Did you hear about the principles of marketing? Is it necessary? Have you ever wondered about the different avenues you should consider to create the perfect marketing plan? Today I am going to talk about exactly that – 7 basic factors that shape every marketing strategy and make up the principles of marketing!
If you have ever attended a marketing class or watched any tutorial on basic marketing- you know about the 4p’s of marketing- product, price, place, and promotion. These essentially form the basic blocks of any marketing plan. Integrating and optimization around these four principles of marketing lead to the perfect marketing strategy.
But the principles of marketing have expanded from the traditional set of 4ps and now we have 7ps- product, price, place, promotion, packaging, positioning, and people.
These 7 criteria form the basis of evaluation for any marketing plan and should be constantly monitored to evaluate any strategy.
Don’t know what these Ps stand for? I will explain them right away!
This is essentially the physical good or service you are offering to your customers. You should constantly examine your product and see if it fits the current taste of your target market.
Ask yourself these basic questions….
What core need is my product addressing?
Is my product fulfilling all the needs of my target market?
Is my product keeping pace with current technology?
Is this the right time to introduce my product?
Most people tend to think of a product as one holistic item. But actually a product has three levels…
- Core Product- this is the most basic need that you are addressing through your product
- Actual Product- the way in which you are offering to fulfill the need that you are addressing
- Augmented Product- additional features which your product has
An example will make this easier.
Think of smartphones. The core product that they offer is communication, the actual product is the device through which a customer can fulfill their need for communication and lastly the augmented product is ancillary features like camera, internet connectivity, etc which add additional benefits of using the product.
It is important to think of your product along with these three levels and constantly updating it to meet the ever-changing needs and wants of customers.
So the product is perhaps the most major part of principles of marketing
This is essentially the price you are selling your product for.
There are two ways of pricing a product. Cost price plus some profit or pricing according to the value the product provides the customers. Value pricing is most commonly used for luxury goods.
When pricing your product, two things have to be considered
- What kind of people do I want to buy my product? Pricing is a great way to attract the Socio-economic class you are targeting. For instance, if you want to run a five-star hotel, the restaurant can not serve water at 20 Taka per bottle. The water has to be priced much higher to create that differentiation.
- Secondly, you should also consider the pricing in terms of volume of sales. Higher prices usually mean lower sales but that does not necessarily mean less profit. In fact, if you are selling a product with an inelastic demand you can raise prices without facing a significant drop in sales volume. The opposite is true for a product with elastic demand-so be sure to understand the demand-supply mechanics of your product before deciding on the price!
Where can customers find my products?
Some businesses go for direct sales. Some opt for online sales through a website, someplace their products with a retailer who then make the final sale to the customer.
Which one is best for you?
Well, where are your customers?!
The sales channel should be aligned with the customer’s buying behavior.
If you are a fancy start-up clothing company targeting millennials, you can pretty much be certain to generate sales through a website.
But if you are selling car insurance, direct sales is more applicable.
So knowing the type of product and place where your customer is most likely to make a purchase should enable you to decide on the sales channels you want to use to sell your products.
The price of your product should be your major concern as it is one of the most important part of the principles of marketing
This includes all the ways you are telling your customers about your products.
This can be through advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, online communications, and personal selling.
Again here you should judge which type of communication your target market is most likely to respond to?
A luxury handbag brand may not have much success with sales promotion because the price is not a factor in this situation.
Similarly, a tobacco company will generate more responses by maintaining public relations.
So a thorough assessment of your product and the target market is needed to decide on the communication type.
However, nothing should be set in stone. What works today may not work tomorrow. So this should be a constant process of evaluation and reevaluation.
How can packaging affect my marketing message?
Well, why does a children’s toothpaste manufacturer use a bright orange tube with a friendly giraffe on it to clothe its product? Why not just put the toothpaste in a plain white tube?
Because the knows that the child will be attracted by the bright color and a smiling animal and that is exactly what will cause the child to pick up that toothpaste instead of the others in the row.
This is why packaging is important.
It gives us a chance to attract our target market to our product and away from competitors.
We must critically assess every visual element our customers will encounter about our product.
If we are selling a service, we should also assess the waiting rooms, the ambiance, the cleanliness and the appearance of our staff.
All of these visual cues send silent messages to the customer and if they are pleased they will avail the service, if not you will see them walk out the door and never return!
Just think- would you get a facial in a parlor with a pungent smell?
So yeah packaging is extremely important. It is the first thing customers see and oftentimes it becomes the deciding factor for purchase regardless of the actual merit of the product.
What are the one-word customers think when they think of your brand?
That is your position. That is a part of the principles of marketing
You should be fully conscious of the position you hold and assess whether that is what you want to be thought of as.
How you position yourself also determines how you compete.
For instance, if customers perceive you to be the best cost provider, you are competing by providing optimum quality for the price.
If you are thought to be a provider of excellent quality, that becomes your competitive advantage.
Your positioning is one of the critical determinants of your success. If customers attribute you with a negative quality that pretty much means the end of your business.
So be sure to keep a watch out on what the market thinks of you!
Now you have all these different things to take care of sales, marketing.
But if you do not have the right people to it, you will not see any results.
This last P focuses on human resources- or having the right people doing the right job at the right time.
You can make plans all you want but if you do not have the right people to execute those plans, you will not get results. Simple.
So make sure you are hiring the right people for the right things.
So that is it!
The 7 principles of marketing!
If you constantly monitor these seven principles and adjust your marketing plan accordingly, you can be sure to hit a big sales target.