If you went to business school, the first thing you learn about marketing is the marketing mix or the 4 P’s of marketing. It’s a pillar of your marketing strategy, whether you purposefully identify those or not. If you didn’t learn it in school or it’s been longer than you care to admit, here’s a refresher.
But before we get start, there’s a very important first step that can get lost. Your target audience. Identifying your audience guides every section of the marketing mix, either directly or indirectly. Give your target audience a persona and think of that persona as a real person you want to buy your product or service. You are likely to have multiple personas that require different types of marketing, so it’s important to not lump them all together. If you sell hamburgers and your main burger is the triple cheese, bacon, pastrami burger, you wouldn’t market that the same way you would your new garden burger.
This is what you sell, either tangible or intangible (service). When everything is available at your fingertips, it’s important to know the unique selling propositions of your product or service. Understand its lifecycle and identify your challenges. Have a clear understanding of exactly what benefits the user and how it is positioned.
Sometimes the price is misunderstood as how much you charge for the product or service, when in reality that is just one component. Price also should be seen as your fixed costs, variable costs, markups and discounts. Once you know the actual cost, you can then price your product or service based on its perceived value. If you tout your service as inexpensive, your price should reflect that. If it is superior quality, then the price should reflect that as well.
How do you communicate your brand. From word of mouth to television spots during the big game, from packaging to billboards. This is promotion. Identify your brand voice and follow through. Remember your multiple personas as well and adjust accordingly, but don’t lose who you are in the process.
No, place is not just a brick and mortar store. It simply is where people can find your product or service. Storefronts are still relevant places that that could be your own store or placement in another’s. Now most products and services are available online, either through the brand’s website or through a third party. Identify where your audience is and how best to reach them.