The 4Ps of the marketing mix.
It is known that the 4Ps of the marketing mix are: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, i.e., Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Let's look at what the study of each of these aspects consists of.
1P - Product Study.
The main objective is to characterize the product by describing all its features and characteristics.
It is important to make sure that the proposal meets consumer expectations on as many parameters as possible. Meeting or exceeding expectations is a minimum requirement for long-term brand success.
In order to assess the fit between a product and/or service offering and customer expectations, it is interesting to ask, for example, the following questions:
How will the product help the customer achieve their goals?
Are the goals ambitious?
How does the product work?
How is the product different from competing offerings?
What services are associated with the product?
To confirm the appeal of the product to target consumers, it may be worth conducting a Proof Of Concept or POC (Proof Of Concept) test, or a special study to gauge the reaction of potential consumers before going to market.
2P - Price Study.
It is necessary to determine the price and establish a pricing policy that will depend on:
- Characteristics of the target segment (number of competitors, growth, saturation, etc.);
- Volume of production and sales per customer;
- Desired positioning (entry level, top tier, desired market share, etc.)
The price of the product should reflect the attributes of the target market as accurately as possible, be launched at the right level and always show a minimum profit. It largely depends on factors such as market share and competition.
Ask yourself the questions:
What income category are your target customers in exactly?
What price are we talking about (customer price, distributor price, psychological price, etc.)?
Are consumers affluent or not?
Is price a purchase trigger (deliberate purchase or impulse purchase?)
To answer these questions, use the Internet to determine prices of similar and/or comparable products.
Several strategies can be imagined:
Penetration strategy: in a competitive market, some companies choose a low price to launch a product and gain market share by targeting price-sensitive consumers.
Alignment strategy: aligning prices with those of competitors helps maintain the right level of margin. For this strategy to be profitable, the brand must be a well-known player or have a significant communication time and/or budget.
Skimming strategy: a high price (associated with a quality product) allows you to spread the market image and target wealthy consumers. Subsequently, the price can be lowered, especially if it is considered outdated (e.g., high-tech items: drones, computers, smartphones).
3P - Place Research.
It is very important to determine the locations where the product will be sold. Distribution can be direct (distribution contracts, website, retail, mail order, etc.) or through an external or integrated distribution network (chain stores, resellers, etc.), which reduces intermediate costs.
These decisions are strategic because they have a direct impact on the company's entire value chain. Some tools such as SWOT, value chain analysis... provide interesting support for reflection.
The question to make a quality decision in this aspect:
What online channels does your target market use most often?
Where are they doing business with similar brands?
Is the market changing?
What additional value does the conventional distribution system provide? What evolution is possible at what cost and expense?
The answers to these questions are worth seeking through elements of market research, sharing, observation and Internet research. These will all give you many answers. Existing businesses can also collect customer data from their website and check it against that data.
4Р - Researching Promotions
Promotion is the development of a message that should be perceived by customers. It is important to be able to communicate what the brand and product do and present it as effectively as possible.
It is also necessary to determine the tone to be used, the appropriate means of communication and the frequency of their use (media, web, social media, posters, word of mouth, hype, etc.).
Promotion is closely related to the above and must necessarily take into account product features, price and method of distribution.
Questions to ponder:
What methods of promotion are commonly used?
How do you make sure your target customers hear from you?
How do people expect to be approached through the channels you've identified?
How can you talk to them in a way that suits them?
You need to start looking for the answer by segmenting the market and studying each segment to determine what motivates customers in the segment to not only buy, but in their daily lives.
Determining lifestyle metrics and the broader perception of each segment is key to unlocking the message that will get results.
3P Marketing Mix.
The digital revolution we are experiencing has led to significant changes in the marketplace, which has led to an expansion of the marketing mix to include three new aspects that address the needs of the third sector. The 4Ps of the previous version of the marketing mix were considered too limited for the activity of selling services, so another 3Ps (People, Process, Physical evidence)additional aspects were added: People, Process, Physical evidence. So let's continue...
5P - People Studies
Consumers and corporate customers perceive a company not only through its commercial offerings, but also through the quality of its employees. Are the company's employees lawless? Are they attentive enough to customer expectations? How do salespeople and employees behave?
These questions are becoming more and more important, and companies are becoming more attentive to the behavior of their employees. Getting the right employees is important because they shape a company's brand image and product portfolio.
The questions to look more deeply into this aspect are:
Which employees are best suited to fit your consumer's values and realize their vision?
What image do consumers want from our company?
To answer these questions, consider how target customers identify with similar brands. Conducting a personal perception survey can help identify the characteristics of people who can create a good brand image.
6P - Process Research.
This element covers the entire sales process from first contact to after-sales service. This aspect requires thinking through each step of the customer's journey to ensure that they receive the care they need at each stage of the process.
Service delivery is an important point of contact between consumers and the company. The level of satisfaction has a direct impact on the customer response or feedback loop. It is the implementation of a continuous improvement process that drives innovation in every process.
Question to expand understanding:
What are the stages of the buying process? How are they monitored?
How can we improve the quality of service at each stage of the buying process, from information to product delivery?
The solution would be to make the buying process as quick and enjoyable as possible, and thus meet consumer demands while ensuring that the process is cost-effective.
7P - Examination of Physical Evidence
Consumption is becoming increasingly digital, which creates distance and therefore fear between the consumer and the company (some consumers may not want to buy something they can't pre-test). Moreover, the mere fact that a company exists is no longer enough; consumers are looking for a certain authenticity in the buying process.
To recreate this connection and offer the consumer a counterforce, the company must implement systems of reassurance (post-purchase reviews, rating opportunities, guaranteed returns, responsive after-sales service, etc.).
Generally, the best way to do this is to use physical evidence.
The main question to ask yourself is:
What type of content do my target consumers respond best to?
Find out what motivates consumers to build long-term relationships with brands (brand loyalty analysis and brand trust evidence).