The approach that your business takes to bring its product to the market is known as its marketing mix. While there are many ways of defining the marketing mix, one of the most popular is a concept known as the four Ps. By dividing the marketing mix into four easy-to-understand elements, you can adjust elements as necessary to get the best results.
Depending on your business, this element of your marketing mix may be a product or a service. When evaluating your product, first consider the wants and needs that it fulfills for your target market, and if it has the necessary features to meet those needs. Make sure it doesn’t have unnecessary features driving up the cost without providing additional value. Perhaps most important is determining what separates your product from the competition. Look at IMAX, a company that stood out by offering a movie experience that was bigger and better.
Your pricing depends on the value your product provides and your target market. Understanding your exact target market is crucial to set the right price for your product. For example, if your business sells coffee, your target market needs to be more specific than the 67% of Canadians who drink coffee every day. Within that group, there are those who buy one of the least expensive brands of coffee every time, those who are willing to pay a bit more for a better cup of Joe, and the connoisseurs who care little about price.
Where are you going to sell your product? You want to put your product in front of potential customers so they can buy it. This may mean partnering with a retailer, or you could set up your own online store. Look at where the competition sells its products, and see if it is missing any opportunities. While it can be a smart strategy to sell your product in multiple places, make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin.
There are a near infinite number of ways you can promote your product. Purchasing advertisements on TV, radio, or in magazines is a traditional and costly method of promotion. Online marketing, particularly on social media, is gaining popularity, and direct marketing can be an excellent way to reach your customers. If you’re short on money but long on creativity, guerrilla marketing is one way to make an impression without spending much. No matter which methods you choose, your promotion needs to get your audience’s attention. Just like with your product, you want to find a way to differentiate your promotion from all the other promotions that customers see every day. Once you determine your four Ps and put them into action, you can analyze the results to see what’s working. Perhaps customers are consistently choosing less expensive products and you need to lower your price, or maybe customers aren’t aware of your product, so you need to improve your promotion or placement. With the four Ps and the right research, it’s easy to figure out where to make adjustments.