In a previous article, (Four Little Words that Smacks a Marketing Punch), I spoke about the importance of the 4Ps. Just to refresh you, the 4Ps are:
- Placement (or Distribution – they needed a P)
I would like to add in two of my own P’s which I’ve learned through my experience as a marketer. They are:
I believe that these six Ps follow a staggered approach. It goes from Position right down to People.
This article introduces you to my 6Ps (other marketers have their own versions) and how they can have a profound effect on your business. If you work on them individually in a sequence, you will see the results for yourself. Most businesses work primarily on promotion and price and depending on the type of business, placement. The others, if truth be told, are not necessarily considered.
I like to think that this is at the core of the marketing mix. Entrepreneurs are market-driven, they see a gap in the market and they seek to fill it. At this stage, it’s important to have the ‘T’s crossed and the ‘I’s dotted. By this I mean, you should know where it is you’re going, who you are marketing to, who your competitors are, what makes you different and what market entry strategy will/do you employ.
Simply put, you need to set marketing objectives and goals and create a marketing action plan. It need not be a 55 page report, it can be simply a two page document that you revise on a weekly or monthly basis. It’s a living document so is open to change when market opportunities present themselves.
Once you’ve decided where you’re going, you need to focus on your product or service offering. From the Position P above, you should know what your Unique Selling Point is. What makes you different?
Pricing concerns itself with setting a price for your product or service. It’s really that simple.
Placement or distribution refers to how your product or service reaches your customer.
This ‘P’ is the ‘P’ that is used by most businesses. It refers to how you promote your business, product or service to customers and prospects. The mediums to consider are far ranging and really are only limited by your own imagination. Some known methods are PR, advertising, personal selling, telephone selling, website and referral marketing.
People do business with people, not businesses. It’s often a forgotten P in literature but the customer is your business. The renowned Brian Tracey will always say that the purpose of being in business is to get and keep customers. Out of them come your profit, your growth, your margins.
The cornerstone to understanding people and your customers is customer data. This helps you to understand the lifetime value of a customer, their loyalty levels, their buying patterns, their expectation levels and much more.
Within this ‘P’ is how to communicate best with your customers. Some businesses take for granted their customers. Not you I understand but when was the last time (other than Christmas) you made contact with a customer or a past customer just to say hello or ask how their business is going (depending on the service).
Most businesses spent 80% of their time chasing new business and 20% on existing customers. It costs a lot less to sell to an existing customer (or existing customers’ contact) than a new customer.
What is your customer relationship strategy (CRM) and have all your staff been trained on giving great customer service?
The 4Ps are fantastic way to look at how your business approaches marketing. These additional 2Ps help you focus a bit more on what’s important – going on the right track and your customers.