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Hello, Summerville! Spring is here and we couldn’t be more excited! We hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather and taking advantage of all the Lowcountry has to offer. We’re happy to have you here on the Creative Consulting blog where you’ll find the most relevant information about marketing your small business in the digital sphere. From building an outstanding webpage to graphic design to managing your social media to optimizing SEO to building a cohesive brand identity—Creative Consulting covers everything you could possibly need to know to take your business to the next level. We are accepting new clients at this time, so reach out to learn more about our services and meet our team!
Our last article continued our exploration of marketing strategies by discussing relationship and paid marketing campaigns. Relationship marketing revolves around building strong and lasting relationships with customers, while paid marketing is a strategy propelled by paid advertisement. Both strategies are effective for boosting sales and retaining customers. If you are interested in learning more about these marketing strategies, we encourage you to check out our last post!
Today, we’ll be diving into the Seven P’s of Marketing! This refers to a formula used after you have determined and developed your marketing strategy. It is used to continually evaluate and reevaluate your business activity. The seven terms included in this formula are product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence. If you want to learn more about the Seven P’s of Marketing and how you can utilize them, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!
First, let’s take a look at how this formula developed. The foundation of this formula was introduced by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960 in his book, Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. McCarthy introduced only Four P’s of marketing: product, price, promotion, and place. These were added to the original “marketing mix” introduced by Neil Borden in 1949, and were designed for businesses and marketers to determine what a business was offering. By the late 1970s, it was acknowledged that the marketing mix needed to be updated, and in 1981, Bernard Booms and Mary Bitner created the “extended marketing mix”. This added onto the Four P’s, creating the Seven P’s we know and use today. Their contribution allowed the marketing mix to include products that are services, rather than tangible items. So, what exactly do the Seven P’s mean?
Your product, or whatever service your business is selling, should always be at the center of your marketing strategy. With your product in mind, ask yourself several questions: Why do my customers need this? What issue does this product solve for my customers? Why should people choose your product over a similar one that is available to them? Every so often when you reevaluate your marketing mix, you should make sure that your product and the way it is being marketed is still relevant in today’s society. Specific elements you should look at when thinking about your product are design, quality, technology, branding, services, and availability.
When thinking about the strategy behind pricing your product, you need to determine what you think customers are willing to pay for your product. You should periodically revisit your pricing to make sure they are still appropriate for the climate of the current market. Sometimes, you will want to adjust your pricing higher or lower. You may also consider whether a subscription service or membership discounts would be beneficial to your business. Specific elements of price include list price, payment period, credit terms, and payment methods. A key to this part of the Seven P’s is to keep an open mind– Be open to the possibility that your pricing structure is not ideal for the current market, and be open to altering strategies for the good of your company and your customers.
Promotion includes all of the ways you tell your customers, and potential customers, about your product. Are you utilizing social media effectively? Do your ads seem to be generating traffic to your website? These are just a couple things to revisit occasionally. Key elements of promotion include public relations, internal and direct marketing, and corporate identity. Small changes in your promotion or advertising strategy can lead to dramatic changes in your results. Sometimes, trial and error is the best way to go about things. Try out different methods of advertising and promotion and see what works best for your company. Some methods include online events, live streaming, and social media groups. As the current market fluctuates, and consumers have different ideals in mind, you may need to adjust your advertising and promotion strategies accordingly.
This part of the Seven P’s is all about where your product or service is sold. Do you sell your product online only, or is there a place for customers to meet face-to-face with a salesperson? It is okay if you have a mixture of both– Most companies use a combination of ways to sell their products. Keep your target audience in mind, though. Where is the best and most convenient place for them to purchase your product? If you sell both online and in person, look at the numbers and determine which of these ways seem to generate the most sales. This could give you a hint as to which method you want to focus more on. Key elements to keep in mind when thinking about place are transportation, locations, logistics, and e-commerce.
Customer service and the people who represent your company are one of the keys to a successful business. Think about the people your customers will come into contact with, whether it is through email or live chat, or in person at a store or event. Do they represent your company well by exhibiting key values of the business? Excellent customer service is a surefire way to develop customer relationships and retention. There is also a good chance that customers will refer your business to friends and family. Speaking of referrals, you want everyone who is representing your business to take pride in it and be genuinely interested in the product, so that they may refer others to check out the product. Anyone working for your business should be deeply knowledgeable about the products or services offered. It is great to have a business plan in mind, but you need people to execute that plan efficiently. Keep in mind training, assessment, business culture, involvement, and support.
What is the process of delivering your product to the customer like? Of course, you want your product or service to be delivered quickly and efficiently, but you also want to keep your company’s core values in mind. For example, if you pride yourself on being an eco-friendly business, does the delivery process of your product reflect that value? Using this example, some things to take into consideration may be packaging– The use of recycled materials, less plastic, or biodegradable materials. This is a largely organizational part of the Seven P’s, and there are many different parts of the delivery process to consider, including personalization. How will customers feel after receiving the product? Maybe you want to consider printing off “thank you” notes to include in each package. If your sales are in person, this could simply come down to making the customer feel important, respected, and welcome.
7. Physical Evidence
This aspect involves everything that shows evidence, or proof, that your business or brand exists. This can include business cards, a physical store, or a website if your business exists entirely online. Some other key elements of physical evidence include design, cleanliness, decoration, and employee appearance. You want to consider all things that your customers see, hear, or even smell (if applicable) when interacting with your business. Think about the colors used for your logo and overall brand. Are the colors pleasing to the eye? Do they invoke any particular emotions? If you have a physical store for customers to shop in, consider where and how products are placed. If your customers shop online, do they receive a confirmation or “thank you” email? All of these things show that your business is legitimate and reliable.
Putting It All Together
You should be able to use the Seven P’s of Marketing as a sort of checklist when creating an effective strategy. These components allow you to plan and lead discussions about your marketing practices, and by incorporating them into your strategy, you will sell products and services more effectively, and increase customer satisfaction. As a business owner, you should periodically review all of these aspects and make changes as necessary to better serve your customers. Remember: It’s okay if something isn’t working anymore. It just means you and your business need to adapt to the ever changing world of marketing! Thankfully, the Seven P’s should allow you to do just that.
As you can see, the Seven P’s of Marketing are a vital part of the growth of any business. They can help improve your approach to marketing, therefore positively impacting your business by boosting sales and increasing customer satisfaction. We hope you found this article informative and helpful! For more marketing and branding expertise, the Creative Consulting blog has you covered. Tune back in for our future articles! You won’t want to miss it! Feel free to give us a call and set up a consultation. We are dedicated to helping you determine which marketing strategies will work best for your business or brand. Until next time, thank you for reading.