If there is one thing that every business owner must understand it is marketing. The right marketing strategy can bring you success just as the wrong one can lead to failure. The first step in devising a good marketing plan is to understand exactly what marketing is. You might think it is about selling products, but that is not entirely true. While the end result is probably selling products or services, marketing itself has to do more with figuring out what your customers need and finding a way to get it to them. It requires you to carefully evaluate your business to see how you can best provide your product or service to the customer.
In order to have a great marketing plan you have to understand and implement the 6 P’s of marketing. The six P’s are product, place, price, promotion, process and people. Those six words are the basis of your marketing plan and to some extent your business as a whole. Here we will explain these six things and how they affect your marketing strategy and business.
Defining The 6 P’s
1. Products - Simply put, a product is anything, good or service, that is needed in the market. All products can be broken down in to three components. The core product is defined as the end benefit for the customer. For example, a person who buys a pair of shoes is buying comfort and foot protection. The next component is the formal products which refers to the actual item and includes it’s physical and psychological aspects. That same person who buys a pair of shoes is buying a brand name because they view it as best. The last component is the augmented product which refers to the entire service or good including any additional support items like a warranty, service, or delivery. As a business owner you must take into consideration all aspects of a product because they each play an important role in whether or not customers choose your product over other products.
2. Place – Place is all about how your customers can get a product. It is incredibly important that business owners think about where their customers are, and how they will get their product to those customers. Positioning your business in the right place so that it is convenient for both your customers and from your manufacture’s standpoint is a great idea. The place also takes into consideration how the product will get to customers, meaning whether you will sell it directly or through a retailer or online.
3. Pricing Strategy - The price at which you sell your product depends on a number of factors. You must set a price that allows you to make a profit while also meeting your competitors’ prices or beating them. It also has to be the right amount to allow you to maintain and increase your customer base. To figure this out, you have to know how much it costs to get your product to a consumer including all costs, not just that of your raw materials. You will also have to do research to find out what your competition charges and what price consumers will pay.
4. Promotion - Promotion is the nuts and bolts of getting your message out to the public. This is mainly done through advertising in the form of radio, newspapers, television, and on line promotions. Getting the right message out to your core customers is a big task. You must try to find a balance between what your competitors are saying and what you need to say to give your product a positive image. There are many rules governing truth in advertising here in Australia, so be certain you comply with all regulations before you launch any promotion campaign.
5. People - You might think that this P refers to customers, but it does not. The most important people in your business are the people who work with and for you. Hiring the right people is one of the most important things you will do for your business. They are the face of your product to the world as well as the hands behind the scene that make sure everything gets done correctly and on time. As a business owner you must work hard to develop your employees and to manage them with dignity so they want to work for you. You also have to figure out what you need done in your business so you can hire the right people to fill each position and task.
6. Process - Process takes into account all of the previous P’s to ensure that each customer has a good experience when they do business with you. Your process includes everything that you did to get your product to the consumer including all of the planning and paperwork and marketing that it took to do it. As you look at your process you have to ensure that you have planned for every possible scenario so that you can guarantee success. You also have to have efficient procedures in place that make your business run as effectively as possible. Also make sure you accurately document each step so you can control the quality of your product and services all the way down the line. You must also be able to review your procedures so that you can improve as necessary all the time.
This is just brief overview of the 6 P’s of marketing. Once you have decided to open a business you will need to spend a great deal of time understanding them as they relate to your particular product. Each one plays an important role in the level of success your business can have.
Timothy Ng is an experienced personal finance writer, specializing in credit card comparison. Check out his guide to best credit cards where he will step you through the process of finding the best credit card.