07 Dec The 6p’s: go get your marketing hustle on.
In its most basic form, marketing can be described as the action of promoting and selling products or services. Many see marketing as flashy graphics and cool catch phrases but true marketing goes way beyond that. I see marketing as the process of creating a feeling, emotion, or need within a person that leads to the sale of a product or service. To achieve this goal we use the marketing mix or the concept of the 4P’s. The modern concept of the 4P’s was first proposed in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy. At SquareDraft we have taken the 4P’s and expanded them to 6 in order to provide a more comprehensive tool. SquareDraft’s 6P’s are the following:
A tangible or intangible item that satisfies your consumer’s needs or wants. With any product you must consider its branding, design, features, quality, range, assortment, packaging, labeling, pre and post sales service, warranties, returns, and life-cycle. Ask yourself the following questions about your product: What does your customer want or need from the product? Does it have the correct features or are any missing? How will your customers use it? What will be the customer experience? What will be your product’s name? How will it be branded? Is it the correct size, color, etc.? What is its competitive advantage?
The amount a customer must pay to acquire your product. Price takes into account the real value of the item as well as its perceived value. Price will affect the revenue generated by the specific item. With price you should be asking: Are there price points in the market for this good or service? Is the product price-sensitive? Should discounts or rebates be offered? How does the price of your product compare with the competition? Are payment terms required?
Method(s) used to communicate your marketing message. This can include but not be limited to press releases, print advertising, television, online, social media, sales force, and direct marketing. For a successful promotion you should be analyzing: What is the main marketing message? What is the best method to get your message to the target audience? What is the most effective promotional mix? When is the best time to promote your product? Is there any seasonality? How are competitors promoting their products? How often should you promote your product?
Covers the distribution of the product. This is where you decide how your product will get to customers. Based on many of the other factors, you must decide if the product will be readily available via multiple channels or will its availability be limited or even exclusive. This will go hand-in-hand with the next “P” which is Positioning. When deciding how to distribute your product you need to consider: Where do customers look for the product, in stores (discount, department, specialty, etc.), online, catalog, direct sales? Are you able to sell direct or do you require a distribution channel? If using a distribution channel does it have to be exclusive or can it be open? What is the ideal number of channel partners? How will you handle inventory, warehousing, and logistics? Do you need a sales force, what size? Can you learn from what your competitors are doing to differentiate yourself?
Understanding where the product fits within the market segment. It describes how you will present your product to your target. To better understand the concept of positioning, think of the 4P’s as the wheels of a car. The fifth “P”, Positioning, is the steering wheel. The steering wheel gives the direction to the marketing vehicle. Your positioning strategy can be based on factors like: price, value, performance, quality, exclusivity, brand loyalty, features, applications, benefits, and category. In order to be successful the positioning has to be clear. You can’t over or under position a product or give it a confusing positioning.
To give your product a really strong positioning you should ask yourself: Is the brand positioning in line with the product positioning? Is the product positioning in line with the perceived position of the market? Is your product positioning unique enough? Is the positioning being transmitted clearly and effectively? How does your product positioning compare to the competition? Do you have the resources required to position your product correctly? Remember that some positioning methods may require more resources than others. Can we focus and stay true to our positioning? Does this positioning have long-term viability or is it only a one-time proposition? This may dictate the resources you dedicate to that strategy.
The final “P” is People. Without people none of these strategies work. If we go back to the car analogy, the 4P’s are the wheels, Positioning is the steering wheel but without a person (People) driving the vehicle it will not go anywhere. People are what drive the marketing machine. People are involved in transmitting your message, promoting and selling your product, plus supporting it. They are responsible for all the aspects of your marketing mix and strategies. Make sure you have the right people making decisions and that they have all the information required to achieve their goals. For employees this may include full details of the marketing plan including the complete marketing mix. You need to attract the right talent and develop a structure to retain them. For external partners this covers a clear explanation of the corporate strategy and business objectives, sales/marketing trainings, and an incentive system that keeps them motivated.
Now that you have reviewed SquareDraft’s 6P’s of marketing you can use this marketing mix model to help you decide how to launch a new product, test your current marketing efforts, take the necessary steps to improve your marketing strategy, determine if you should reduce or expand your product line, change your distribution strategy, adjust your pricing, or bolster your advertising efforts. The end result should be a more effective and efficient marketing portfolio.