4ps of Marketing
Traditional marketing leverages four fundamental pillars: product, price, place and promotion. These pillars became gospel during a time when every home had a pile of magazines on the coffee table, folks had all of three television channels from which to select their nightly viewing and Sears, Roebuck and Co. was the "big box store."
Today, the landscape of marketing has changed dramatically. The advent of the internet, social media and mobile technology has transformed the way companies communicate with their customers and prospects. Despite these changes, the 4ps of marketing remain an important framework for marketers to use when planning their campaigns.
Product: The first p is product. What are you selling? What are the features and benefits of your product or service? How does it meet the needs of your target market? It’s important to have a clear understanding of your product before you can begin promoting it.
Price: The second p is price. How much will your product or service cost? What pricing strategy will you use? Will you offer discounts or promotions? Pricing is a critical element of any marketing campaign and deserves careful consideration.
Place: The third p is place. Where will your product or service be available? Will you sell online, in brick-and-mortar stores, or both? How will your customers be able to purchase your product? Place is an important consideration in any marketing campaign.
Promotion: The fourth and final p is promotion. How will you promote your product or service? What marketing channels will you use? Will you use paid advertising, public relations, or word-of-mouth marketing? Promotion is a key element of any marketing campaign and the tactics selected will impact success.
Marketing is Motivation.
Marketing pulls the customer into a long-term relationship with the product or service and the company that provides it. Every touchpoint with the customer is marketing. It is imperative to deliver on your brand promise, build a relationship with the customer to identify more ways to help, and provide exceptional service with every interaction. That’s a tall order. It takes a well-oiled team to deliver on the brand promise with each customer touch.
Successful marketing employs a long-term strategy to build a brand as the go-to resource for your clients and customers.
Skip to the End.
The astute company begins with a clear understanding of the strengths of its team and which of these strengths gives the company a competitive advantage. You don’t have to fulfill everyone’s needs, but you do need to find a niche in the marketplace for which your company meets an underserved need.
What is the demand for products and services in the niche you’ve identified? What is the market segmentation within this niche? How can you meet the unique needs of each market segment targeted?
First P of Marketing: Product
What problems does your product solve?
Now that you know your target audiences, circle back to the first p of marketing: product.
Develop value-proposition statements that identify the benefits of the product/or service for each target audience. Benefits are tangible and non-tangible. For example, a tangible benefit of an external hard drive is the extra storage space it can provide. Whether you're looking to store photos, music, videos or documents, an external hard drive can give you the extra space you need. In addition, an external hard drive can also help to improve your computer's performance. By storing files on an external hard-drive, you can free up space on your computer's internal hard-drive, which can help to improve its speed and efficiency. A non-tangible benefit of an external hard drive is the peace of mind it can provide. Knowing that backing up important files keeps them safe from potential data loss can be a tremendous relief. In today's digital world, where so much of our business is in the cloud and on computers, an external hard drive can give you the assurance that your valuable data is safe and secure.
Second P of Marketing: Price
Value for Money.
Price is a key factor in every marketing equation. To think otherwise would be folly. Knowing your costs is a key factor in any pricing model. Add to that your minimum required return on investment (ROI). If you cannot deliver on ROI, do not deliver the product or service. Once you’ve established these minimum guidelines, the art of pricing begins. What are your competitors charging for similar (or the same service)?
To successfully sell a product or service, you need to be able to clearly articulate its value. This means more than simply stating the features of your offering; you need to be able to explain how those features will benefit the customer. If your product pricing outpaces the product’s perceived value your marketing and sales teams will struggle to find and build a strong customer base.
Third P of Marketing: Place
Making Your Products Readily Available.
In determining how to distribute your company’s products and services, know the market segments for existing and potential customers and answer five basic questions for each segment:
- Where are your customers?
- Do you need to be close to your customers?
- Do they require service after the sale?
- Do they need you to provide face-to-face service?
- How significant is the distribution cost of getting your product to your customers?
Before your company can decide on the best way to distribute its products and services, it needs to thoroughly understand its customer base. To do this, you’ll need to answer five key questions: Where are your customers and potential customers located? Do you need to be close to your customers? Will your customers require in-person follow-up service? Do you need to provide one-on-one, in person service? What would be the additional costs if you were not in the same locale as your customers? By understanding the answers to these questions, businesses can make informed decisions about how to best reach their target market. It may be more cost-effective to distribute products online or it may be necessary to maintain brick-and-mortar storefronts. By taking the time to understand customer needs, businesses can ensure that their product placement eliminates obstacles to closing the sale.
Fourth P of Marketing: Promotion
Deploying Marketing Strategies for Success.
Developing the marketing strategies for any marketing plan includes the tactics used to achieve objectives, scheduling of the various deliverable, budgeting, A/B concept testing, tactic launch, monitoring key performance indicators (KPI) and evaluating success.
The 4ps of marketing are still relevant today, despite the changes in the marketing landscape. By considering each of the 4ps, marketers can develop effective marketing strategies to help achieve their company’s and/or client’s strategic goals.