The 4 Ps of Marketing
On a theoretical level, marketing is often defined under 4 heads – known in certain circles as 'the 4Ps'. These essential marketing elements usually need to be intermingled within an online framework to deliver a complete, return-driven, focused marketing campaign on an ongoing basis. But even with offline marketing, it's important that the various elements of the marketing mix are given due consideration just to ensure that you've got all the bases covered.
So without further ado, let's get down to the 4Ps on marketing theory and how you can integrate them within your business.
Product – the actual product or service itself has to at least stand up to the rigors of the market, and ideally redefine the space it occupies. An overhaul of this component in your business requires looking at both the physical product and also the offer that often defines it. If the offer and the product are both compelling and interesting, you have the bare bones of a marketing strategy. Once you have this, the additional elements of your overall plan can effectively and easily interact.
Price – the price point of your product or service is the next essential element to the marketing mix. Your pricing policy shouldn't be based on a hunch – how do you know dropping your price by a $1 won't double your sales? Test as many different price points as you possibly can for your products and services and then let the numbers decide how much you should charge. On a similar note, the price has to be just right in proportion to the other elements. It should be high, low or in between, depending on the market to which you're pitching and the message sent out by the other elements of your marketing strategy.
Promotion – perhaps the most traditional of the four, this refers to the kind of marketing we traditionally think of like advertising and public relations. The most important practical step you can implement in this regard is a system for tracking and testing responsiveness to different marketing variables. To truly know your marketing mix, you need to know what promotional methods are doing the business for you and which ones are just drains on your resources. This will allow you to better allocate your resources and more effectively align your marketing strategy. The ability to easily track your marketing results is why ‘new media’ marketing methods, such as email marketing and mobile marketing, continue to be so successful.
Place (i.e. Distribution) – this effectively means ensuring your product is in the right place for your customers to buy. That could literally refer to the shelf in your local store, or figuratively through your website or online presence. A growingly technological age is becoming ever more valuable and conducive to business promotion. It’s important to make sure your online marketing campaigns are taking advantage of all the options in order to deliver value on a month-on-month basis.
While the 4Ps of marketing are a simple theoretical skeleton, they do nevertheless provide a good framework for identifying, isolating and building on the individual components of your marketing strategy. Making sure you have this important foundation in place when starting your business or launching a new product will go a long way towards creating a more effective long-term approach to building and growing your business.