Marketing is always evolving and it can be difficult to stay in the loop. But as a business owner or marketer you have to be sure that your business is keeping up with the trends. One way to make this easier, is to brush up on your marketing foundation with the Four P’s. If you’re a marketing professional, this article may seem like déjà vu, but sometimes it’s a good idea to get back to basics. If you’re a business owner and don’t know about the 4 P’s, then now is a good time to start!
Like we said, The 4 P’s are the foundations of good marketing and knowing them will be a key to your success. The P’s stand for Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. These help guide the quintessential questions that you need to answer - the who, what, when, and why of your business or client. All must work in tandem to have a successful marketing plan.
After this article, you’ll be able to answer these questions and much more:
Why do customers prefer your product over your competitors?
How valuable is your product?
Where can consumers find your product?
What Are the Four Keys (P’s)
The product is what you’re selling. This could either be a service or actual, physical objects. For example, your product could be a clothing line, where you’re selling sweaters or t-shirts or more, but it could also be an app or laundry service. All in all, the product is the thing you’re offering to consumers.
Once you’ve decided on the product, it’s time to think about how your product sets you apart from your competitors. You can stand out with your packaging, and messaging, but your product needs to solve a problem or need for consumers. So what makes you special?
Defining your Unique Selling Position (USP), or what makes you special, is going to be crucial to everything going forward.
Unless your product is free, you need to consider how much you want to charge consumers for your product or services. While pondering prices, do some research on your competitors to see their rates. This will give you insight into how you will inevitably compare with others in your industry. Price, however, isn’t the end-all-be-all, so keep that in mind.
There isn’t any “right” price, it’s all about how you want to be perceived by your consumers. If your prices are higher than your competitors, you may want to be seen as a luxury item. If your prices are lower, you can position yourself as cost-effective.
Publix, for example, positions itself as a mid-range grocery store where “Shopping is Always a Pleasure.” It is known for its high-quality products, great customer service, and high prices. Customers are willing to pay higher prices because of the many other perceived benefits.
When picking your price, ask yourself these questions:
How sensitive are your consumers to price?
What is the lowest you’ll sell your product for?
What is the highest you’ll sell your product for?
The place or distribution for your product or service can be either a physical location or online. It is defined as anywhere it’s being sold.
Consider all aspects of how your product will be reaching customers. With marketing, location can make a world of difference. Many times, you have to go to the consumer; don’t expect them to come to you. Where your product is located can also dictate your marketing efforts. If you sell solely online, your options are wide-ranging, but you have to consider things like shipping costs and supplies. Do you want to reach everyone everywhere or do you have a preferred area where your target is located. If you’re rooted at a physical location, maybe direct mail looks more beneficial than billboards; or maybe consider geofencing your top neighborhoods. There can be a lot of options to consider. Once again, make sure each marketing key is working well with the others.
Here is where you think about how to advertise your product. Promotion is important not just to make your business known, but to also generate revenue. Promotion can include campaigns that generate brand awareness, but can also be actual sales promotions. Remember the competitor research you did when deciding the Price, now is the time to get creative with how you compete. Is it discounts, special BOGO offers, referrals? Also think about how Place plays into Promotion. Like we said, location can often dictate your marketing efforts. If your Product is a nursing home, you may not want to run ads on TikTok or Snapchat. There’s a wide range of possibilities.
Keep in mind though, the most important thing when promoting is your brand’s positioning and message. Ask yourself how can I live rent-free in a consumer’s mind? What message or images will leave a long-lasting effect?
To truly have a successful marketing mix, you have to study your consumers, know your product, and be aware of your competition. Marketing is ever-changing, but these 4 P’s are still the foundation. Do you have the 4 keys to marketing success?