You need to understand the Marketing Mix to stay in Business
What is the Marketing Mix?
The Marketing Mix is made up of five key elements which are often referred to as the 5 Ps of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place and People. I want to keep it simple for you so let’s stick with the five elements in this Blog.
Product is anything that will satisfy a need or a want. It could be ‘tangible’ (see, touch, hear, smell or taste) or ‘intangible’ i.e. a service. The product has to deliver the benefits and meet customer expectations. It is important to get the product right because this is where your revenue comes from. Companies need to listen to their market feedback and measure customers' satisfaction with their product.
Price involves the amount of money exchanged for the product. To the buyer, it means the value placed on the product. It is also important to include the ‘value-added’ in a way that the customer understands. Value added means additional benefits that a customer receives beyond price, like variety, opening hours, customer service, quality, brand guarantee, etc. It’s also very important to charge what the market can take. What I mean by this is that the market dictates the price. When people start out in business, they tend to charge a price that they think is reasonable, rather than what the market can take, because they haven’t done any research on what their competitors are charging.’
Promotion. This refers to how a company communicates with both existing and potential customers. You need to be active in the key mediums, or ways of communicating: (i) Direct Marketing; (ii) Internet Marketing; (iii) Networking; (iv) Advertising & PR (Public Relations). See my Blog “How to make the Most of Marketing” which goes through these channels in detail. This is your Marketing Communications Strategy.”
The fourth element is Place, which refers to how your products will reach your customers and how quickly i.e. a ‘Distribution Strategy’. You may decide on an intermediary i.e. a wholesaler or go direct to the retail chain, etc. Place also refers to location and the importance of the shop interior, layout, ambience, cleanliness and shop window, not to mention ease of parking and the general environment of the area where your business is located. You will have to also consider signage that will make it easy for your customers to find you.
The last element is People which refers to the people you will employ in your business. This is one of the most important elements of the Marketing Mix, because if customers have a bad experience with your staff, they will not return, no matter how wonderful the products are or how lovely the shop interior is. Bad customer service will reflect very negatively on your brand promise.
Your brand promise is created by your advertising and promotion activities, whereas the brand delivery encompasses everything customers experience when they are actually dealing with your brand. Quality of products and service are critical, but the attitude and behaviour of the front-line staff is more important in the eyes of customers. The brand promise paints a picture of what customers will experience, but the brand delivery refers to the experience itself. This is why People are such a key element of the Marketing Mix.
If your business is not working and you want to find out where it is going wrong, you will most likely find the answer in one of the 5 Ps. For more information on starting a new business, check out my marketing book The Cheese Mall that will help you hit the ground running in your first year with lots of helpful and practical tips.
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