The 4Ps of marketing (product, place, promotion and price) have long been a standard of how marketers approach their craft. In fact, they’re still in use today. However, marketing, like everything else in the world, evolves, and those doing the marketing have to find new ways of leveraging similar strategies for online success. Today, we’re going to cover a brief overview of the 4Ps, how each effects the sale, and how each can be turned for online. Let’s get started.
The 4Ps of marketing
The product is always the starting point. It can be a tangible product, information, or a service. However, the concept of “product” is more than just the product itself. It also includes how an offering is packaged, its warranty, its brand, how consumers view the company’s image, customer service, and perceived value. These elements help determine if businesses can charge more or less for similar products and services.
For online businesses, much of this happens on the website. Your website helps build visitors’ ideas about your brand, and how you package your offerings (i.e. the website design itself) helps with the company image.
Determining place is critical for online shopping venues. Marketing success is knowing your customers’ and providing a product or service for what, when, and where they buy online. Consider the elements that fall under “place”:
- Intensive Distribution – Companies deploy this when maximum market coverage is their goal. You’ll likely find a plethora of products on the company’s website.
- Selective Distribution – Companies choose selective services and products in this scenario. The fact that a consumer has to seek out the product raises its perceived value.
- Exclusive Distribution – Then of course there are those online retailers that lay claim to a highly exclusive product or service. These are extremely high-end products.
Promotion is how marketers choose to stay in the minds of their customers. It’s a constant process and there’s no letting up. Marketers continually capture the attention of consumers by leveraging the following methods.
1. Advertising can be paid, sponsored, or offered through direct mail, on the Internet, television, radio, blogs, banner ads, or billboards. In today’s world, marketers have to apply new strategies for online success.
2. Sales promotions are used intermittently to boost sales. You’ll find these in the form of contests, premium promotions, trade shows, coupons, and free samples etc. A sales promotion is great for allowing companies to work out the kinks in their marketing mix. By being flexible, companies can discover the right marketing fit for their demographic.
As always, the price that businesses charge for an offering is usually in line with what people are willing to pay. Price is a derivative of the cost of manufacturing, material costs, a product’s perceived value, what the competition charges for a similar product, and market conditions at any given moment. The price can be fixed or viable, and it can be used to position a product with respect to its perceived value.
Why Marketing Promotions Fail
The fact remains that marketing promotions can fail no matter how many gurus are assigned to the task. Remember, any item found on a website is one that has undergone a degree of analysis. Needless to say, consumers have seen thousands of foolish products or services disappear as quickly as they arrived.
Imagine not having a handle on the 4Ps of marketing with no true marketing strategy at all. The fact remains that at any given moment, 25 percent or more of marketing teams are without a sound marketing strategy. However, they find a way to push forward. Many clients refuse to pay for a strategy, but will readily pay for tactics. Tactics can produce a winner on occasion, but for the most part it’s a crap shoot.
Additional Things About Online Marketing to Consider
Every major company today has an online presence, and all online business – whether small or large – needs to keep the 4 Ps in mind. However, you can’t stop there; the evolution of marketing certainly hasn’t.
Next Monday, we’ll talk about how the 4Ps have expanded to include the more in-depth points of portability, personalization, proximity and presence. Check back in – or better yet, subscribe – to make sure you don’t miss out on this important information!