The 7 Ps – Marketing Mix
There are usually three questions we’re asked first at Amplify Global: 1. How do I market my business? 2. What does it cost to market my business? 3. How quickly will I see a return on my investment?
In this article, we aim to give you an insight into how we go about getting answers to the first question, “How do I market my business?”. The mediums we use to marketing a product or service in the 2020s is very different to what we used in years gone by, yet the fundamental basis of HOW we market have remained the same for over 60 years. Keep reading for a better understanding of these fundamentals and why perhaps, it’s a good idea to get a professional marketer, who has the knowledge and training to ensure success…
In 1960, Edmund Jerome McCarthy came up with the concept of the 4 Ps marketing mix. The structure contained: product, price, place, and promotion. As the economy developed and more service-based organisations started to rise, the 4 Ps of the marketing mix got an update from Booms and Bitner in 1981 to become the 7 Ps.
These are now taught in just about every marketing course around the world. From basic certificates to full-blown university degrees. While the theory behind this concept can be a little boring, the practice of it is actually what will set apart a sub-par business from a superstar one.
In case you’re not aware of the 7 Ps, here they are, in no particular order…
- Physical Evidence
Combining these different marketing tactics to meet your customers’ needs and wants is known as using a ‘tactical marketing mix’. The 7 Ps are controllable but subject to your internal and external marketing environments. Read on to better understand the intricacies of each…
Product refers to what you are selling and can range from a service (like marketing consulting) to a physical product (like soft drinks) or virtual product (like music or movies). It includes all of the features, advantages and benefits your customers will gain once purchased. The product or service you provide is, in essence, why you have a business.
The following questions should be answered when developing your product:
- What does the client want from the service or product?
- How will the customer use it?
- Where will the client use it?
- What features must the product have to meet the client’s needs?
- Are you creating features that are not needed by the client?
- What’s the name of the product?
- How is the product different from the products of your competitor(s)?
- What does the product look like?
These are the promotional activities you use to make your customers aware of your products or services. It includes advertising, sales tactics, promotions and direct marketing. Generally, these are referred to as “marketing tactics”. The most successful companies have diverse methods of promotion, keenly tuned into where the people who might use their product find information about that product or service. Some examples of promotional mediums are email marketing, digital marketing (search/display ads), social media, point of sale and signage. Some tactics used in promotion are competitions, sponsoring other aligned products/services, working worth social influencers, and the list goes on.
In creating an effective promotional strategy, you need to answer the following questions:
- What medium do I use to send marketing messages to potential buyers?
- When is the best time to promote my products or services?
- What is the promotion strategy of my competitors?
This refers to the pricing strategy for your products or services and how it will affect your customers.
How you portray the price of your products and services is a large part of the business’s future profitability and positioning in the market. Establishing a good understanding of the competitive landscape will allow you to correctly position your brand in the market. It will also clearly identify a price bracket that your customer base are willing to pay for the value you provide.
Consequently, if you price your shit too high then the costs will outweigh the benefits in your customers eyes. Price you your shit too low and your customer will devalue your product or service and continue to expect this. It’s important to check out your competitors pricing and price accordingly.
There are three major pricing strategies, and these are:
- Market penetration pricing
- Market skimming pricing
- Neutral pricing
Here are two crucial questions to ask when you’re setting the product or service price:
- How much does it cost you to produce and deliver the product or service?
- What is the customers’ perceived value? How much are they prepared to pay?
Once you answer these questions, you should also have a good idea as to how much mark-up you need to cater for overheads, what your profit margins are, what payment methods you’ll use, and other costs.
Finally, it’s important to know if you have room to move (up or down) once you understand the above two questions. Perhaps a slight price decrease from time to time could significantly increase your market share? Perhaps reducing the price may negatively impact your customers brand perception? Does your branding align with a premium price tag? Can you raise prices over time and still retain customers?
Place is where your products and services are seen, made, sold or distributed. Your products or services must be accessible by your customers, so it is crucial your customers can find you. They may be in a physical location or in an online store (your own or a 3rd party seller’s).
Whether it be physical or virtual, you can set yourself apart from your competition through the design of your retail space and by using effective visual merchandising techniques. If you’re not a retail business, place is still an important part of your marketing mix. Your customers may need a quick delivery turnaround, or prefer to buy locally manufactured products. If you’re starting a new business, finding the right business location will be a key marketing tactic.
5. Physical Evidence
Physical evidence refers to everything your customers see when interacting with your business. This includes:
- the physical environment where you provide the product or service
- the layout or interior design
- the packaging
- the branding
If you have a physical structure where your customers can visit, it’s super important to consider how its layout, fixtures and signage can build your brand and increase your sales. Physical evidence can also refer to how your staff dress and behave.
Potential customers get insight into the product or service they will eventually experience by testing and meausring the physical evidence. It’s also important to consider after-market support. Is it required? To what degree? What does that look and feel like for your customers? User experience needs to be well thought through, right across the customer’s lifecycle.
People refer to the staff who work for your business, including yourself. When you provide excellent customer service, you create a positive experience for your customers, and in doing so market your brand to them. In turn, existing customers may spread the word about your excellent service and you will win referrals to further increase your business. Ensuring your people are all “singing the same song” is paramount to your brand recognition.
Process refers to all the systems and procedures of the organisation that affect the execution of the service or product. Put simply, it’s the elements involved in delivering your products and services to the customer.
Having good process in place ensures that you:
- repeatedly deliver the same standard of service to your customers
- save time and money by increasing efficiency
As you can see from reading through this article, there’s a lot involved in just getting the basics right. If you have the time and are willing to make a concerted effort to thoroughly work through each of the 7 Ps, your efforts and dedication will pay dividends. If, however, you have a million other things to worry about and you’re still asking, “How do I market my business?”, then that’s where Amplify Global can step in and help. Contact us now for a chat about strategic marketing services.