How do you feel after a great workout? I feel empowered, a little exhausted and like I’ve gained something. Something of value. Whether it’s learning that my body is capable of more than I thought, or that I REALLY like that new song on Sirius XM, I come away from a great workout better than I was before.
Now think about your brand. Do your customers walk away from an interaction with your brand feeling as if they’ve gained something? There is a science to satisfying customer needs profitably. When someone feels like your brand delivers value, that they have gained something they didn’t have before, then you’re doing something right.
The traditional marketing mix was built around the 4Ps: product, price, place and promotion. Today’s customers are all-but traditional. So, we’ve added two more Ps: process and people. Now let’s dive into the breadth and complexity of current-day marketing.
Product is basically the variety, design, packaging, quality and features of your product, or service. Because the Internet exists, customers have become incredibly savvy about finding out information on a product, before even talking to a real-live person. This makes your customers more critical and aware, which puts more stress on companies to respond to market expectations. The best way to provide a good product for your customers is to give them access to immediate communication and clear information.
Price means how much a customer is willing to pay and have become more dynamic to keep up with these educated consumers. Especially if a customer is used to being able to get a discount, they may even refuse to pay retail prices. To abate this, manufacturers are cutting out retailers using cutting-edge technology to sell directly to their customer base. They can do more with their products and allow customers to experience them visually and physically before shelling out their cash. This reinforces even more the need to provide clear and transparent value based on your brand’s positioning.
Place simply refers to how accessible your product is to potential customers. For example, Amazon is a coverage giant and incredibly helpful for turning a brand into a household name due to its geographic reach. However, if you’re selling a high-end product then having a scarce geographic reach could be beneficial because it portrays quality and specialty. The key factor is to understand your audience and choose the channel that is most accessible to potential buyers.
This is the P that is all about visibility and probably what comes to mind when you think of the word “marketing”. Advertising, sales promotions and PR efforts fall under the umbrella of promotion. This is the place where it’s important to get creative and really empathize with your audience. Media has evolved and it’s important to incorporate the new views of clear information throughout promotion campaigns.
A new addition to the marketing mix, automation, systems and processes are critical to customer experience. Not only will they save you money, they also give you measured results that lead to higher satisfaction. Customer Relationship Management software is huge! We will touch more on this in a future blog, because it deserves that much attention.
Superior and consistent customer service starts with people! When a company hires and trains the right people, they reach their customers in memorable ways. Employees can be trained on customer habits and behaviors using customer personas and this allows them to connect on a personal level. When employees are invested in their company, they naturally are happier and provide better service and ensure that the voice of the company is consistent.
There are additional theories that seven, or even eight Ps are truly necessary for an effective marketing mix. Even others will argue that the old marketing mix is the gold standard. Only you know what will work best for your brand, so feel free to use your best discretion and experiment. Leave a comment below with any questions about the 6 Ps!