When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is arguably no skill more important than the ability to sell and market your product or service. Marketing can be simply defined as putting the right product in the right place, at the right time, at the right price. Matter of fact, if you can nail each one of these aspects, your product or service will practically sell itself. However, things aren’t always as simple as they seem.
A lot of hard work, research, and planning must go into your marketing in order to create the perfect marketing mix. One element being off could drain your marketing budget and derail your strategy completely. Today I want to introduce the 4 Ps of marketing. The 4 Ps is a type of marketing mix designed to help you create and identify all of the elements needed to craft the perfect marketing strategy.
What do the 4 P’s stand for?
Price, Product, Promotion, and Price!
The 4 Ps of marketing serves as a great starting point for the planning of a new product or to evaluate and sell an existing product or service.
Let’s break the 4 Ps down and figure out how to make them work for you!
P #1 – Product
Your product is either a tangible good or an intangible service that meets and fulfills a customer’s specific need or demand in the marketplace. It is critically important that you understand the exact problem your product is attempting to solve. All of the key benefits offered by your product and its features should be crystal clear and easily presentable to your target audience in a way that communicates exactly why they need your product or service and can’t live without it.
P #2 – Price
Price, is the amount you wish to exchange your product or service with your target customer. How a product is priced relative to the value the product provides will directly affect how it sells. If a product is priced higher or lower than its perceived value, then it will either not sell or underperform competitors in the same market. For example, selling water to a thirsty crowd in the desert, you could practically charge someone’s firstborn for a bottle or two of water. However, if you were to try and sell bottles of water to someone in a cold grocery store at a price that is too high relative to the water they could buy in house, you will struggle to get the sale! This is why it is very important to understand how a customer perceives what you are selling. Positive customer value means that you can charge a price higher than its objective monetary value.
P #3 – Promotion
How you communicate your product offering and its attached value falls under promotion. You want to be able to communicate your product offerings value and how it is different from your competitors. Solving the promotion portion of the marketing mix helps you identify how you will reach your target market.
This could be:
- Bill Boards
- Direct Mail
- Or PR (Press Release)
You will also want to identify the best times to promote your product offering. When will your target audience be looking for your product or service to feel their needs? Is your product seasonal? Are there any external factors that could affect the availability or usability of your product or service?
These are vital questions that you must answer before beginning your promotion.
P #4 – Place
Lastly, you must determine the placing of your product/service. This is the process that you will use to bring the product or service to your intended market.
Where does your audience usually purchase your product or service? Correct placement focuses on where your product is located, where your target market is actively searching for your product, and how to connect the two.
If they are looking for your product in stores, what type of stores?
If they are looking for your products online, which websites or search engines?
If they are looking for your product in magazines or catalogs, which ones?
Once you have these questions answered, it is up to you to determine how to create the distribution pipeline so that your product reached your audience in the place they are most likely to purchase from you.
If you are selling water, placing your product promotion inside of a pet store may not be the most cost-effective method of reaching them. Unless you sell water specifically for pets of course.
The 4 Ps of marketing is a single tool that had been developed over the years to help you analyze and plan for a new product offering or to review the marketing of a current product. Used correctly, these questions will help you paint a clear picture of how you should develop, test, and promote or product giving you an edge when it comes to market penetration.
In a coming post, I will break down the 4 P’s one by one and give some real-world examples to help demonstrate how you can implement this strategy into your business.
I hope you enjoyed this quick overview. Be prepared for a more in-depth segment by segment breakdown!