7 Ps Marketing mix: strategy tool for modeling your startup
In any business that either offers products or services, you need a way to determine your offerings, measure the performance and knowing where your business currently stands.
To do so, you need a marketing strategy tool to help you model that different external and internal factors.
You will always need to evaluate your marketing model and continuously add the needed adjustments to it.
The 7Ps marketing mix is one of the most famous marketing models there is.
It was initially created by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960, in his book: Basic Marketing. A Managerial Approach, back then it was only 4Ps.
The formula back then included product, promotion, price, and place only.
In 1981 the extended market mix was introduced by Booms & Bitner, which additionally included people, process, and physical evidence.
The product is what you’re actually offering, that includes products and services or even a mix of them.
Basically, it includes the quality delivered, benefits and features offered to the customers, availability, warranties and much more aspects that can affect what the customer is getting at the end.
You should be asking yourself a set of questions to determine if you are actually offering what the market needs:
- What does the client want from the service or product?
- How will the customer use it?
- Where will the customer use it?
- What features must the product have to meet the customer’s needs?
- Are there any necessary features that you missed out?
- Are you creating features that are not needed by the customer?
- What’s the name of the product?
- Does it have a catchy name?
- What are the sizes or colors available?
- How is the product different from the products of your competitors?
- What does the product look like?
- Does your offering suits the market needs of today?
Answering these set of questions will help you improve your offering, research, and development of your products or services, which is a major step in your brand evolvement.
The second P of the formula is pricing which can be a little bit tricky at the beginning, especially if you’re offering a new product or service and needs to test the market.
Sometimes you need to lower down the prices due to changes in market conditions and competition.
In some other cases raising up the prices can be more beneficial due to development cost and other factors.
Pricing can be always flexible and adaptable, if you failed to set the right price, you can always go back an readjust it to fit in the market.
You need to answer the following questions before setting your price:
- How much did it cost you to produce the product?
- What is the customers’ perceived product value?
- Do you think that the slight price decrease could significantly increase your market share?
- Can the current price of the product keep up with the price of the product’s competitors?
The way you promote your products or services has a huge impact on your brand performance.
Due to the nature of marketing, you should always expect that whatever methods you’re using now to communicate with your customers and promote your offering will stop working at some point, and you gonna need to evolve and come up with a new plan, it’s a continuously evolving discipline.
Small changes in your advertising can lead to a tremendous effect on your sales and marketing performance, an experienced copywriter can lead to a huge increase in sales just by changing an ad headline.
Promotion includes but not limited to:
- Marketing communication
- Personal promotion
- Sales Organization
- Public Relations
- Sales Promotion
You gonna need to answer the following questions to determine the most efficient ways to promote your offerings:
- How can you send marketing messages to your potential buyers?
- When is the best time to promote your product?
- Will you reach your potential audience and buyers through television ads?
- Is it best to use the social media in promoting the product?
- What is the promotion strategy of your competitors?
As a business owner, entrepreneur or a marketer, you always need to make sure your products or services are always seen, distributed and sold where the customers expect it to be,
The fourth P in the formula doesn’t have to be a physical place, it can be an online store for products or an online services provider website, you just need to always make sure you answered the following questions before deciding where it’s gonna be:
- Where do your clients look for your service or product?
- What kind of stores do potential clients go to?
- Do they shop in a mall, in a regular brick and mortar store, in the supermarket, or online?
- How do you access the different distribution channels?
- How is your distribution strategy different from your competitors?
- Do you need a strong sales force?
- Do you need to attend trade fairs?
- Do you need to sell in an online store?
That includes all the people with an effect on your sales, marketing, and the entire business activities.
Having a solid business plan without the key people in the right positions will have those strategies and plans to set on the shelf.
Having the right salesperson and customers services representatives plays a crucial role in retaining your current customers and getting more on referrals, let alone the customer satisfaction.
A well-designed process to reduce cost and improve productivity to maximize profits.
The process of how your products or services are delivered to the customers has a great impact on your business performance and customers satisfaction, so it’s always a subject to improvement and evaluation.
That includes all the elements that differentiate your brand in the customer’s mind.
The design of your business office, the building itself, the surroundings and environment, the interior design, temperature and air conditioner, the parking, and the entire servicescape.
That also includes but not limited to:
- Internet/web pages.
- Paperwork (such as invoices, tickets and dispatch notes).
- Signage (such as those on aircraft and vehicles).
- Uniforms and employee dress.
- Business cards.
Determining and continuously evaluating those 7 Ps in formula will always help you understand where your brand stands now and how you can evolve further.
Marketing is an evolving discipline, you will always want to keep adapting to the market and the other factors affecting your business.