The Marketing Mix: The 4 P’s in Your Marketing Strategy

Product

This might seem a little obvious but coming up with a product is more difficult than just coming up with a cool idea. A successful product needs to satisfy a consumer’s demand, whether it be a pair of boots for your dog’s sensative feet or a fruit-infusing water bottle. Outline the exact details of your product or service: the name, its existing competitors, how it will be used, boasted features, etc. Next, define the means and methods that need to occur in order to make your product or the steps you need to follow to start your service. Your product has to be solid as a rock because this is what allows you to be successful in the other areas of your marketing plan. Some great questions to get you started on your first product are, “Is there a mass problem that needs to be solved?” or “Is there a product that can be improved upon?”

Promotion

In order to sell your first product, you have to create a buzz about it. Social media and technology has done wonders for communicating with consumers. You can post countdown tweets, start a blog, guest speak on your local college radio show or run a traditional advertisment in a print media. The options seem to be endless and fit all budget sizes, but don’t be surprised if your promotional costs end up being a decent proportion of your overall costs. If it is done right, you will see the return though. Also, know that making an amazing promotional campaign also includes maintaining its excitement and reach while you are selling (and, hopefully, making profits), not just at the beginning. Promote updates or new features on your product and don’t be afraid to try new methods.

Price

Determining the right price for your product or service can either make or break your marketing goals. It’s a delicate balance you must try to achieve – you want to bring in enough money to cover your expenses while making a decent profit and have it set at a price that is attractive and reasonable to your consumers. It is imperative to do your research. Look at your competition carefully. Do you want to be the product that can be bought at the cheapest price or do you want to be considerd a “luxury item?” Staying in the middle won’t do you any good. Consumers tend to go for the lowest cost to save money or the most expensive for the perceived quality-price association. At either level, know what consumers are expecting to pay and get back in return for your product or service.

Place

You might have the world’s best new product completely developed and functional sitting in a factory, but it doesn’t mean anything nor does it make you any profit if you don’t devise a way to distribute it. There are various methods to transport and house your goods so you will have to sit down and really think about the best, most effective and efficient way to get your product into consumers’ hands. Ask yourself some of these important questions, “Will it benefit me more to sell wholesale or sell directly to retailers?”, “Where do my competitors market their products?”, “Do I need to attend trade fairs and/or use a sales force in order to sell my product?” You might even be able to save yourself some money and set up an online store or a service website to get you started.