Understanding what you have and how your customers find out about it is called The Marketing Mix. The Marketing Mix helps you put things in boxes that are plain common sense. Usually there are four of these boxes, defined by McCarthy many decades ago, inventively called the 4Ps.
The 4Ps are:
Can either be a good or service that meets the needs of the end users (an end consumer or commercial customer)
- What is special or unique about your product/service?
- What are the characteristics that define the product?
- What does it do for the customer?
- How does it add value?
- Can you change for different outcome it – new package, new colours, new suit
Define the pricing strategy for your product. There are four main categories by which pricing strategies can be developed
- Cost-plus pricing
- Penetration pricing
- Premium pricing
- Loss leader
- Is your price competitive?
- Is your service price sensitive?
- Do you focus on adding value or charging an hourly price?
- Can you change trading terms and conditions to alter value
- Channel and distributors
- Geographic coverage
- Office locations
Define how the world gets to hear about your product. You may have the best product in the world but it will be pointless unless others hear about it, you need to promote it. You need to aim to inform, to make people aware of your brand, to persuade your customers to buy.
- What is your brand
- Do you spend enough time on relationship building?
- How does your business answer the phone?
- Do you know the difference between effective and efficient communications?
How are your products or services distributed and where from? Some of the biggest revolutions in Marketing have come about by changing just the Place. Think of the impact the Internet has had on tens of thousands of businesses for example.
- Direct marketing
- Distribution Channels
- Wholesalers, High Street
- TV shopping channels
In the context of marketing a service-led business, Booms and Bitner (1981) suggested an extended "7-Ps" approach that contains the following additional "Ps":
- All those directly or indirectly involved in the delivery
- How service is delivered
- Flow of activities – Customer Management Processes
- How products are presented
- The environment in which the service is delivered and the measured ability of the business to deliver customer satisfaction