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Marketing for the Non-Marketer

Marketing is essential for the success of a business. Without it, there’s no way for you to take your product from production to sales. But what exactly is marketing? Today we’re going to break down what marketing is, what it isn’t, and give you a little bit of theory to better understand the marketing industry.

What is marketing?

Marketing includes the tactics and strategies a brand might use to promote its products or services to consumers. Everything from writing ad copy to market research falls within the purview of marketing.

Marketing starts with understanding the value of your offering. From there, the challenge is how you impart that understanding to your customers. Developing a successful marketing strategy is all about understanding your audience, analyzing their behavior, and acting on that analysis appropriately.

The seven Ps of marketing

The seven Ps of marketing is a set of concepts and tools that are designed to aid businesses in achieving their objectives within a market. Initially four Ps, the expanded list incorporates people, process, and physical evidence to ensure a more holistic approach to marketing practices.

Let’s take a look at each P.

Product

The most fundamental piece of the marketing puzzle is your product. This might refer to a physical product but it could also mean a service or experience. When marketing a product, you must consider the key features and benefits your customers desire, as well as how your product meets these requirements. You must also consider your competitor’s products – how does your product compare to your competition in terms of quality, aesthetics, durability, and more?

If you’re launching a new business, you ought to undertake a thorough competitor and customer analysis. Existing brands might also benefit from undertaking regular market analysis to assist them in meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

Price

Price refers to the strategy you use to determine the cost of your product. When setting your pricing, you must understand:

●      How much your customers are willing to pay for your product

●      The profit margins you must achieve

●      The costs that come with selling your product

The pricing strategy of your competitors is also relevant here. You must determine how you’ve positioned yourself against premium and discount brands and ensure your pricing accurately reflects that position.

Your pricing strategy ought to be reviewed often. You have to ensure your product pricing reflects your position in the market and sends the right message about your brand as a whole.

Place

Place refers to where your product or service is seen, sold, made, or distributed. This might refer to an online store, a shopfront, a cloud-based platform, or a warehouse. The aesthetics of your place, be it virtual or physical, sets the tone for your brand. At the very least it ought to give potential customers an idea of the expected pricing of your products, their quality, and more.

Your place should reflect both the customers you want to buy from you as well as your business itself. Does your place send the right message to first-time visitors? Are there areas in which you could improve your place?

Promotion

The ways in which you promote your product or service will directly impact how successful your brand is. There is a slew of promotional channels available to you in today’s market including both traditional paid advertising as well as more modern digital marketing.

The key to promoting your products effectively is understanding what channels your target audience uses and meeting them where they are. If you’re selling a SaaS platform you’re more likely to have luck on social media platforms than truckstop billboards.

Examining your competition and how they promote their own products is a great way to gain insight into your own strategy. You should also be making full use of digital platforms to promote your wares.

People

People is in reference to those who work for your business. It includes anyone indirectly or directly involved in selling your product as well as those who provide customer service. Your people are the face of your business. No matter how good your product, if your employees struggle to impart its benefits and features while providing an excellent customer experience, you’re going to have a rough time.

Getting the people component of your marketing strategy right is down to bringing the right people on board, supplying comprehensive training, and developing a work culture they wish to be a part of.

Process

Process is in reference to the processes that are involved in delivering your service or product to your customers. It includes aspects such as your payment systems, your sales funnel, the way you manage your customer relationships, and your distribution approach. Establishing customer-focused processes ensures your people are able to deliver a consistent and positive customer experience as well as work more efficiently.

Nailing your process involves thinking about your internal processes from the perspective of your customers. Is your business easy to deal with? Do the partners you work with align with your brand’s values? The answer to these questions will help you figure out your process and ensure your brand is a successful one.

Physical evidence

Physical evidence refers to everything your audience sees when they interact with your brand. This includes your logo and branding, the environment in which you provide your service or product, your product packaging, your social media presence, and more.

Physical evidence goes beyond the marketing-focused elements your customers see, it also includes your operational aspects. The way your receipts or invoices look, the way your staff look and act, and more are included. You ought to analyze your entire customer journey to ensure you’ve optimized everything as much as possible.

Marketing strategies

Marketing is essentially the process by which an audience learns about and purchases services and products. That said, there is a slew of strategies marketers use to accomplish this goal. Here’s a quick look at some predominant marketing strategies.

Branding

Branding is a form of marketing that involves making a service or product attractive and immediately recognizable. It typically includes distinctive names, slogans, or graphics.

Paid advertising

This form of marketing refers to a number of approaches, including television commercials and print media advertising. The most prominent form of paid advertising these days, though, is internet marketing.

Relationship marketing

This form of marketing focuses on improving customer loyalty by building solid relationships with your target audience. With this strategy, you provide personalized information about your products to your customers.

Cause marketing

Cause marketing involves for-profit businesses linking their services or products to a social issue or cause. With this form of marketing, the business markets a goal or idea rather than a specific product or service.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing involves companies using satisfied customers to promote their brand. The goal of this strategy is to give customers a great product or service and a positive overall experience so that they talk positively about their interaction with your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most lucrative strategies for marketers as customers tend to trust the word of their family and friends.

Point-of-purchase marketing

Point-of-purchase marketing is the act of placing a display next to any merchandise that it promotes. If you’ve ever noticed targeted displays located at checkout areas, this is an example of point-of-purchase marketing.

Transactional marketing

Transactional marketing is the practice of encouraging consumers to make a purchase by orrdering discounts or coupons. Another form of transactional marketing is a promotional event. The aim is to boost the likelihood of a sale by giving out a special promotion to motivate a target audience.

Direct selling

Direct selling requires face-to-face interaction with a consumer. During this process, a salesperson is able to discuss the role that their product will play in a consumer’s life.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the practice of using social platforms to connect with your target market, boost brand awareness, promote services or products, and drive website traffic. It’s a great strategy for reaching people since businesses can focus their efforts on platforms where their target market spends the majority of their time.

Viral marketing

Viral marketing is what happens when the public at large is sharing your content, rather than just your target audience. This strategy is a lucrative but particularly difficult one as it relies on an audience to generate the viral message.

Referral programs

Referral programs are when a business offers an incentive or discount for referring leads to your brand. This strategy relies on word-of-mouth marketing but in a systematic, deliberate way.

Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing refers to the practice of companies creating content to specifically rank their website higher in search engines. In developing valuable, unique content, a business can encourage links back to their website and boost the rank of that site as well.

Email marketing

Email marketing involves sending email messages to current or potential customers. These emails might include information about the niche, advertisements, industry news, or more.

Marketing needn’t be confusing

Marketing is crucial for the success of your business. While there’s a lot that goes into successful marketing strategies, learning the ways of marketing needn’t be confusing. Now you have a good introduction to the world of marketing.

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