Crash Course on the 7 P’s of Marketing
Initial image Courtesy of Jason Goodman.
One phrase that gets tossed around quite frequently in the business and marketing world, is “the 7 P’s of marketing.” But just what are they? And how can you use them to benefit your own marketing scheme?
To begin, the 7 P’s stand for:
- Physical evidence
Sounds simple enough, right? By keeping the above points in mind, you can be able to successfully market your product. All you have to do is have an answer in hand for all of the above “questions.” If someone asks you about the product’s process, you should have an answer. If they want physical evidence, you should provide that, too.
Ask yourself: Why does this product exist, and why did I feel the need to create it? What problem or deficiency does my product/service solve? Again, how does it stand out? (This is if there are other products that also address this gap in the market). If you are operating on a website, then guarantees and warranties are also good signs to the consumer that your product is legit. Also include product descriptions, to clear up any confusion as well as “sell” it through words. The “product” P is your chance to make a good impression.
What is your product worth, and what will your customers pay for it? The location in which your product/service is purchased also matters (is it online? In-person? Via a store?) As a business owner, you will likely need to conduct research into this in order to determine how high or low you can go. Your decided upon price needs to be a reasonable price that your target audience can afford, yet also needs to generate money for your business. Things need to be made at a profit in order for you to survive.
The Promotion P addresses advertisements–both direct and subtle. Social media may be your main means of advertisement, or you may favor face-to-face interaction with the product, and so will be attending conventions in order to properly showcase it. No matter what strategy you end up deciding on, make sure that you have chosen the best way for a person to interact with your product in order to have a positive experience. One example is that if you are selling perfume, that might mean sending out small scented samples.
How did the 7 P’s Come About? A Little Background
The phrase “the 7 P’s of Marketing” was devised by a man who went by the name of E. Jerome McCarthy. McCarthy wrote a book known as "Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach,” in which he explained the original 4 P’s, which were then only: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion (these would be later expanded to include both People and Process). Another term that the 7 P’s goes by is “Marketing Mix.” This potentially refers to much older ideas (of the 1940’s) surrounding what he liked to call the ‘marketing mix.’ That phrase, which he popularized, referred to a mix of qualities (or facets) that lent themselves well to a good marketing strategy. Though there was quite a bit of debate regarding exactly which elements should be in the mix, scholars came to a general consensus in the 1960’s.
Today, marketing strategies have undergone many evolutions. To illustrate…
Marketing Then VS Now
Though the lessons of the 7 P’s still ring true, it is important to remind yourself of the differences between marketing as it was known in the sixties and as it is known today. For one, social media and the internet have altered the marketing landscape, making marketing for your product overall more accessible–yet also making it quite challenging to stand out in such a big market. Here are a few differences between the market that Jerome McCarthy knew and today’s market.
Marketing in the 1960’s
- Fond of cold-calling
- Advertising centered more around images, less around words
- Creativity in ads just beginning to come into fashion, alongside alt fashion and counter culture movements
- “Golden age of Marketing”
- Creativity is refined, many different apps to aid in advertisement and marketing creations
- Info spreads far quicker with the use of the internet
- Customer reach is further, marketing schemes become international
- Some call it the “Relationship Era of Marketing,” because today’s marketing focuses on maintaining and building a relationship with customers, rather than recruiting them into buying the product once (so, a more personal connection).
Now, it’s on to the 7 P’s!
Place is about more than just where you are selling your products. There are a lot to consider when deciding upon place. Consider the following questions:
- What time of day/year are your customers most ready to buy?
- Who are your customers? What do they like and what are they trying to achieve?
- Where do they frequent?
- What stores are ideal for carrying this product?
This P is both simple and complex at the same time. Be friendly! Ensure that customers have nothing but good things to say about you. Word of mouth does a lot to promote a person’s business venture or product. Relatability and friendliness factor can make or break you. If it’s more convenient, you can even use chatbots on your official website. This is particularly handy if you find that you cannot respond to every inquiry you receive.
The “Process” P represents the inner and outer workings of your business. This would include shipping and delivery, supply, wait times and other logistical matters…All matters that are of importance to your product/service. The better these processes are, the more perfected, the more your customer will be likely to return. A business with no wrinkles for the customer to iron out gives the air of a successful business, and thus keeps people coming.
Finally, the last P is Physical Evidence. For this P, provide images of your product, to give an idea as to what it is. Everything you present in person and online should accurately represent your product, so as to build a sense of trust and honesty between you and your customer base. Receipts and other forms of order confirmation also count towards this P, as they are both physical pieces of evidence of a purchase. This P is customer-service-like in the sense that, done properly, it should leave your customer feeling valued, and ready to return.
In Conclusion, Understanding the 7 P’s of Marketing can give your Business a Boost!
The 7 P’s of marketing all revolve around customer experience–the experience of YOUR customers. No matter what form your marketing plan takes going forward, always remember to keep the 7 P’s in mind, as well as their most important points:
- You need to be ahead of your competition,
- You need to make customers feel good about themselves,
- You also need to showcase the potential of your product