Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction. Marketing differs from selling because (in the words of Harvard Business School’s retired professor of marketing Theodore C. Levitt) “Selling concerns itself with the tricks and techniques of getting people to exchange their cash for your product. It is not concerned with the values that the exchange is all about. And it does not, as marketing invariable does, view the entire business process as consisting of a tightly integrated effort to discover, create, arouse and satisfy customer needs.” In other words, marketing has less to do with getting customers to pay for your product as it does developing a demand for that product and fulfilling the customer’s needs.
The seven P’s of marketing are a fundamental part of marketing which every marketing department should implement.
P1 Product There is no point in developing a product or service that no one wants to buy, yet many businesses decide what to offer first, then hope to find a market for it afterwards. Successful companies find out what customers need or want and then develop the right product with the right level of quality to meet their expectations, both now and in the future. – A product does not have to be tangible – an insurance policy can be a product.
P2 Price A product is only worth what customers are prepared to pay for it. The price needs to be competitive, but this doesn’t mean you have to be the cheapest in your market – small businesses can compete with larger rivals by offering a more personal service, value-adds or better value for money. You also need to make a profit. Pricing is the only element of the marketing mix that generates revenue — everything else represents a cost to you. When considering the price of your product, it’s important to look at it from the customer’s perspective: – Price positions you in the marketplace — it tells customers where to place you in relation to your competitors. – The more you charge, the more value or quality your customers will expect for their money. – This is a relative measure. If you are the most expensive provider in your market, customers will expect you to provide a better service. – Everything that the customer sees must be consistent with these higher quality expectations — packaging, environment, promotional materials, website, letterheads, invoices, etc. – Existing customers are generally less sensitive about price than new customers — a good reason to look after them well.