The 5 P’s of Marketing are as important as any part of your business. The 5 P’s of marketing, sometimes referred to in terms of the “marketing mix”, act as categories that help to detail the areas that are important to your business. From a marketing standpoint, each of the “P’s” are the details that you can use to influence prospective customers and your target audience. In this article, I’ll explain what the 5 P’s of marketing are and how to tell if your business is missing out on influencing your customers.
The 5 P’s of The Marketing Mix
Please Note: It’s not uncommon to see discrepancies in what the individual “P’s” are…I don’t believe that there is much to be gained from arguing about whether this “P” is included or whether that “P” should be included. The more important thing to understand from the 5 P’s of Marketing is that they make for an easy way to chunk together the key areas associated with your marketing efforts.
What are you selling? Are you providing a service? How does the product work? What does the product look like? What type of packaging does it have? These are all aspects of your product. The product category can extend to things like the type of warranty you offer, service and installation to name a few.
Things to consider about your Product
What are the most important aspects of your product? Are these your most important features or your customers’ most important features? Do these aspects differentiate your product from the competitors? How are these aspects influencing your customers’ perceptions of your product? The way that it’s used (ease of use)? It’s attractive packaging? The extended warranty and quick installation? By determining what is important to your customers, you can determine which aspects of your product should be featured in advertisements, emails, brochures, etc.
Price refers to how much your customer pays you for whatever product your business provides. Price is normally based on a number of factors: cost to manufacture & distribute, promotional costs including advertising and marketing materials, shipping costs, discounts, and even the cost to switch from another provider.
Things to consider about your Price
- What is your product’s price in relation to your competitors’? If your product is similar to your competitors’ but is noticeably easier to use, you can charge a higher price. Make your product easier, your customers will pay more!
- What are you willing to charge when running a special offer? Does this price seem like a savings to your target audience? Have all costs been taken into account when determining the discount price? Can you manufacture more product for a better price if the promotion creates a large volume of sales?
- Be careful not to compete strictly on price! If you’re constantly positioning yourself as the cheapest guy in town, you run the risk of coming across as the cheapest guy in town. Getting involved in a price war with your local competitor is a good way to put one or both of you out of business.
Placement deals with how you plan to distribute your product…this can include where your product is available and when your customer can purchase it? How do you intend to get your product to your target audience?
Things to consider about Placement
When and where your product is available is immensely important. Are there time limitations due to store hours?
- Are there shipping times associated with the purchase? Does the distance from the customer create an obstacle for the purchase?
- Is a retail location reselling your product? What type of store is it? Does the store have a regular customer base? Does partnering with the store make sense? You’re not going to sell a prospect a computer at a hunting supply store.
Promotion deals with how you communicate with your customers. This can cover everything from advertising and email marketing to brochures and catalogs. It also includes how the distributor of your product communicates with their customers about your product.
Things to consider about Promotion
Your marketing materials (brochures, website, advertising, email marketing, etc) should have a professional look and communicate your corporate identity and brand. This is not easy to do if you don’t have a background in graphic design. Determine your message, your goals and how you’d like to get there and then work with a graphic designer to develop your materials. Get some help as opposed to doing it yourself!
- Have some control over your distributors! Don’t let your distributors run your product into the ground. Set pricing levels for promotions and special offers with your distributors so that they cant sell your product for less than $XX.xx.
- When purchasing advertising, publications are always willing to negotiate. By waiting until close to the publication’s deadline to contact them, many times you can find discount pricing on advertisements, editorials, website placements, etc. Get the most bang for your buck!
These are the people that bring your product to your customer and the people that maintain this relationship after the purchase. This can include sales reps, customer service, receptionists, shipping managers, etc. People are an essential part of achieving your business’ marketing goals.
Things to consider about People
If your product sells, you won’t be able to perform every role in your business. You’re going to need help. Your people are an extension of your marketing plan and most often will be the people that are dealing directly with your customers. How well have you trained them? How do they respond if a customer becomes upset? Do these people have at least a basic understanding of your marketing plan? They’ll need to if you expect them to communicate that message to your customers.