When you start putting together your marketing plan, it is important to keep in mind the seven Ps. Each of these elements are universal. They apply to every business in every industry. Each of them are closely connected, meaning a change in one can impact all the rest. Here, we will look at these elements that make up a successful marketing plan.
What are you selling? Is it a product or a service? This isn’t just a definition of what your product is, but what your product does for the customer. How does your product or service fulfill a need? When defining your product, do so in terms of the benefits that it offers.
The next important element is your pricing. What do you charge? How did you come up with that price? Is it competitive? How flexible is it? In addition to the price of the product, consider the payment types you accept. Credit cards? Checks? What about shipping and handling charges? Remember that your prices are determined by your competitors, so make sure you are setting your prices to be comparable to them.
There are several people involved in the sales process, from your customers to your sales and support staff. First, look at who your customers are and create a profile, including their age, gender, employment, education level, et cetera. Then, create a picture of who your ideal customer is. Having this information at hand will give you a better idea of how you can reach them and turn them into a customer.
Then, look at your team. Do they match well with your customer profile so that they can build a rapport? Do your support team members have the right skills and attitude to handle your customers? Take time to make sure you know what your customer looks like and that your team is a right match for that customer.
Now that you have a clear picture of your product, price, and people, you can determine the best way to promote your products and services. Is traditional marketing right for your business? Look at it carefully from a cost-benefit perspective. It may be expensive, but it can also be more effective. Look at your ideal customer and decide which marketing medium is most likely to reach them, whether it’s print, radio, television, or social media. If your customer base is older, some of the more traditional methods might work better for targeting them. Younger customers might respond more to online and social media advertising. Whatever you choose, make sure it is the right fit so that you are not spending money where it makes little impact.
One of the key elements to selling your products is their perceived value. The packaging you choose plays an important role in how customers view your product and the value that they place on it. Packaging encompasses things like color, shape and style and even the container in which it is delivered.
Along with the packaging of your product itself is the appearance of your marketing materials. Do they reflect the style of your brand? Remember who your target customer is and create your marketing materials so that they will be appealing to those you are trying to reach.
Finally, your own personal packaging plays an important role as well. Would your customers easily connect your appearance and demeanor to the elements of your brand? What impression are you giving with the image you present?
Positioning refers to how your business and your products line up with the competition. You need to figure out what you can do to become the most appealing to your ideal customer. Are they looking for the lowest price? The highest quality? Fastest delivery? When you know where you stand, then you can shape your marketing to reflect your positioning to your customers, setting you ahead of any competitors.
We’ve all heard a relator’s three most important words: location, location, location. This is also an important word for entrepreneurs. You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you aren’t putting it in the right place, then you might as well be selling nothing at all. You want to be where your target customer can find you easily, in the area they spend a lot of time and money. You want to create a space that appeals to them and encourages them to visit your location again and again. The place you choose to set up shop needs to be a reflection of your brand, your values, and your customers.
As you start building your marketing plan, whether for the first time or if you want to revamp it and make improvements, start with the seven Ps of marketing so that you are hitting all of the right elements for a successful business.