There are four basic components of marketing: product, place, price and promotion. Known as the Four Ps model or the Four Ps of marketing, this concept can be implemented when launching a new business or product, fine-tuning an existing offer or optimizing your target market. The main goal of any marketing effort is to put the right product in the right place at the right time and at the right place. When all these elements converge, you have marketing gold. While it sounds like a simple process, some serious work is involved to achieve this goal.
Finding the Right ‘Recipe’
Once you bring the four elements of marketing together, you’re good to go. If you get one of those elements wrong, however, you have the recipe for disaster. You may have the best product on the market in terms of price, but you’re not going to have any success if you are making your pitch to the wrong audience. If, for example, you are trying to point out the benefits of owning an economy car to BMW owners, you are not likely to attract much interest from consumers that don’t likely put affordability at the top of their list. The Four Ps model is a good starting point, but you need to make some adjustments to find a “recipe” that works.
It may seem obvious that you would know what product or service you are offering, but it goes a little deeper than that. You need to have a good understanding of what need your product or service meets for your intended market. Answer the following questions:
• What customer need does your product or service satisfy?
• What features make your product or service most attractive?
• Will adding more costly options make your product or service more or less appealing?
• Where and how will a customer use your product or service?
• How is your service or product branded?
• What makes your product or service different from what your competitors are offering?
Place involves determining where you are likely to find your customers. This includes a combination of geographic location for businesses looking to bring customers in to a physical location and where potential customers are likely to gather online. In order to narrow down where your customers are, you need to define your target audience. Ask yourself these questions:
• Who is most likely to use your product or service?
• How important is geographic location when it comes to your product or service?
• Are there markets that you have not considered?
Price involves determining what consumers are willing to pay for your product or service. This doesn’t always mean offering the lowest price. If, for instance, you are selling luxury cars, a lower than expected price may raise a red flag. If you are a small business, you probably can’t offer the same discounts Wal-Mart offers. You can, however, emphasize customer service that adds to the value of your products or services. Price isn’t just about dollar amounts. It’s about the overall value you offer customers.
Promotion involves finding something that peaks the interest of your intended target audience. Promotion isn’t just about offering discount to entice consumers to give your product or service a try. It also involves extending your brand. Promotion can include offering a free e-book, sponsoring a charity event in your community or offering an attractive incentive to give you an edge over your competitors. Promotions don’t have to be temporary offers. Providing free estimates, for instance, is probably something you would offer on a permanent basis.
The Four Ps of marketing concept is really meant to be a guideline. It takes a lot of hard work to discover what customers want and identify where they do their shopping. The trick is to find an effective way to bring consumers together with the people making the products they want to purchase and the services they want to use.
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