If you don’t market your business, it is going nowhere fast. But marketing your business blindly will cost you a lot of money and time. You need a deep understanding of your products, market and customers.
Your business needs a solid marketing strategy.
The marketing mix is a well used concept for all types of businesses. It puts together the most important marketing elements to create the ideal plan for your venture. A marketing mix plan is made up of four key elements known as The 4 Ps of Marketing.
The 4 Ps of Marketing
You need to know exactly what your product is from top to bottom. If you don’t understand your product and its purpose fully, then customers certainly won’t. It’s not as simple as deciding to sell something that you think will sell.
You need to research your market thoroughly. What do customers really want? In what way will your product make their life easier or better?
Some things to considering when thinking about your product are:
- Your target market
- What can you offer people that they can’t get already?
- Which helpful features does your product offer?
- How will your product be developed?
- How will you support your customers after they have purchased your product?
When you are able to answer these questions you will have a good solid grasp of what your product is and its market potential.
Once you have a solid understanding of what your product is, you need to figure out how much you are going to sell it for. There will already be a perceived value of your product based on similar products in the marketplace.
You have to balance your pricing between the value and the costs of production, distribution and marketing. Also, supply and demand can change frequently for many markets. Subsequently, profit margins may increase or decrease and you will have to change your pricing accordingly.
Always keep in mind that even if you are introducing a new product into a big market, it isn’t always a good idea to go with a low price. Consumers may look at your low price as a sign of an inferior product. At the same time consumers may look at a high price as an indication that a product is of a higher quality. A good understanding of your customers and competitors will help you strike the right balance.
Things to consider when pricing your products are:
Pricing your products is a difficult process. One thing to always think about is how much would you pay for your product? It’s important to find the right balance between underselling your products value and pricing too high. You may have to move your pricing around or offer customers incentives to buy before you find the right value for them and you.
So now you have your products or products and you have priced accordingly. It’s time to get your product out there in front of as many eyes as possible. First and foremost you will want to create a strong brand. Something that gives you an identity that stands out in your market.
A consistent brand that can work on all types of promotion is essential. This includes colours, design and your message. When you have your brand you will want to promote yourself where your customers will see you. From your product and price research you should have a good understanding of where your customers are. With this knowledge you should be looking to promote over relevant touch points such as:
- Advertising – TV, radio, online
- Social media marketing – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- Email marketing
- Video marketing – mainly Youtube
- Search engine marketing – Blogging, content marketing
There are many more forms of promotion and it can prove costly. Concentrate on spending your budget and time on the touch points that bring in the highest volume of customers. Some will work for your business and some won’t.
This is where you will sell your product. Online is an obvious one for almost every business now. An estimated 1.8 billion people shop online. Whether you sell online or on the high street you will still want an online presence as this will likely be the first place a customer engages with your business.
Product placement often overlaps with product promotion and concentrating on the two in tandem will come naturally when you are promoting your product. An understanding of your customers behaviour works the same for both. Some things to look at are:
- Should you sell your product online?
- Do you need a physical store?
- How will you distribute your product?
The key is making your product easy for the customer to access. You may want to sell online and in a physical store. But this again goes back to pricing and what your business can afford. Overall it’s about understanding what your customer wants and how you can make their life better or easier.
Should you use The 4 Ps of Marketing?
Businesses of all sizes need a marketing strategy. You may know your products capabilities and you may have great confidence that customers will buy them. But you won’t truly know this until you have done your research. Marketing is not easy and to reach success you will need a well thought out plan.
Using the marketing mix framework for your business gives you a clear strategy of how to move your business in the right direction. The 4 Ps of marketing will give you a solid understanding of your customers, market and where you can fit into the marketplace.
Each of the 4 Ps are equally crucial and should each be explored in depth. Gather as much information and data as you possibly can. And when you put it all together you will have a strong foundation to build your business upon.