Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Essential Marketing Mix 4Ps – GEC Business Review

By Jess Lee

Unfortunately, the most fundamental of Marketing – the Marketing Mix is still commonly overlooked by most local entreprenuers nowadays. Too often, they tend to focus on promotion to the detriment of other Ps. How about price, product, placement (distribution)?

It is often brushed aside in favour of just doing advertising (promotion), which is only one part of the Marketing Mix. As far as marketing is concerned, we should take comprehensive 4Ps approach to define Marketing Mix for improved customer acquisition, customer retention, customer satisfaction, sales growth and ultimately market share.

In the era of hyper-competition environment, Marketing Mix is even more important than ever although it was already developed in 1960.  Refining your customer offering by continually tweaking the 4P’s is a necessary component to achieving and sustaining success.

Here’s a quick primer on the 4P’s and how small and medium-sized businesses (also applicable to large ones) can apply to their marketing strategy:

The 4Ps: 

Ask yourself:  What will I call my product or service? How will I brand it? What’s uniquely differentiated from current competition? Does it provide a good overall experience?

Ask yourself:  What price will I sell? Is the price profitable for me? Is the price profitable for my sales reps, vendors, partners etc.? Is the price competitive enough? Will I offer volume discounts or seasonal discounts?

Ask yourself:  Is my product or service sold in a retail store, mall kiosk, online? Do I need to franchise my product or service?  How about my distribution channel? How will my product reach the customer?

Ask yourself: How do I get the word so that customers will want to buy my product or service? Advertising is part of it, but which type? Do I need Above-the-line advertising (TV, PR, radio)? How about Below-the-line (print, retail media) or New Media (Online, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing)?

In sum, there is a lot of strategic thinking in defining your Marketing Mix in order to be successful. In fact, one should always think outside the box, that all 4Ps need to fit into a cohesive plan. For instance, you wouldn’t sell a financial service that target for large corporations at a petrol kiosk. Isn’t that improper?


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