By Trevor Shorte
If you’re an entrepreneur or you have been to business school, you’ve probably heard about the 4 Ps of marketing and what that means for your business. If you’ve never heard of it before, in a nutshell, the 4 Ps of Marketing encompass the main pillars of your marketing strategy: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. I would even argue that they form the basis of your entire business model and understanding this concept will vault your marketing efforts to new heights.
Let’s look at each of these and how they can help you with your business!
This is the tangible product or service that your customers are buying from you and being an entrepreneur, it most likely is the place that you started at. Think about why you started your business in the first place. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you saw a need for something that didn’t currently exist, so you created it. Or maybe you found a way to improve on something that already existed. Either way, you have something that solves a problem for people and they are willing to give you money for it.
Some of the things that you should consider when you’re in the product stage:
- Who is your ideal client and what do they look like?
- What problem does your product solve for your customers?
- What value does your product provide to your customers?
- What are you going to name it? Does that name help people understand what it does?
- What makes your product unique enough to stand out and win over customers?
Price seems pretty straight forward but creating a pricing strategy can be a fairly complex activity. There are many factors that you must consider when trying to determine the best price to charge for your product. For starters, there’s the cost of creating your product/service. Your pricing obviously has to cover that cost and leave you with some room for profit. But there’s more to consider than just covering your costs. Have you looked at what the market rate is or what your competitors charge for similar products? If your pricing is higher than that, you are going to have to find a way to explain to customers and justify why your pricing is so high or risk them going elsewhere.
In this stage, here are some things that you should consider:
- How do you want your brand to be perceived by your customers? If you are a luxury brand, you want that to be reflected in your pricing strategy. (Think Ferrari, Rolls Royce etc.)
- What’s the lowest price that you could charge and still make a profit? Where does that put you in terms of the market?
- What’s the highest price that your customers would be willing to pay? Are they price sensitive?
This one is related to how you get your product into the hands of your customers. If you sell a physical product, think about how you get your product once it had been manufactured all the way to a product shelf. (or online shopping cart) If you sell a service, how do you provide that service to your customers?
Regardless of what you’re selling, it has to be easy for people to acquire it. So you need to think about what they need in order to give them the best customer experience, but also ensure that it doesn’t break your budget.
Here are some points you should keep in mind:
- How do your customers WANT to buy your product?
- What are your competitors doing? If they’re doing it better than you, then they will go there to buy it.
- Have you selected the most cost-effective distribution model for your customers? If you ship products to your customers and that process is not seamless or it is too expensive, that will hurt your sales.
This is the stage that most people understand right off the bat. It’s all about how you are going to advertise your product/service. Your marketing message is one of the most important ways to convince people that they should buy from you. This is where you get to decide what channels you are going to use to advertise your products. You can use traditional media advertising methods such as billboards, magazines, or newspapers. Or use digital media methods such as social media, email marketing, SEO, and your website.
You should consider some of these things when you’re talking about this stage:
- Who is your target audience? Do you know where to find them so that you can get your marketing message in front of them?
- Can you articulate your products features and benefits with your messaging?
- Do you know what your competitors are doing with their advertising? If they are successful in a specific channel, could it work for you?
In a recent discussion that I was having with someone online, the suggestion was made that you could build a brand without satisfying all of these important elements. After I finished clutching my pearls, my response was that no business can exist without addressing all of them. As I said earlier, they are the fundamental building blocks of your entire business model. If you don’t have a product, you will have nothing to market and sell in the promotion stage. If your pricing strategy doesn’t resonate with your target customers, then you’re going to have a hard time being profitable. Then the last one, place, is really about how you deliver your product/service to your customers. If it’s not how they expect to have it delivered, or if it’s done poorly, that will have a negative impact on their customer experience. This eventually translates into a poor image of your brand, which could undermine all of the hard the work you’ve been doing to build your brand.
If you need to set up a good foundation to connect with your target audiences, we can help you through our brand and business strategy package or you can book a call with us and we can discuss your specific needs.