Four foundational parts make up every company’s marketing. For years, marketers have referred to them as the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
As you enter the planning phase and think about next year, remember each of these elements presents opportunities to test, optimize, and differentiate the way you present your products and services to customers.
Let’s take a brief look at what each “P” represents and how they can work for you.
Your product or service is the core of your marketing. The features and benefits it presents are at the heart of every appeal to consumers. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how adding features could create a “premium” product. Or how removing them might result in an “economy” offering. Even something as simple as changing a color can create market differentiation. Optimizing the appeal of your product to your target audience is an essential function of marketing.
Every product and service has a price. But how does that price get set? Beyond covering your costs, you have to decide how to position your offering as a value in consumers’ minds. Price too high and sales will contract. Price too low and margins may be unsustainable. It’s the job of marketing to help find the balance that keeps the optimum number of customers buying and how to maximize profits.
A customer can’t buy what they can’t see. Or, said another way, you have to place your products and services where your audience can get to them. This may mean opening storefronts, creating eCommerce websites, or even launching telemarketing campaigns. Start with where your customers are, and develop your marketing around how to make it easy for them to buy from you.
Define the P’s above, and you’ll know what you’re selling, how much you’re charging, and where customers will be able to buy it. The next step is sharing that information with consumers. Promotion encompasses all of the activities required to do just that. In can include advertising, public relations, sponsorships, and a multitude of other activities that put your company in front of potential customers.
How well you employ and manage each of the four P’s can determine how successful your business is. And, for every business, they can offer ideas and avenues for making already successful operations even better.