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What makes a business successful?
This question has baffled and perplexed many soon to be entrepreneurs for centuries.
Some are lucky, things just worked out in the long run. Other entrepreneurs weren’t so lucky, they were never able to find the right mix of business ingredients to create success.
But that’s what a marketing mix is all about. Understanding what’s the right mix of marketing essentials to give your business the best chance for success.
7 Ps of Marketing Mix
The basic ingredients used in marketing are also known as 7Ps of marketing mix, which are product, price, place, promotion, people, positioning & personal relationship. All of these are discussed below in detail.
This includes that what a person/businessman is selling in the market, it may be a product or service. It may also include the type of products, which are necessary for life, such as food, and clothes, etc.
This includes the pricing strategy at which one is selling his product or service. It may be a low cost strategy that is selling goods & services at low cost, targeting the customers which are more conscious about the high prices. However, on the other hand differentiation price strategy does not focus on cost they are targeting the customer that demand unique & different features in product & willing to pay high prices.
This includes that how a person/businessman is distributing & placing his product or service in the market. The place strategy also depends upon the type of product which you are selling & the targeted market.
Another 7Ps of marketing is promotion. The promotion strategy includes how the marketer informs the customers about the products or services that best satisfies their needs & desires. It might include the different promotional medium, such as television, newspaper, internet, banner etc. The type of promotional medium which should be selected depends upon the type of customer & market that you are targeting
Positioning is also one from the 7Ps of marketing. Positioning includes that how one wants to perceive his customer about his product. What the customer thinks about product & service after using it. It simply involves the quality of products & services that is delivering.
This is an important feature for service base organization and the people which are rendering the services are the part of marketing. Services are mostly performed by people, so it is an important feature for service base organizations. However, for manufacturing organization that deals in goods, it has not great importance.
07- Personal Relationships
The last and the seventh 7Ps of marketing is consumer relationship. It is an important part of modern marketing. It means that how a marketer is building long term relationship with his customer by taking proper feedback, providing after sale services & loyalty cards. It may also include involving the customers in the product manufacturing process, so that it could become more satisfying for them.
No doubt, marketing plays an important role not only for business, and 7Ps of marketing give us direction to move forward smartly. Marketing actually turn from the consumer push to the consumer pull strategy that is involving the customers, which best satisfy their needs & demands. It also helps the society by providing a workforce in the marketing field. Useless to say, it is the most critical success factor for an organization in achieving its organizational goals and objectives.
Steps to Marketing Mix Process
Marketing Process is completed through identifying customer needs, communicating with customer & finally delivering the goods or services to customers. The detail process of marketing is given below.
- Identifying Customer Needs
This is the first step of marketing i-e identify the needs & wants of customers in targeted market that what the customer is really demanding by researching the market & then find out that how these needs can be satisfied through which product or service. Market research is an important tool in this process.
- Communicating the Customer
This step involves communicating the customer through a proper communicating channel that how a businessman/marketer should fulfill the relevant needs & desires of the customers & what products or services he offer to fulfill that needs & desires. The communication medium which should be chosen depends upon the type of market & customer which is being targeted by the marketer.
- Delivery of Goods & Service
This is the third step of marketing i-e transferring product or rendering services to customers that how one delivers his product or service to the customers & how the goods or services are easily available to customers reach. This involves the proper distribution channel & sales services
This is the final step of modern marketing that is taking proper feedback from customer that how much customer is satisfied with the product or service & how that product or service can be improved further. This guides the businessman/marketer that how much he satisfies the need & desire of the customers. Providing after sale services & other such services help out in building long term relationship with customers.
The 7Ps model was originally devised by E. Jerome McCarthy and published in 1960 in his book Basic Marketing. A Managerial Approach.
We’ve created the graphic below so you can see the key elements of the 7Ps marketing mix.
The 4Ps vs The 7Ps
The 4Ps were designed at a time where businesses were more likely to sell products, rather than services and the role of customer service in helping brand development wasn’t so well known. Over time, Booms and Pitner added three extended ‘service mix P’s’: Participants, Physical evidence and Processes, and later Participants was renamed People. Today, it’s recommended that the full 7Ps of the marketing mix are considered when reviewing competitive strategies.
The 7Ps helps companies to review and define key issues that affect the marketing of its products and services and is often now referred to as the 7Ps framework for the digital marketing mix.
In Dave Chaffey’s book: Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice, this model was refreshed and applied to online channels to give a practical approach which works well for multichannel businesses. An eighth P, ‘Partners’ is often recommended for businesses to gain reach online (first mentioned in Digital mMarketing Excellence by Dave Chaffey and PR Smith although some would argue it’s part of Place).
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How can I use this model?
Although it’s sometimes viewed as dated, we believe the 4Ps are an essential strategy tool to select their scope and is particularly useful for small businesses. For startups reviewing price and revenue models today, using the Business Model Canvas for marketing strategy is a great alternative since it gives you a good structure to follow.
Companies can also use the 7Ps model to set objectives, conduct a SWOT analysis and undertake competitive analysis. It’s a practical framework to evaluate an existing business and work through appropriate approaches whilst evaluating the mix element as shown below and ask yourself the following questions:
- Products/Services: How can you develop your products or services?
- Prices/Fees: How can we change our pricing model?
- Place/Access: What new distribution options are there for customers to experience our product, e.g. online, in-store, mobile etc.
- Promotion: How can we add to or substitute the combination within paid, owned and earned media channels?
- Physical Evidence: How we reassure our customers, e.g. impressive buildings, well-trained staff, great website?
- People: Who are our people and are there skills gaps?
- Partners: Are we seeking new partners and managing existing partners well?.
An example of a company using the 7Ps strategy
Take a look at HubSpot as an example, which was founded in 2006; Hubspot now boasts over 86,000 total customers in more than 120 countries. Comprised of Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and a powerful free CRM, HubSpot adds value for customers in every aspect of the 7Ps.
What does a successful marketing mix look like?
This is a top-level overview; you would take this into greater detail and ask the following questions:
1. Products/Services: Integrated toolset for SEO, blogging, social media, website, email and lead intelligence tools.
2. Prices/Fees: Subscription-based monthly, Software-As-Service model based on number of contacts in database and number of users of the service.
3. Place/Access: Online! Network of Partners, Country User Groups.
4. Promotion: Directors speak at events, webinars, useful guides that are amplified by SEO and effective with SEO. PPC Social media advertising, e.g. LinkedIn.
5. Physical Evidence: Consistent branding across communications.
6. Processes: More sales staff are now involved in conversion.
7: People: Investment in online services.
8. Partners: Hubspot looks to form partnerships with major media companies such as Facebook and Google plus local partners including Smart Insights who it is collaborating with on research in Europe.