About 42% of the world’s total population are active on social media every day. This allows startups and small businesses to get more eyeballs on their product(s) with an effective marketing strategy.
Planning is the basis of any successful marketing strategy that helps an organization attain its goals. Planning is essential to identify the target audience for any business niche, what services or products to sell, and the tactics to adopt to achieve business objectives. While planning will be different for different organizations, there is a timeless model that all businesses can follow, irrespective of the industry. This model, which lies at the heart of marketing theory, is known as the 7Ps of marketing.
A brief background of the 7Ps of Marketing
Before 7Ps of marketing, the original model that businesses followed consisted of 4Ps. Coined by Prof. EJ McCarthy, the 4Ps were very accurate in mapping definite business objectives to the specific requirements of their target audience. The original 4Ps played a powerful and pivotal role in developing strategies that determine how a commercial enterprise performs.
However, as the market evolved rapidly, triggered by disruptive advancements like the internet and digital platforms, it invited further complexities. This led to extending the original 4Ps of marketing to the 7Ps. Put forward by Booms and Bitner in the year 1981, the extended marketing mix comprised an addition of 3 more Ps, which officially forms the core of marketing mix 7Ps.
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What are the 7Ps of marketing?
Let us dig a little further and explore the 7Ps of marketing now.
Product is anything that you are selling – it can be a service, goods, or even an experience. Needless to say, no matter which industry your business belongs to, your product will always be the focal point of all marketing strategies.
Your product should live up to the expectations of your customers and the quality that they seek. For this, you must conduct thorough market research to design and develop suitable products. You also need to find out market demands, customer pain points, their buying habits, and specific requirements of their target audience base. Formulating a research-backed marketing strategy is key to expanding your base of happy customers.
When you calculate the price of your product, it should include all the expenses involved in the production, promotion, and delivery of the product.
However, there is a twist here. Balancing all costs, you still need to sell your product at a price point that your customers consider fair “value for money”. This is where the catch lies; offering competitive prices without affecting your profits is not at all easy or simple. In such cases, you need to identify how much your target audience is willing to pay, and how much they usually pay for similar products in the market. Information about these two can help you come up with an appropriate pricing so that your profit margin remains unaffected.
Placement of your product plays a vital role, for it should be available at all those places where your customers expect to find it. Moreover, it is equally crucial to know how to present your product and consider the logistical factors involved. All of these considerations go a long way in determining the profitability of your product.
For instance, if it is a CPG item, you should know which supermarket aisle to stock it in or whether you should choose a promotional sale for its launch. Again, in the case of digital services and products, you must account for the device type preferences of your consumers and factor in the hosting and web design costs too.
To decide the most appropriate placement for your product and acquire maximum customers, conducting effective audience research is the best way forward.
The next P in the marketing mix 7Ps is promotion. Promotion is all about creating brand awareness and maximizing the visibility of your products such that it resonates with your target audience. Choosing the right channels and advertising methods for promotion play a critical part here. Whether it is PR, advertising, branding, social media, exhibitions, content marketing, or any other method, it should highlight the most compelling requirements of your target audience.
You might consider tweaking your promotional strategies based on the channels you choose. But make sure the tone and purpose remain consistent.
The team involved in promotions, i.e., your brand representatives, matters a lot when it comes to shaping your brand image. Your team must possess the necessary qualities and soft skills to ensure success. Since they will be dealing directly with customers, qualities like effective communication, abilities to convince and think smartly, and a gentle demeanor can be highly effective in creating a lasting impression.
You can even consider enforcing best practices for your customer-facing representatives and have monitoring and regulatory measures to help maintain the desired standards.
Physical evidence is all about the paraphernalia and physical context that entails your product. Examples of physical evidence can be receipts, PDF invoices, confirmation emails, and cards – basically, everything that helps reaffirm the credibility of your brand and product. You need to ensure that all physical evidence is in tandem with your brand values and the image you intend to create for your audience. It should be convincing and consistent all throughout, and your customers should also feel the same way about their overall experience with you.
The final P in the 7Ps of marketing is about the processes involved in delivering your product. Processes such as delivery service, time of delivery, website user experience, customer support, in-store waiting, and after-sales support play extremely crucial roles in shaping the overall customer impression about your brand. Having proper risk management processes in place and policies to appease unhappy customers can also be of tremendous help.
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How to use the 7Ps of marketing?
Now, let us quickly try to understand the 7Ps of marketing with an example of McDonald’s here.
- Product – The company has personalized product names and recipes for different countries. For example, the Indian product line includes McAloo Tikki, Maharaja Mac, etc. so that it sounds familiar to the audience and hence is easier to market.
- Price – It provides delicious burgers at a very affordable price.
- Place – It has outlets all over the world and especially in crowded places like shopping malls.
- Promotion – They run YouTube and Instagram Ads to make sure that they are on the top of their customers’ minds when they crave delicious food.
- People – No matter which McD outlet you go to, you get an amazing customer experience.
- Physical evidence – Again, McD focuses a lot on consistency in all the outlets across the world. Customers feel familiar with interiors even if it is not in the same location.
- Processes – The processes are fast and efficient for dine-in, takeaway, and delivery. From taking your order to packaging it in the right way every single time, McD never fails to impress its customers.
The 7Ps of marketing form the very core of developing the right marketing mix for your business so that you can streamline various concepts and put them to effective use. Marketing concepts are highly interesting and critical in deciding the performance of your business. To learn more about marketing concepts in detail and become a pro marketer, you can sign up for an MBA (Global) degree program from Deakin Business School (DBS) in association with upGrad. This program offers the best platform to earn recognition as an alumnus of DBS, one of the top B-Schools in Australia, and evolve into a global business professional.
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