Anyone in business knows how crucial marketing is to the growth and success of a company. Often, especially for SME businesses, the importance of marketing can be a little misunderstood and cause anxiety over the amount to be spent compared to your ROI. However, marketing really cannot be overlooked in your annual budget. The average business spends between 10-13%* of its gross turnover on marketing, but if you’re looking for fast growth then it can be significantly more. Companies like Apple, Nike, and Amazon spend billions each year on advertising and sponsorship to increase their brand awareness, which in turn has a significant impact on their turnover.
So, as a business owner, how do you navigate through the ocean of choices and strategies available, as well as the marketing companies who make promises that seem too good to be true?
Being a business owner often means you have to do tasks where you have little or no expertise. However, whether you are an expert or not, it’s important to have an awareness and learn skills that give you at least a basic understanding of how each area of your business works. When discovering the fundamentals of marketing, a great place to start is to work through ‘The Marketing Mix’ – also known as the 7ps of marketing. This concept first evolved in the 1960’s with E. Jerome McCarthy’s book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. He developed the 4ps of marketing, which has since been improved to become ‘The Marketing Mix’.
There are a multitude of resources online, as well as a plethora of books on the subject, but in this month’s blog, we’ll give you a very basic outline to get you started.
SO WHAT ARE THE 7PS?
Any marketing strategy must begin with the physical product, service, digital product or experience you are selling. You must know the key benefits, features and USP, as well as ‘why’ your customers will buy your product over your competitor’s products. If you are launching a new product, then a competitor and customer analysis is essential as part of your product development.
Do you know the demand for your product and what your customers are prepared to pay? How much of a profit margin can you achieve? Where your price point sits among your competitors will reflect how you want your customers to perceive you. Your pricing will send a message about your brand, so decide if you want to be known as a premium brand or a discount brand. Your pricing will absolutely determine this, and a regular review of your pricing is critical to maintain your position in the marketplace.
Where are your products made, stored and sold? Every one of these ‘places’ tells the story of your product and brand and will build your potential customers’ perceived idea of price and quality. Consider where your customers will see your product for the first time and where they can buy your product or service. Is your retail outlet or website sending the right message?
This is a big one! The different methods and media channels you use to promote your product will directly impact the success of your business. Your business must have a marketing strategy that strategically and efficiently uses your marketing budget to achieve greater brand and product awareness, ultimately leading to more sales. Here’s a quick run down of the most popular channels you can use to ‘promote’ your brand:
- Traditional Advertising – TV, Radio, Print Media (Newspaper and Magazine advertising)
- Online Advertising – Social Media Ads (Facebook,Twitter,Linkedin,TikTok), Google Ads
- Direct Marketing – SMS, Email Marketing, Direct Messenger
- Public Relations & Brand Recognition – Sponsorship, Podcasts, Social Media Presence (posts), Blogs (Valuable content), Event participation
- Cross-promotion with other brands.
With all of these promotion options, it’s important to know where your customers ‘hang out’ and which channels will work best for you within your budget with the best ROI.
This refers to the customer experience and the employees or businesses who are your direct or indirect supporters and promoters; the faces of your brand. When you create a culture that employees want to be a part of and they believe in the benefits of the product, the energy they exhibit with your customers will create a high-level customer experience, which in turn will create great word-of-mouth, which is the biggest asset your company can have.
Do you have seamless processes within your business? If you have automated, consistent processes within your business for your sales, distribution, payment systems and managing your customer relationships, and if those processes align with your values, those processes will have a positive impact on your ability to grow and scale your business. The customer experience should appear to be simple and easy, despite what might be going on behind the scenes!
7. Physical evidence
This refers to the entire customer journey with your company; everything from your logo, social media presence, sales process, the invoices and emails they receive on purchase, distribution and delivery, and the packaging. As the business owner, experiment with the customer journey and take every single step your customers will take so you can identify areas that can improve or be optimised.
We hope you now have a fundamental understanding of The Marketing Mix. These points may appear simple on the surface, but get every one ‘right’ and your marketing strategy will improve exponentially. It’s worth considering being experimental and looking at your marketing with a more flexible and playful approach. Getting caught up in ‘immediate’ results can sometimes lead to unmet expectations. We recommend you work on your marketing holistically, sticking to the 7ps and continuing to be consistent over a period of time.
And of course, if you need any clarification on any of the above points, please reach out to us. At District32, we place high importance on our marketing strategy, continually testing and experimenting. When you regularly evaluate and optimise your marketing budget and strategy, your business will have the best opportunity to grow in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.