Marketing is one of the most important skills that every entrepreneur and business needs to master if they are going to be successful. In this post, I want to highlight ‘The 10 P’s of Marketing You Need to Know Now’ as these are areas that need to be clear in the mind of the entrepreneur, business owner and management in order to run a successful marketing campaign. I have briefly outlined these below. If you are just starting a business or launching a new product, the 10Ps will help you to articulate what you are offering to your target audience.
As written in an earlier post, a company’s vision is an extremely important part of the marketing puzzle. In his book, ‘The Lean Startup’, Eric Ries writes that “Entrepreneur’s must ask and answer the question: “What is my business set out to achieve?” If you’ve gone through the steps mentioned in the vision post then you should have a clear idea of what you want your company to achieve and why it exists. Again, before starting any marketing campaign, it would be useful to ask if this product or service is in line with the Vision, Mission, Core Values and Goals of the business. Would this product or service help us achieve our long-term goals as well as our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)?
2. Play to your Strengths
No two human beings are alike, neither are any two companies. Through conducting various kinds of assessments, it would be wise to identify what the strengths of your company are and play to them. As the Leader, you can take some self- assessments that show you what your strengths are. e.g. if you are naturally good at public speaking, then using that gift to host seminars, public speaking engagements, conferences etc. would be of high value to the organization as you raise its profile whenever you speak. Another example could be if you have a flair for writing, then writing articles, white papers, reports or even a book on your methodology would be an incredible asset to the marketing of your business.
3. People- (Your Target Market- those who need your product or Service)
This is where many businesses mess up, i.e. not knowing who their target audience are. Being very clear on who wants or needs your product or service is one of the critical questions to answer that can make or break any company’s marketing campaign. The reason why many make the mistake of not making this a focus is because they think “today’s technology gives us access to the world”, but unfortunately, the whole world does not need or want your product or service. It is your duty to find out as specifically as possible those who want your product/service or would want it if they knew the benefits and can afford it. A successful marketing campaign is almost guaranteed when you can find this group and focus entirely on marketing to them.
4. Product – What Product or Service do you offer?
Being able to get to the root of what you are really providing is an essential ingredient towards achieving a successful marketing campaign. For example, if you are in residential real estate, you are not really providing a service selling houses; you are really in the business of helping people find a home, security, shelter and comfort. Knowing this enables you to communicate more effectively to your target audience and being able to highlight the benefits is what convinces people to buy.
What service are you offering and what exactly does your client benefit from your service?
5. Positioning – Developing Your Core Message/Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Developing a core message or USP is what makes you stand out from your competitors. Things like slogans, memorable offers, declaration of facts or a simple “Just Do It” can make your company a household name in an instant. This can help position you as a market leader in your field. With your core message, you’ll be able to market yourself consistently every time you come in touch with your target market, allowing you to build your brand name and again be known as an expert in your field.
6. Packaging – How would your clients or customers receive your service or product?
Packaging can be explored on many levels depending on the product or service. The goal should always be to package your product or service so that is it easy for your target audience to purchase; e.g. If what you sell can be delivered via the internet make sure it is easy for them to understand how to purchase and receive the product or service. If it is a physical product that needs to be picked up in a retail store among several competitors, a lot of work and thought should be put into the graphics and the words used on the packaging.
7. Place – Where would you find your clients?
Once you’ve created the best product or service for the right audience (target market), the next step is to identify where to find these people. Today, there are various places your target audience may be found. The Internet has Forums, Social Media websites, you can use, Facebook or Google AdWords among many others to find your audience. Your goal should be to grow your list and then market to them directly. You can also take the traditional route of advertising – however, it is essential that you make sure you advertise in media that your target audience go to e.g. Newspapers, radio stations and specific TV programs.
Note: Small businesses should be careful to not compete with mass media marketing as many big companies usually have huge marketing budgets that allows them to do what is called Brand awareness marketing. This is when the goal is just to get their name out there. Small businesses should target their audiences in ways where they can get an immediate response.
8. Price – How much would your service cost?
There are various strategies you can use to determine the right pricing model. This would mainly depend on the nature of business you are in, your competition and your target audience. Pricing and positioning go hand in hand. E.g. If you tell someone you went to Harrods to buy a tray, and you told them that it cost £500, because you mentioned the place you bought it, naturally they will assume that it was a high quality item. However, if you said you bought it at WalMart, Asda or Tesco, you will probably get asked questions about the quality of the tray! Harrods have positioned themselves for a certain type of clientele; in the same way, your positioning should reflect the kind of prices you charge.
9. Promotion – how will you communicate with/ persuade them?
Now that you’ve located where your target audience are and you’ve positioned yourself with the right pricing structure, the next phase is to Promote, Promote and Promote some more! The medium you use for this has to be well thought through and the right marketing materials developed, for example, a website, product samples, scripts for sales pitches, banner stands, articles, business cards, brochures, seminars, advertisements, networking groups, direct mail etc. Two things ought to be clear every time you promote: (1) What your USP is and (2) what your irresistible offer is. This is how you begin a successful marketing campaign.
10. Plan of Action – What action are you going to take?
Having a plan of action is essential for the success of any marketing campaign. Project managing the campaign will enable you to make necessary changes along the way. Depending on the nature of your industry, on average, a campaign could last from a month to 90 days. This will give people the chance to respond and it gives you an end period with the flexibility to extend it if the response is great. “The Active Marketing Map” has to be the lifeblood of your business because business is all about innovation and marketing. Remember that “it is not the best products that get sold but the products that are marketed the best possible way”, however, isn’t it a bonus to have the best product and market it in the best way?
So, there you have them! The 10 P’s of Marketing You Need to Know. Which of the P’s do you need to focus on?