According to the latest report on Managing Digital Marketing 2020, produced by Smart Insights, 41% of companies do not have a clearly defined marketing strategy.
However, in such a competitive job market like the current one, this may hinder the chances of success. So, faced with such a situation, we have to start with the basics and lay the foundations of a strategy. To do this, you can apply the technique known as the 4 Ps of marketing.
Do you want to know what the 4 Ps of marketing are, how to apply them and how they have evolved to the 7 Ps over time? Let us explain all.
In 1960, E. Jerome Macarthy, a professor of accounting at Michigan State University, first introduced the marketing mix concept and the 4 Ps of marketing in his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.
In it, he outlined the four basic factors used to comprehensively explain how marketing works: product, price, place, and promotion. These four concepts are encompassed within the so-called marketing mix, which helps efficient strategies be devised for the launch of new products on the market.
According to the 4 Ps marketing theory, the most important factor in any marketing strategy is the product. This consists of the tangible or intangible asset, i.e., the service, idea, etc., with which a company intends to address the needs of its potential customers.
It is fundamental to define what sort of product we want to sell, what features it has and what benefits it offers, as well as how it will meet the customer's needs. Moreover, we should also define what added-value or differentiation it offers compared to competitors.
The second P in the 4 Ps of the marketing mix stands for price, i.e. the amount of money the customer will have to pay to purchase the product or service you are trying to sell.
This is a key question in any marketing process, because setting an inappropriate price can ruin most sales opportunities. That's why it is essential to set a suitable sales price.
To do this, exhaustive market research needs to be conducted, in order to identify the sales price of similar products, find out about the purchasing power of any potential customers, and calculate the net profit you want to make.
The point of sale or distribution is the means by which the product reaches the customer's hands. So, the product or service might be sold through a physical store, an ecommerce or using marketplaces such as Udemy, Hotmart or Doméstika.
For this area, it is also important to consider whether the sales process is Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Customer (B2C). Either way, variables such as storage, processing time, shipping costs, distribution channels, transportation, etc., must all be taken into account, as all these elements will affect both the profit margin and customer satisfaction.
The last variable in the 4 Ps of marketing deals with all the promotion channels used to publicise a product. Traditional methods can be used, such as radio, TV, or billboards, as well as modern methods, such as web or social media ads, or using influencers.
To pick a channel, you need to consider where the target audience is, as this will help you enhance the performance of your campaigns (ROI). In this case, it is essential to first clearly define the characteristics of the ideal client, to then choose the most appropriate promotional channels for the product in question.
With the advent of new technologies, and thanks to various changes that have taken place, such as a new approach to the experience that is increasingly customer-focused rather than product-focused, the 4 Ps of marketing have evolved and new variables have been introduced into the mix: the 7 Ps, the 4 Cs and the 4 Es.
In 1981, Bernard H. Booms and Mery J. Bitner introduced the 7 Ps, which actually were three new "Ps" into the marketing mix concept, with a focus on the world of services. These three additional factors are:
As opposed to the 7 Ps, the 4 Cs model is a total rewrite of the 4 Ps of marketing. In this model, the core of any strategy is the customer instead of the product, bringing the concept in line with current ideals, where the customer needs to be listened to and understood by the brand.
The aim of this new approach is to meet the needs of the target audience by offering a quick and simple shopping experience as well as a much tighter brand relationship.
The latest evolution of the marketing mix, apart from the 7 Ps, is the 4 Es model, which is slowly replacing the 4 Cs strategy. In this approach, the aim is to continue to build customer satisfaction and adapt to the current ecommerce reality.
So as you can see, the 4 Ps of marketing have evolved to the 7 Ps, the 4 Cs and the 4 Es in line with market conditions, which are increasingly focused on the customer instead of the product (customer-centric). However, it is important to understand these concepts because they remain valid when it comes to devising a marketing strategy.
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