One of the most basic concepts in marketing is the 4 Ps of marketing. The 4 Ps of marketing will be the foundation of any business’ marketing strategy in their marketing plan. Here you’ll find an explanation of each of the 4 Ps of marketing. Product:
As the first of the 4 Ps of marketing, you have ‘product.’ This will include all of your business’ products and / or services – basically anything you intend to sell, rent, or otherwise charge money for. When working on your marketing strategy, it’s vital that you list all of the features and benefits of each of your products or services. For instance, if you were selling a car, a feature would be its color, design, or engine size. The benefit would be what’s in it for the customer. In this case, more power, greater speed, or the status they would achieve by driving the particular type of car you’re selling. In addition to understanding your product or service’s features and benefits, you also need to account for what makes them different than those of your competitors. Is it a completely new concept? Is it an improvement over the industry standard? What would make a customer want to buy your product or service over theirs?
You can’t price your products on a whim. The pricing model you choose will be a large factor in what market you’ll be able to target. For instance, still staying on our car sales example, if you’re selling a luxury car on the premise that owning one will give the customer increased social status, you should price the car higher than average. If everyone can afford to buy it, you lose the feature you’re touting because it’s no longer going to give each customer the benefit of status if you take away the car’s rarity. On the other side, if you’re selling an economy car that would be sensible for a low-income family, you don’t want to overprice it to a point where your target market can’t afford your product. You also need to understand where your break-even point is. You can’t price a product lower than that point, or it will cost you money. You have to price it higher if you want to make a profit.
When thinking about placement and distribution in your marketing strategy, you need to answer a few basic questions. How are your customers going to come across your products? Where will they be able to buy them? (A specialty store? A discount store? Online-only sales? Catalog sales?) How will they be able to make a purchase? (Will they have to meet with you face to face to buy your services? Can they order over the phone or online?) Are you going to sell directly to customers or will you be selling wholesale? Do you intend to use specialty store displays, or just regular stocking? All of these things will be a part of your larger distribution strategy.
Promotion is how you tell people about your products and services, and how you convince them to buy. Promotion includes most of the marketing tactics you’re probably familiar with, such as:
- Fliers and Posters
- Trade Shows
- Public Relations
Promotion will be one of the more costly aspects of your marketing strategy, in most cases. The key is to do proper research beforehand, so you can target your marketing message to the appropriate audience and improve your ROI (return on investment)