When contemplating marketing, think about the “P’s” (though not traditional, I have added a fifth) to help you hone and deliver your message. The 5 P’s are Product, Promotion, Price, Place, and the newest member of the “P” club (wait, does that sound right?), People.
The “product” is the goods or services that you are selling. What need or want does it fulfill? Why is it better at fulfilling those needs than competing products?
“Promotion” is the effort you make to let the customer know about the product. It might be advertising or direct sales. It might be in store sales or search engine optimization. When people think of promotional activities, they immediately think that the idea has to be clever. Every promotion does not have to include an office full of monkeys (Career Builder) or cowboys herding cats (EDS). Often times, the most effective promotional activities are straight forward, honest and obvious messages to the client.
“Price” may seem obvious, but understanding how to price a product or service is critical. Remember, price is not only a function of cost, both direct and indirect, but also a function of the customer’s perception. For example, customers perceive high cost products as higher quality or higher status than less expensive products. To some people, these perceptions are critically important. To others, they make no difference at all. Pricing can tell a story.
“Place” is sometimes more difficult to understand. Place can mean the way the product is delivered (distribution and logistics), the location or address of the business or it can mean where the product is physically located in the store. Why do you think products targeted at adults are usually located at eye level and children’s products are usually located nearer the floor? Understanding optimum placement is critical when marketing a product or
The final “P” is “people.” This is often lumped with promotion, but I think it deserves its own category. People refers to customer service and not necessarily direct selling. I know I often choose one business over another simply because the employees are nicer. Many years ago there was a store in the mall that encouraged its sales people to “hound” customers, never allowing a moments rest in the store. Most people that I know stopped going to that establishment because it never felt like you were receiving customer service or creating a relationship with the staff. Never underestimate the importance of a friendly smile and a nice greeting. Remember that an attitude of service will often lead to a sale more quickly than high pressure tactics. There are times for the sales person to ask for the sale, or push for the “no,” but it can be done with a service attitude in mind.
When considering a marketing message, remember to “P (product, promotion, price, place and people).” At some point I will discuss Financial Assets’ Revolving Timetables. It is always a popular topic with my clients and family (think about it….).