Marketing can be defined in several ways. However, the overall meaning suggests that marketing activities focus on identifying the specific wants and needs of the customer you are targeting with the goal of being to satisfy those wants and needs better than your competition.
There are five basic areas to marketing. These are called “the five ‘Ps’ of marketing” and, taken together, they are known as the “marketing mix”. Careful consideration of the marketing mix can prompt you to ask the questions necessary to market your product effectively.
- Product – The product refers to the tangible product or service that you wish to sell. Is this a product of quality or of convenience? What does the product look like? Does it have a warranty? How is it packaged? How is it branded?
Branding is a very important part of the product because it can help the customer initially decide if yours is the brand they wish to use. In addition, an attractive, well-deployed brand mark can take advantage of brand loyalty to further market your product. For example, some people only wear one brand of running shoes. They know that that brand gives them what they need and they are proud to have others see the brand mark on the side of their shoes as they jog through the park. Presto, free advertising!
- Price – Pricing is an important marketing tool. Make sure your price reflects the quality and satisfaction that you wish your customer to receive. Does it make sense for you to provide discounts or financing? Strategic pricing is important. What perception are you trying to give? Why can some fashion designers sell purses for $1,000 or $100 each? People are willing to pay for the status that goes along with the label. These fashion designers know they provide everything wanted in the product area in order to command a high price.
- Place – How and where will you distribute your product? Will it be available to the general public or just a select few? Does it need to be marketed in a high traffic area or will people come find you? How much of the market do you want to cover? These are all very important questions to ask when marketing your product.
- Promotion – Promotion of your product includes advertising. How large is your advertising budget? What type of media do you want to use: television, newspaper, or personal selling? Where would your money best be spent in order to produce the most impact and generate the most sales?
- People – People are the final ingredient of the marketing mix and the most important element of the 5 P’s. At the heart of any service experience, the people you have dealing with your customers determines the perception of your level of service. People are generally social creatures and if your staff displays the interpersonal skills to connect with consumers, it creates a personal and positive service experience.
Most customers will stay loyal to the marketing mix if they continue to have their individual needs met appropriately. People always remember situations where a negative personal service has tainted their shopping, their vacation, their business deal, or even their restaurant meal. The marketing mix will be ruined if your sales staff doesn’t have the training to provide the experience that the consumer expects – a competitive advantage of customer service.
A thorough look at the marketing mix can start you on your way to launching your product marketing campaign. If executed properly, the right marketing mix can lead your sales streams to greater success.