So far in our marketing mix series, I’ve talked about selling your products, promoting your products, and choosing the right price for your product’s target market. Today, I’m going to finish up with the last of the 4 P’s marketing mix by talking about placement. Strategies created for the marketing mix center on the best ways of getting the product to the end user. Placement concerns itself with getting a product to a consumer at just the right place and right time. It involves effective distribution as well.
Good and Bad Product Placement
There is both good and bad product placement. Good product placement helps consumers to feel comfortable viewing and experiencing the product through mass media. Bad placement has the opposite effect. Product placement also takes into consideration a consumer’s ability to recall brand awareness. Awareness relates to the strength of a brand in a person’s memory. This is how customers choose a brand and show loyalty:
- Brand Recognition – This happens when a customer is able to identify a brand under a variety of circumstances. A brand’s strength is in proportion to the customer’s ability to identify a service or product by its logo, packaging, advertising campaign, or tag line.
- Brand Recall – Recall refers to the extent to which a person can recall a service, brand, or product. The best recall is that which fosters “unaided recall.” Marketers often test the strength of brand recall through consumer interviews and surveys. It’s distinct from brand recognition in that consumers can recall members of the brand.
Digital marketing has had a profound effect on how companies market their products. Thus, companies now must tailor not only offline strategies, but also online strategies that will reach their customers at the right time and place. What are the ideal locations? Once reached, what are the best ways to convert potential clients into actual clients? Even in situations where customers aren’t engaged on the web, their conversion often happens online.
Integrating Social Media Strategies into the Marketing Mix – Social Selling
As a company, it’s impossible to get around the fact that you’re going to need a robust online presence. This comes through an effective social media strategy. The truth is that a significant portion of people spend quality time with their social media networks building relationships and exploring interests. The customer buying process has evolved from customers simply looking to buy, to looking for things they’ve already experienced. As a business owner, your biggest challenge is to be there for the customer wherever the customer happens to be.
The Customer Service Faucet Is Always On
Customers expect you to be there whenever, and wherever, they are. They expect their needs to be serviced at all times. Meeting this need is good customer service on the marketer’s behalf. Customer service never sleeps because customers, as a whole, never sleep. Their desire to find products, information, and services knows no boundaries. When you know where your customers are, it removes much of the mystery of where to place your product or service, link or banner ad.
How to Research and Locate Your Audience
This requires research on your company’s behalf to identify potential customers and to track their shopping habits. The clearer your vision, the easier it is to find them on their social media channels. At some point you’ll have to conduct a customer survey to learn what online locations they prefer to visit, what sites they regularly use, what publications and blogs they read, and the people and companies they follow on and offline.
It’s not difficult to find studies and publications, even infographics, of where your customer base spends its time. The Pew Research Center provides an exceptional breakdown of where audiences spend their time. Information is also available on the top social media channels with respect to education, gender, education, and more.
The road from product to sale isn’t easy by any means, and stepping into a digital world hasn’t made it any easier. However, if you take the time to think about how traditional marketing can be enhanced or replaced (depending on your needs) by digital, online marketing, you’ll find it’s not near as hard as it may first seem.
Take the time to read the rest of our 4 P’s of Marketing series to get the most out of it for your business. Armed with that important information, you can move forward bravely into the bright world of online marketing with confidence.