We all have things that make us tick, interests that spark our attention or grant us motivation. We have our values, passions and dislikes. All of this forms who we are as a customer and these are the exact traits that marketers rely on to drive their strategic messaging and tactics.
However, these parts of our personalities also have a dramatic effect on the way we choose to consume products or whether we even pay attention to a certain brand. We have our motives, but beyond that, we have problems that we constantly want answers to. As part of the consumer-driven world, we buy solutions to our biggest questions in life – and that’s exactly what sells products.
How marketers choose to tackle these influences comes down to skill, experience and knowledge. No campaign is shaped out of thin air, just as buildings aren’t constructed without in-depth blueprints. We don’t create results out of nothing and that’s how it should be: based on data, driven by influence and formed on insight.
That’s where the balance of successful advertising comes in. You’ve probably heard the term the ‘4Ps of Marketing’ before. This model is an iconic basis that good, old Neil Borden came up with back in 1953. In the age of Mad Men, Borden created the concept as a way to form the American Marketing Association (AMA), and it continues to be an accurate representation of how campaigns are formed today.
What Exactly Is A Marketing Mix?
When we talk about the ‘mix’, we’re talking about a blend of different influences (like we said before) on a consumer’s particular decision to buy something. Think about the last time you made a purchase, particularly a larger ticket item. It’s likely you had put thought into it beforehand, done your research and were met by messaging from the brand about how you need that product in your life.
You made a decision to buy the product because it solves the problem (no matter how small) in your life and gives you a solution. What’s more important is that you came to this decision by analysing four key factors:
Even if you didn’t consciously pay attention to each of these elements, what ended up in your cart at the checkout ultimately came down to whether the product ticked each of these boxes. For example, let’s assume you were considering buying a weighted blanket because you’ve had trouble sleeping and there’s suddenly a lot of hype around them.
Browsing the web, you did your research and noticed a number of other benefits to this item. It is known to ease stress, help blood pressure and looks pretty darn nice too (product). You were intrigued, so you looked through to the specifics. Unfortunately it was just out of your budget’s reach (price).
Upon scrolling through your Facebook feed a few days later, you noticed an ad for the same blanket, but it’s advertised at 40% off (promotion). You then found yourself heavily on the fence and seriously contemplating the purchase. The final detail that wins you over is that they’re made in Australia and can be shipped directly to your door quickly (place).
Sold. You now own a weighted blanket.
Source: Martech Alliance
When these factors are controlled by a brand and effectively positioned into a marketing strategy, they’re unbelievably powerful. If you can get this blend right, you’re almost guaranteed to gain momentum. The trick is understanding what forms each of these categories in the first place. So, grab a fresh cup of Joe and get ready to tackle the nitty-gritty.
What Makes Up Each Of The 4Ps?
Just like any other tactic, you need to put the hard yards in here before you get started. Trust us, diving in blind won’t get you anything fast, except for blurred lines and the inability to define how your brand is meeting each of these crucial components.
Instead, set time aside to develop a strategy that directly addresses the 4Ps of Marketing and regularly assess whether your brand is sticking to them. When you introduce a new product or service, re-examine these areas and question whether there is anything you need to adjust. Your strategy should be agile and never set in stone. You need to adapt with the ever-changing patterns of consumer behaviour.
You know what you’re selling and you know why you are selling it. Your job is to (subtly) inform your audience of these key details and educate them on why they just can’t live without what you’ve got on offer.
Think about why your customers should choose your products over others. When you question this area of the process, you should be able to clearly define your unique selling point (otherwise known as a USP). Use this as your foundation for further fleshing out the details of your product/service:
- What is it?
- What are the features?
- What is it called and why?
- How should the design and packaging look?
- When it’s in the hands (if physical) of your customer, what does it feel like? Think carefully about experience here.
- Whose problems does it solve (your target audience).
One of the biggest challenges of having a product or service is that you need to attach a justifiable price tag to it, without undermining your brand and without overwhelming your prospects. You have to get the balance right.
There are also a few ways you can approach this – from subscription models through to discounted, psychology-driven pricing or bundles. What’s right for your business comes down to whether it’s sustainable, and how it meets your distribution costs, the current landscape with competitors and demand.
Above all, you must be able to charge a fee that’s sustainable for your specific target audience. It’s no good trying to pitch a product/service with a high-end price tag when they’re lower income. Know who you’re trying to attract and develop a pricing model to suit this.
Ah, the big, wide world of promotion – an endless cycle of keeping your goods relevant, attainable and desired.
Ultimately, this is the step where you figure out how you’re going to communicate with your prospects. It also includes a few fundamental components, including:
- Your entire marketing plan
- Sales process
- PR campaigns
Thinking holistically is the key here. Take the time to paint a full picture on how you’ll engage your target audience and then go one step further to define what their tipping point is. How will you reel them in hook, line and sinker? What’s the cherry on top?
Hint: It’s your USP.
Not everyone has access to physical stores, just as not everyone shops online. Think carefully about how your customers behave and what’s logistically convenient for them when it comes to accessing your product. Make the journey too hard and you’ll lose their purchase to competitors who offer a simpler process.
Let’s go back to the weighted blanket example. Imagine you live in a remote location in a country town where physical stores are limited to the local post office and a few grocers. It’s pretty unlikely a brand like this would set up shop here, but you just need that blanket. Upon researching, they don’t offer shipping to this specific location and you feel disappointed. Returning back to your search, you notice a competitor offers next-day dispatch Australia-wide. Perfect.
How well you make your products or services accessible will come down to your own costs, but also whether you’ve done your research into your target market in the first place. You should be able to clearly define exactly who wants your offering and where they’re located.
Putting It All Together
The 4Ps of Marketing are simple to follow but they do need care and attention along the way. At all times in your strategy, it’s essential to reassess where you’re at with each of these stages, and whether they’re still relevant to your overall offering. If there are gaps, then it’s time to sit down and put the effort in again.
Avoiding doing your research and building a solid framework will likely mean your brand fails to meet demand, targets the wrong audience or misses out on opportunities to establish a balanced price point. Remember that your competitors could be putting in all the hours and work needed to develop their own marketing mix, and if you haven’t taken the time to do it too, they’re already miles ahead of you.
If developing a strategy feels overwhelming, we recommend getting in touch with our experts for guidance and support. As digital marketing and SEO experts on the Gold Coast, we’re here to help you define your own 4Ps and deliver a clearly defined, viable product/service to your prospects – in all the right ways.
Contact us now on 1300 558 659 for a no-obligation discussion on how we can help your brand’s journey.