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Successful Marketers Go Through This Model Every Time When Making Decisions

Successful Marketers Go Through This Model Every Time When Making Decisions

If you are new to the term marketing mix, this refers to a foundation concept that determines how brands target customers and achieve their sales objectives. It includes the so-called 4Ps (product, price, promotion and place), which cover broad levels of marketing decision-making and strategy.

What Are the Origins of the Marketing Mix?

The basic premise of marketing has existed for more than 1000 years, but more advanced theories began to emerge in the early 20th century. As a growing number of businesses formed and competition was intensified across multiple markets, however, the need for more strategic thinking emerged and it was in 1960 that the contemporary marketing mix was first published.

This provided a framework for marketing management decisions, while the 4Ps established guidelines that could help to increase efficiency and ROI. This is best applied to product marketing, and it is interesting to note that an expanded version has been developed for brands that are bringing services to market. This includes 7Ps, with the original four complimented by process, people and physical evidence.

The 4Ps Explored

To understand the application and importance of the 4Ps, we need to look at each one in detail. For example:

Product

The focal point of your marketing efforts, product refers to an item or range that meets an existing consumer need or gap in the market. This will drive a number of core marketing decisions, particularly those pertaining to design, packaging, labeling, returns and the management of your product’s life-cycle. These represent strategic elements of your marketing campaign, as they will dictate costs, drive sales and establish your profit margin per unit sale.

The importance of your product cannot be underestimated, while it is crucial that it is designed with a clear focus and to fulfill a specific purpose. As Seth Godin once said [1]; “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers,” and this underlines the process that you should follow when defining your product’s proposition.

Here are some questions to consider when conceiving your product and bringing it to market:

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  • Does it Meet a Need or Fill a Gap in the Market?
  • Does it Solve a Pertinent Consumer Problem?
  • Can it Be Made and Sold for a Profit?

Price

Price usually refers to the amount that a customer pays for your product, while during the concept stage it can be applied to the amount consumers are prepared to sacrifice to for a specific type of product. This is important as it dictates the value proposition of your product and the amount that you should spend on developing it, as it offers a clear insight into how it is perceived in a real-time market.

The retail price that you can sell at will ultimately determine the ROI of your marketing campaigns, while it also underlines the basic purpose of marketing products in the first place. According to Alex Way, the managing director of travel specialists Justflybusiness.co.uk, “brands must also be more savvy and flexible on their pricing structure, while focusing their attention on providing as much tangible and intangible value to their customers”.

Here are some questions to consider when appraising the price of your product:

  • What Profit Margin Does Your Price Allow For?
  • Can the Market Bear Your Proposed Price Point?
  • Do you Have a Tiered Strategy that Includes Wholesale and Retail Prices?
  • Have You Included Rebates for Distributors?
  • How Will Consumers Will be Able to Pay for Your Products?

Promotion

Promotion refers to your core marketing communications, comprising elements such as PR, advertising, direct marketing and sales promotions. It drives decisions relating to the precise nature of each campaign, as you look to create a balanced and integrated campaign that effectively targets specific customer segments and utilizes relevant messaging. Obviously, there is a greater focus on digital marketing in the modern age, but traditional channels such as print and billboard advertising also remain relevant.

Ultimately, it is not the channel that determines the success of your marketing efforts, but the content that drives them. This is a thought echoed by marketing guru David Ogilvy [2], who reinforces the idea that while it is important to target customers through relevant channels you must focus primarily on the messaging used to engage audiences.

Here are some questions to consider when driving individual promotions:

  • What Marketing Channels Do Your Target Audience Use?
  • How Can You Use These Channels to Effectively Showcase Your Product?
  • What is the Core Message That You Want to Communicate?
  • How Often Should You Communicate on Each Platform?

Place

Place refers to the access that customers have to your product, and drives decisions pertaining to distribution. These include the primary delivery method of your product, and the options that will create a seamless and convenient journey for consumers. This is the aspect of marketing that has changed the most in the digital age, with an increasing number of products now sold online and across a global consumer network.

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So while the 4Ps are more important than ever and traditional concepts like selective distribution remain key, the notion of place has evolved to include online stores, social media platforms and even influencer blogs.

Here are some questions to consider when leveraging place in your campaigns:

  • Have You Afforded Your Products as Much Market Coverage as Possible?
  • Have you Considered All Potential Channels Where Your Product Can be Referenced and Sold?
  • Have you Determined a Viable Strategy in Relation to Inventory?
  • How Will You Ship Online Products Once They Have Been Sold?

The Extend 7Ps: How Does This Change the Landscape?

Aside from the changing nature of place, the 4Ps have remained fairly consistent over time. As you can see, however, they are not necessarily suited to the marketing or sale of products, which is why Booms and Bitner proposed extending this model to 7Ps in 1981 [3]and including process, people and physical evidence as part of the mix. There has been further proposals for extension of the model since this time, but the majority of service providers continue to persist with the 7P strategy.

So, let’s explore this in closer detail and determine how these impact on your strategy:

Process

While process has direct links to place, it refers specifically to how your service is delivered from the back-office perspective to the point of sale. This differs from place in that the delivery of your service is usually performed in the presence of the customer, so there must be a keen focus on the quality of service, the speed of delivery and the nature of the interaction that your representatives have with customers.

Here are some questions to consider when considering process:

  • Which Areas of Your Service Involve Human Interaction?
  • Can the Speed of Your Service be Improved by Automation Without Impacting on its Quality?
  • Have You Strived to Simplify the Customer Journey?

People

This is arguably one of the most important elements of your marketing campaigns, whether you are selling products direct to consumers or delivering a professional service. People buy from people after all, so the success of your venture relies on the recruitment and retention of the right people in your marketing and sales departments. This applies to all levels of the businesses infrastructure, from field operatives to strategic managers.

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Here are some questions to consider when managing the people in your marketing teams:

  • Do you Have a Profile of the Type of Marketer You Want to Recruit?
  • Do You Have Your People in the Right Positions?
  • Can You Leverage the Personality of Your Staff to Enhance Your Marketing Efforts?

Physical Evidence

Finally, we have physical evidence, which relates to the corporeal elements that are included in the service that the consumer pays for. This applies even if the bulk of what the consumer purchases is intangible, and it may include examples such as beauty treatments, virtual documents (sent through email) and a haircut. These manifestations are evidence of the service provided, while they can also be used to drive future campaigns and support the quality of your brand as a whole.

Here are some questions to consider when managing the physical evidence and the manifestation of your service:

  • Is Your Service Designed to Deliver the Best Possible Outcome?
  • Have You Factored in Intangible Elements When Costing Your Service?
  • Do You Leverage the Physical Evidence of Your Service to Drive Your Marketing Drives?

In Summary: What Are the 4Cs and How Do They Relate?

As you can see, these principles create separate frameworks that can help brands to successfully market both products and services. You may also have heard about the 4Cs, however, which has provided an alternative outlook for brands and one that has particular relevance in an age where customers have more influence than ever before.

In simple terms, the 4Cs force you to change your perspective as a marketer, as you adopt a consumer-centric outlook and consider your campaigns through the eyes of consumers. This provides a stark contrast to the business-focused nature of the 4Ps, and many experts believe that exploring both simultaneously helps you to create more rounded and effective marketing campaigns.

Here is a breakdown of the 4Cs :

Clients

The alternative to product, client asks you to consider a specific consumer need or demand that exists in the market. This insight then drives the design of your product, which serves as the solution to the issues that you strategically identified.

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Costs

Similar to price, costs relates to the financial development of your product and the impact that this has on customers. The most important aspect of this is appraising the total cost to the consumer, and whether or not this delivers the requisite value.

Communication

This refers to all interactions between your brand and its customers, and more specifically the way in which primary, secondary and tertiary messaging is perceived. The idea of this is to determine how clearly your core message comes across, and whether or not you are effectively engaging target segments.

Convenience

This relates directly to place, as it refers to how and where customers want to purchase your products. Once again, there is heavy focus online here, particularly as customers continue to gravitate towards virtual shopping and fluid e-commerce model (experts estimate that global online sales will reach a staggering $1.915 trillion [4] by the end of 2017).

Clearly, there is a strong relation between the 4Ps and the 4Cs, with the latter simply considering similar marketing elements and decisions from a consumer-centric viewpoint. The difference between the two concepts is defined by the outlook of marketers, of course, with one driving business-focused decisions and the other executing strategies based on the needs of customers.

Given the consumer-centric nature of marketing in 2017, however, it makes sense to apply both while making balanced decisions that optimise savings and increase your ROI simultaneously.

Reference

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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  • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
  • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
  • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
  • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

How to Use Visual Learning for Success

Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

4. Add video streaming to meetings.

What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

More About Learning Styles

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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