What is... Marketing?
Marketing, too often is approached as a vague, non-descriptive term, encompassing the thoughts and ideas of selling a product without any real guide to implementing such activities. Marketing actually gets down into the nitty gritty of the company by supporting and showcasing the soul of the business. (Sounds a little vague and slightly non-descriptive, right?) Well to put this into practical terms… Marketing revolves around 5 items: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and People. These five “P’s” make up the marketing mix. This is the blueprint to creating an efficient and effective marketing plan by creating the right product, selling in the right place and at the right time with an attractive price representative of the product’s value.
Product: What Are We Selling?
The product begins with the customer and the problem that they are experiencing. What solution can your product offer and how does its specific features provide a benefit to the consumer’s problem? What are the advantages your product possesses compared to competitors in the industry?
Price: Value & Cost:
Pricing the product of course begins with operating margins. How much of your product and at what price point do you need to sell in order to break-even on costs and eventually profit? Next, how will the price of your product affect the way in which consumers perceive its relative value? Pricing your product high will not always represent quality and pricing your product low may suggest low quality.
Place: Finding the Right Home:
Determining the right arena for your product to be displayed in goes farther than the monetary return. It develops a brand identity and consumer community. Questions to consider: Are you selling a specialty product or general consumer product? Are you looking to make the product available solely through a business website or brick and mortar store? Determining these questions related to the product and placement will allow you to dig deeper into the type of retail channel best suited to the product.
Write Your Story.
Promotion: What is the Story?
Consistency across all marketing promotions, newsletters, emails, and signage is key to building long-term, loyal connections with consumers. Ensure that all promotional strategies are tied to accomplishing a specific and measurable goal related to the overall financial objectives of the company. Deciding to gain market share, reward existing consumers for loyalty, or promote a new product line will assist in specifying the right message for the appropriate market.
People: Building the Right Team:
A newer addition to the original “4 P’s of marketing” is the capacity to employ the right team for the company. Your employees are a walking, living, and interactive billboard for your product and business. By hiring motivated, bright individuals sharing in your passion, it is easier to keep them committed and engaged. The right people are key to ensuring that the rest of the marketing mix will successfully be implemented.