The 4 P’s of Marketing
You might remember the 4P’s of marketing: product, price, place & promotion which when combined represent the Marketing Mix. This classic model is designed to help businesses achieve an optimum balance between their controllable marketing efforts and desired sales results. But like most models, it has not kept pace with the digital age where services are the norm, the Internet is our primary communication vehicle and the customer rather than the business sits in the center of the mix.
When businesses think about their marketing mix, it is most often in relation to the fourth P, Promotion. This refers to the various tools or controllable methods of promoting a product, service, brand or company. Today it is easy to get lost in the tactics of promotion, especially when there are so many choices. Traditional approaches such as advertising, telemarketing, trade shows and direct mail still get strong response rates but are often cost prohibitive.
Contemporary favorites such as websites, email, newsletters and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are centered on digital information delivery and by their flexible nature, can be more closely aligned with the needs of target audiences. These channels have the benefit of being measurable allowing you to quantify a return on your marketing investment, but also require ongoing management and marketing resources to ensure longer-term results.
Progressive strategies for promotion such as leveraging mobile devices, social networking channels, and other communication tools have now entered the mix. While we can feel the shift and sense the opportunity for “grass roots” brand evangelism within these targeted communities, this is a new frontier. Like all new frontiers, it lures us with the potential for great rewards, but it also presents the worst kind of risk- the unknown.
Limited Marketing Budget
With all of these choices combined with the pressure cooker of economic uncertainty, even the savviest of marketers may find themselves wondering….. What should I do? What can I do? And what should I keep and or cut in order to achieve the best results for my smaller than usual marketing budget?
Marketing tactics without an overall strategy, or even current strategy, is often the problem. Start making your plan by thinking about your business in a very simplistic way including the: who, what, when, where and how of your business. The next step is to, layer in your business goals, target audience, value proposition, sales model and your competitive landscape. Ideally this information should all fit on one to two pieces of paper. If you have more than that, you may be overcomplicating it. From here, you can then ask yourself if your current marketing campaigns and tactics support the strategy, identify gaps and evaluate the best use of your marketing investment.
When evaluating your marketing mix it is important to start with your target audience and understand their preferences as they relates to your product or service. Segmenting prospects so your message is more targeted and relevant to the individual recipient is a great way to lift results.
The best known brands employ a variety of marketing media and tactics, measure everything and stick with the ones that generate the best results. They constantly refine their marketing promotion strategies to ensure they reach their target audience at the right time, right place and with the right message. While it is not an easy task to do well, local and regional businesses can use the same approach and reap comparable rewards.
If you would like expert help with your marketing strategy, contact Esteemed Consulting at www.esteemed.com . We offer affordable marketing consulting and marketing service solutions that can quickly and efficiently help your business achieve more.