Small businesses, large corporations, franchisees, online sellers and service professionals all use the 7 P's of marketing. The 7 P's offer a blank template that you can customize for virtually any industry. While the list looks simple, each section builds on the last one to create a comprehensive marketing plan.
If you've hit a plateau, use the 7 P's to figure out where you're struggling. Maybe you've refined your product but customer service is too slow. Sometimes, you need to promote yourself differently or target a different audience. Using the 7 P's going forward can help you avoid future ruts.
Your product is the center of your marketing strategy. In a sense, your product should promote itself with attributes that fulfill a need or generate a new one. For example, if you sell hand-poured candles, you'll attract people who already burn candles. However, your fragrances could also inspire people who don't use candles to freshen up their homes, creating a new customer base.
Still, you can't sell a product until people know that it exists. Marketing drives people to the product, fulfills or creates a desire, closes the sale and encourages them to leave glowing reviews. As profits increase, you can fund bigger marketing efforts, building a cycle that turns small businesses into nationwide chains.
Marketing focuses on the product as a whole as well as individual attributes, such as:
- Durable craftsmanship
- Lab-tested formulas
- Natural ingredients
- Ethically sourced materials
- No artificial colors
- Recycled packaging
- Five-star reviews
- Influencer endorsements
- Innovative designs
Once you've perfected your design, you'll find your demographic. Since each generation has different needs, your target audience influences how you approach the 7 P's of marketing.
The price can be the ultimate dealbreaker. In fact, frugal customers look at the price before they learn about the product. If they could, they'd buy your stock for a penny. Unfortunately, you can't maintain a business with those sales, so you have to balance profits with customer demands.
Additionally, suspiciously low prices make visitors wonder what's "wrong" with the product. Are you using cheap materials? Is your website a scam? Online shopping has taught people that low prices often come from a cheap bootleg inventory.
Competitive pricing generates profits while making shoppers feel like they're getting a deal. Research your competitors to set a price, then adjust your rates according to economic changes, customer needs and business decisions. This increases your chances of staying afloat even during an economic downturn.
Promotion refers to your marketing strategy. This is how you'll attract investors, enter business partnerships and tell the world about your product. Nearly everything you do promotes your product in some way, including designing the original brand and logo. In an oversaturated market, you've got milliseconds to grab consumers' attention.
Advertisements make up the bulk of your marketing plan. Other strategies include writing unique selling propositions, speaking at conferences, running social media profiles, monitoring reviews and collaborating with influencers. Throughout your product's lifespan, you'll review and adjust your plan to stay ahead of upcoming trends.
Where do you sell your product? "Places" include your website and physical store as well as temporary installments, such as pop-up shops and convention booths. If you have a distributor, one of your "places" is the customer's point of contact. Places also include social media platforms, such as Instagram, with online shopping features.
Whatever the case, every place requires the same features: friendly staff, secure payments and a streamlined shopping experience. Customers need a consistent experience across every location. If they enjoy great service at your store but can't get ahold of anyone online, you'll lose clients who can't visit in person. It's important to hold every place to the same standards.
Places also serve as another form of promotion. A crisp, accessible site makes the same impression as a clean, organized storefront. When you impress your visitors, you've made the first step to landing a sale.
Your people are the employees who keep your business operating. Some managers view employees as a "cost" because they have to pay them for their time, but employees can triple or quadruple your profits in a way that customers can't. After all, which store would generate more sales: one with no employees but a cashier or one with several friendly employees who assist customers and recommend products?
For this reason, you should value your staff as much as your clients. A healthy working environment makes people look forward to going to work every day, ensuring low turnover and five-star customer service. People who stay with your business will accumulate knowledge that makes them store experts.
Once you've crafted your product and promotion, a smooth, efficient process closes the sale. You need to satisfy customers from their initial visit to the final purchase. A single misstep, such as slow customer service or a website that's not mobile-friendly, could make clients jump to a competitor.
When you review your process, consider the following:
- How long does it take customer service to respond?
- How many clicks does it take to make a purchase?
- Do you have a desktop- and mobile-friendly website?
- Can visitors easily find your contact information?
- Does the FAQ section address common issues?
- Is your website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
- Are your customer service representatives friendly and helpful?
- Have you trimmed unnecessary pages from your website?
For feedback, ask customers to take a quick survey after their purchase. They can tell you what works and what needs improvement.
7. Physical Evidence
Physical evidence is proof that you're running a successful business. This includes packaged goods, clean facilities, business cards, trade show booths and helpful employees. Every purchase should come with proof, such as a paper or email receipt, for your and the customer's records. For marketing, physical evidence refers to ad appearance and placement.
Put the 7 P's Into Practice
E-Marketing Associates, an Internet marketing company, considers the 7 P's of marketing as we build your strategy. We help you polish your site, reach out to customers, compile evidence and craft profiles for your physical location.
Our services include search engine optimization (SEO), review monitoring, web design, lead generation, visitor tracking and social analytics. Start with a free business report that gives you a rundown of your current standing, then schedule a 15-minute discovery call.