When starting a business there is a lot to do and many things to consider. Amongst the paperwork, permissions, costs, decision making and legalities it can be easy to neglect some basics. The following is a crash-course in the marketing mix, covering the basic principal of the ‘7 P’s’.
Depending on the nature of your business some areas of the ‘7 P’s’ will require more attention than others, but they should all be considered when establishing a business of any type or size. The 7 P’s should help to form a framework, that remains at the forefront of the business marketing strategy.
The 7 P’s can help any business to identify their clients’ needs, consider the best ways to sell, the messages to promote and what tools to use. Read on to learn about each of the 7 P’s and why they could be important to your business.
When launching any business it is important to consider the ‘product’. What is it that you are selling? It could be physical items, goods, a service, or an experience. A product is not always tangible, for example, clean rooms are the product of a cleaning company, a tour the product of a travel company. Successful businesses find out what potential customers want and then develop the right product, with the expected level of quality to meet their expectations. With your product you should be thinking about; appearance, branding, features, quality and service control. Having a clear understanding of your business’s products from the outset will be useful when communicating the benefits in marketing campaigns. The perfect product provides value for the customer and satisfies their needs.
Price is the bottom-line with any business. What customers and clients are willing to pay is going to determine your profits. Advertising doesn’t have to include your prices but ultimately they play a big part in marketing. When establishing your business you will cover accounting, costs and price work, but time should also be spared to think about how pricing can be used in marketing. Price tactics such as; offers, package-deals and discounts can be great incentives for customers, and your prices will also be an indicator of the quality of goods. It should become a habit to continually examine the prices of what you sell to make sure they are aligned with the realities of your market and competitors.
‘Place’ refers to the place or location where your business makes a sale. With an online business you could sell in multiple locations like; a website, Facebook Marketplace and Amazon. For a salon, restaurant or bar your money will be received in the one physical location of the business. Your ‘place’ is where customers will access your products and should be as they expect. In terms of marketing you should be considering; is your business easy to find? Is it visible to your target customers? Does it look correct in that location? Does it appear accessible and convenient? Is it on-brand? It should be easy to find your business and you can use marketing to help. ‘Place’ also refers to the distribution chain and logistics of delivering the product to the end customer.
‘Promotion’ is about publicising your business and making it visible to customers. Promotion is also how you tell your customers about your products or services. All businesses can experiment with different methods of promotion including; advertising, events, PR and sales. You should consider what you want to communicate from the outset. ‘Promotion’ work includes developing key messages about your business and what makes it different from the competition. ‘Promotion’ is also about identifying which channels, platforms or media are most suitable for your business, and how often you are going to communicate. Promotion must gain positive attention for your business, make a good impression and communicate your business’s benefits. There is a world of promotional tools to explore including brochures, printed items, promotional gifts, social media, digital media and websites.
All of the ‘people’ involved with your business can make an impression to customers, so marketing and image should be taken into account when hiring. Your staff should be well-trained, motivated and positive because this will contribute towards customer satisfaction. If your products are great, but are delivered by negative staff, it could lead to a bad impression of your business. It is important to find the right people to work for your business, and also to treat them well. Ultimately your ‘people’ will be delivering your goods or services and so your business’s reputation rests with them. In further terms of marketing your ‘people’ should be knowledgeable of the business, understanding of the customers and should look on-brand in their appearance.
‘Process’ refers to the overall customer experience of buying from your business and the procedures, mechanisms and flow of activities that deliver the product. The process starts when customers find your business and ends after they have made a purchase. Things to consider in terms of marketing ‘process’ include; a good experience of your business online, waiting or delivery times, information provided to customers and helpfulness of your staff. All businesses should be developing an understanding of their ‘process’ and creating maps of their customers’ journeys to purchasing. This includes identifying problems or points where you could lose potential customers and how to prevent it. Your ‘process’ should be designed for the customer’s benefit, not the business’s convenience.
7. Physical evidence
‘Physical evidence’ is about helping potential customers see what they are buying and giving them evidence that your business can deliver what they want. Customer feedback and reviews can help to form strong ‘physical evidence’ of your business as can word-of-mouth from previous customers, imagery and proof of your partners or clients. Physical evidence can also be found in the appearance of the business and the quality of assets such as location, interiors, websites, branding, packaging and uniforms. All businesses should try to ensure that their ‘physical evidence’ is on brand, coherent, cohesive and memorable. Add authenticity to your business with external and independent reviewing platforms and written or recorded testimonials.
Covering all of the 7 P’s is key to creating a successful business. Thinking about your approach to each of them will help you develop a strong brand image, robust marketing plan and positive customer experience. Was this article helpful for your business? Let us know in the comments below.