How the 7 P's of Marketing can help your Small Business.
The 7'ps of marketing started life as the 4 p's and as the marketing industry developed, a fifth 'p' was introduced. Two more 'p's were added recently bringing the total to 7.
The 7 P's were developed when experts realised that businesses were becoming more customer-centric. As the world has grown so have the number of choices consumers have. They no longer have to shop at the one supermarket, they can pick from small and large supermarkets that offer different price points and products. This change has forced businesses to think about how they can stand out against competitors.
The 7 P's are still a valuable framework for marketers but it's not just us they can help! If you are a small business, you should consider them when preparing a product or service for market. If you are an established small business, the 7 P's are useful tools to use when re-evaluating your product or service's place within the market.
Let us introduce you to the 7 p's of marketing...
When you are developing a product or service, you want someone to buy it and ideally, you want a lot of people to buy it. If you develop a product before finding the right 'product-market fit' then you are hoping once you have invested all your time and money into it, the market will come to you. It might sound like a risky way to do it and that is because it is. Successful small businesses find out what their target audience needs and wants before they jump into development. They want to know that it suits their customer's needs both now and in the future
If you are in the early stages of developing a product or a service remember:
An ideal product or service provides value to your target audience. The value is not what you think your customer wants, it's what they actually want.
Ensure you have systems and processes in place that allow you to check in with your target audience regularly and make sure they are still finding value in your product or service.
Don't fall into the product quality trap (developing an iPhone when your target market is happy with an old Nokia).
A product or service is only worth what your customer will pay for it. You don't want to price yourself out of the market but you also don't want to undersell yourself. Remember that small businesses have a superpower that large companies don't, you can compete by offering a more personal service and adding value wherever possible.
Your business needs to make a profit. Pricing is the only thing in what we call the marketing mix that generates revenue, everything else represents a cost to you. When you are considering your prices, you need to think about them from a customer's perspective. Remember:
The more you charge, the more value your customer will expect to receive.
Your price tells your customers where you are positioning your product or service in the market.
New customers are more price-conscious compared to existing ones. This is why you should always look after your customers.
Your product or service must be available in the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity. This is where marketing really comes into it's own. Where you sell or distribute your product must be convenient for your target market. This applies to brick-and-mortar locations but also to e-commerce businesses. Remember:
The delivery performance of a company is one of the most important criteria when choosing a supplier according to customer surveys.
Place also applies to how you display or merchandise your product.
Ecommerce businesses need to focus on their digital presence so that they are seen by their target audience online. They have fewer opportunities to interact with their customer which is why it's so important for them to be in the right place at the right time.
Promotion is how a business communicates what it does and the value it can offer its customers. This includes branding, advertising, PR, corporate identity, social media management and so much more. The goal of promotion is to gain the attention of your target audience so that they choose your product over someone else's. Remember:
Good promotion is not one-way communication. You want it to pave the way for communication between you and your customer.
Promotion should communicate the benefits your customer will receive if they pick your product or service.
If you are an online business your website is the first impression your customers will have of your business. That is why it is important to keep it updated and ensure it is user friendly.
People have a profound impact on your business. Often if a customer wants to purchase your product or service, they make contact with someone that works within your business. You want to make sure that they enjoy this experience as the person they are in contact with will often be more memorable than the product or service itself. Remember:
The reputation of your business lies in your team's hands. They must be happy in their work so they can impress your customers.
Happy customers bring in more customers. Collect feedback that you can put on your website and other marketing materials.
Make sure your people offer superior after-sales support and advice.
Customers are now investing in the experience and not just the product or service. This starts from the moment they discover your company and continues well after they have purchased your product or service. Remember:
The process is critical for customer satisfaction.
Don't ever underestimate the value of a good first impression. Track, where the majority of your customers are coming from, is it online or offline. Re-assess your process in this area so that your customers get the best first impression.
Ensure your business systems are designed for your customers and not for your company.
You can reduce any uncertainty around your product or service by showing your potential customer what they are buying (think about how you can use Apple products in store before buying them). Remember:
The state of your website and physical presence tells a customer a lot about your product before they purchase. Make sure both are up to scratch and that they reflect your brand.
Provide potential customers with testimonials. This will make them more likely to purchase your product.
Make sure your environment fits your product. For example if you have created a financial product, this should be presented in a formal setting.
The Marketing Mix
The 7 P's are the key ingredients in the marketing mix and they are the key to it's success. None of these elements can be considered in isolation for example you can't develop a product without considering price. When developing a product or service, the 7 p's should be in the forefront of your mind. These will help ensure your success.
If you are searching for a marketing agency that can help you activate your marketing mix, why not get in touch with us for a free chat today?