between consumer and brand encourages brand loyalty and can help bring about emotional based impulse buys, whilst reviews can help buyers looking for proof of your value see this evidenced.
– How is your business perceived by consumers and competitors?
– What do your customers or customer reviews say about you?
– What messaging do you promote?
Focus on branding. For example, google reviews help persuade customers to come to your business as seeing 5 stars on your map listing will entice them to click to your website instead of a competitor with no review stars.
The process marketing stage is about effective and efficient working methods. The system and processes affect execution of the marketing strategy. The end goal is to hopefully minimise costs and maximise profits.
The people factor in the 7Ps marketing mix comes down to two things: the people you are marketing to, and those marketing that product or service within your business. When considering the people in the sales process you need to think about the customer service you provide, as well as the way you take care of your employees and inspire them to be proud of the product they sell
Some questions to ask of your business might be:
– Are there enough people in our target market?
– How do you take care of your customers?
– How do you take care of your employees?
– Are your employees invested in your product or service? Are they excited to sell it?
Staff should believe in the products or services and be knowledgeable about them. That way, they can also input thoughts and passions to help the growth of a marketing strategy or process.
Other key considerations for a marketing strategy
Internal & External Environments
– Internal: Finance, HR, Operational (scheduling, resources)
– External: Economy, Competitors, Natural forces (affecting production), Technological changes, Government
Another significant key consideration for a marketing strategy is evaluating any risks and understand truly what could go wrong? Once these risks are understood it’s then important to see if we can guarantee that these risks are avoided where possbile.
Finally, one last key consideration is the empathy and understanding you show your customers and target audience. It’s vital to have a strong customer loyalty; some ways of adding to this is by offering discounts and freebies, as well as consistently talking to them, ensuring they are happy and maintaining a good customer relationship. This results in the consumer repeatedly choosing you over your competitors and will help you increase your sales – and keep them coming back time and time again.
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