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When I first began my career the 4ps of marketing were constantly drilled into me. Those 4ps being: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. Understanding and developing those 4ps helped you to determine the marketing mix and distribution strategy for your product or service. In the days before the internet people were not as aware of all the choices available and many times bought what was made, not realizing that they could dictate what they wanted. With the internet and a more global society and economy, consumers realize they have many choices. So the 4ps of marketing become even more important. Now you need to think about what is the marketing mix for your particular customer. What will attract them to your product and how can you develop your 4ps to answer their needs?
Clear Product Benefits and Values are Key to Sales Success
So let’s look at each of the elements.
The Product. If you are introducing a new product or developing an enhancement to an existing product or service you need to define it in terms of what the customer is looking for and what need it satisfies for them. What are the benefits and how will it improve their lives if they buy your product? That’s why you see such marketing headlines like, “Faster Working”, “Longer Lasting” or “Absorbs More”. They want you to quickly understand how their product will benefit you now so you will purchase their product over a competitor’s.
The Price. Have you done your research and know your competitive products and their pricing? What value does your product bring to your potential customer? How much are you going to charge? If it’s more expensive can you detail the benefits as to why? Are you attaching the product to a well-established brand that commands a higher price? How are you going to sell it, short term and long term? Will the pricing increase as demand increases? Does it compliment an existing product so you can sell it as an add-on or gift with purchase for trial? Pricing your product right and establishing the value is the key to convincing your customer to purchase your product.
4ps of Marketing Essential to Effective Marketing Mix
The Place. Today, many start-ups go directly to the internet assuming that the direct selling option is the best. And it might be. But again, have you done your research? How are your competitors selling a similar product? Is it easy for potential customers to imagine what your product will do for them without actually seeing it, touching it or trying it? Think about the product itself and how your distribution strategy may affect your overall sales. If you are only selling via the internet, can you afford many returns? In addition to the internet you do have other choices: wholesalers, retailers, direct mail, catalogs or multi-level marketing groups. Where would your customer best like to purchase your product is another key to your sales success.
The Promotion. This is how you promote your product to your target customer. This includes your packaging, sales techniques, brochures, advertising, social media, sales promotions, trade shows and so much more. Basically everything you do that will introduce your product or service to your prospective customer and convince them that they want and need it. In other words, what are the key benefits and values for your customer if they buy now?
As you can see, understanding the 4ps are essential to developing an effective marketing mix for your products success. The more you can think like and know your potential customers the more likely you are to find the right marketing mix of the 4ps for sales success.