3 Get marketing involved in all the 4Ps
The 4Ps came into being in the 60s by marketing expert E. Jerome McCarthy, (Product, Place, Price and Promotion –also called the marketing mix). Many people know about the 4Ps, but very few organisations let marketing anywhere near them.
It’s a mistake! Insights into what your customers like about you and your competitors, the way they use products, services and why, are so invaluable. They can all inform product and service development, or expansion or contraction. Give customers what they want or need, and they choose you over your competitors.
Likewise, with pricing, apply marketing principles to find the optimum price for your product or service. Rather than the ‘cost plus’ option of adding a bit of profit to your cost and comparison to your competitors. Think about Apple, the obvious brand, they command a premium and price accordingly. If they priced to match their competitors or the cost-plus method, they wouldn’t be making the profits they are today AND the desire for the product would diminish as it is regarded as more run-of-the-mill.
Place is where you sell – and marketing has a part to play here too. Being the customer champion and having insights on customer problems and how they buy can significantly influence routes to market. At a pretty simplistic level, if you are a high-quality brand, are you going to choose mass-distribution, or exclusive outlets? Does one damage the brand, does the other better drive revenue streams?
Bring all 4Ps together to give consistency and reinforce your proposition with customers.
4: Clear objectives please, that marketing can own.
As you’re reading this you’re ahead of most in having more than just a tick-box exercise with your marketing.
It’s surprising how many businesses embark on marketing without any objectives. It can seem a trial, or be rushed to ‘just get it done’, but this is like a journey without knowing where you’re going. How can you decide whether to go by train, car, plane, taxi, bike or walk if you don’t know if you’re going to London, Leamington Spa or Lithuania? Also, how do you know what to wear?!
Key to objectives is making them SMART (specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic, timed). It may seem slightly contradictory, but make them ambitious in that they stretch you (which also excites and drives the team) and yet aren’t beyond your reach.
They also need to be within the control of the marketing team – it’s no point making an objective about driving sales if the customer service team are the key converters and aren’t up to scratch. That needs fixing first.
5: Communication is just one small part of marketing.
Communications are what everyone sees – the output of marketing as it were. The tv ads, the website, the emails. Think of these as the end point as marketing that works has had a lot of effort behind it to get to this point.
Done well this includes customer research (and analysis of it), segmentation and targeting, proposition work, pricing decisions, key message development, customer journey analysis, branding.. and that’s all before channels and communication.
Within communications are a whole host of specialist areas too – PR, SEO, events, social media, sponsorship, direct mail, door drop, advertising etc etc.
Find out more about marketing strategy, that important bit of work that comes before tactics in my surprisingly-entitled ‘What is Marketing Strategy’ blog.