Many marketing plans and strategies have been largely centered around four key components, making up the Classic Marketing Mix–product, price, place, and promotion. Each of these distinctive components can create an extraordinary online marketing plan if you correctly assess your business, organization, website, or blog in these areas and implement a tactical strategy to fit the needs of your business.
At the core of every product is the product concept, the satisfaction and convenience, you wish to bring to the consumer through the product you are offering. A good product strategy acknowledges the importance of your product concept. Product concept covers everything from the quality of the product to its packaging, to the way you decide to distribute it. The world runs on the exchange of products and services. So what separates a product from a service? The answer is obvious: one is tangible, one is not. A customer can buy a coffee mug and take it home to use it. When a customer buys a service, like hiring on electrician, there is no tangible product to consume. There is a huge similarity between this product and service, the customer in both instances is buying a solution and benefit. In this sense, products and services are no different. How beneficial your product or service is to your customer directly depends on your product concept–and both products and services need a strategy to make their product concept reach its potential. Without proper planning and promotion, products fail. To develop a product strategy right for your business, completely determine and assess what exactly you are offering and to who. I’m sure that you probably have a tight grasp on what you are trying to offer, but through thorough and periodic assessments of your target audience and the competition in your market, you can make your grasp even tighter. This will always help your brand image, help you make more sales, and help you become more successful. For a simple example, offering a product to a consumer, like a sweater, can be very different than offering a service, like financial consulting, to a business. Brand image is one thing that is sold along with every single product and service. Associate with your product a brand image you will stand by. Offer your customers, along with your product, an environment of purchasing for your customers that will set you apart from your competition. Return policies and post-sale support are two great examples of things that can go along with your product that customers will benefit from. Standing by ethical choices for your business or going-green are also great examples for things that you can work into your product concept that will set you apart from others. Shine a light on your product for customers to see, and stand by it. Your product concept is the very core of your product, its strategy, and ultimately, its success or failure. Begin your planning with your product concept, and your success will start out on the right foot.
Just as a product strategy is important, a pricing strategy is important, too. While not properly developing a product can cause your product to fail, not developing a good pricing strategy for product can cause you to lose sales–sales you would have otherwise had ‘in the bag’! Similar to the product concept, the brand image that the customer takes away with their purchase, is a perception of value, but in this case, based on price. If you have high product quality, exceptional quality at servicing your product, and prices your customers perceives as reasonable, customers will perceive you and your product as very valuable. They will be happy to purchase your offering and to compensate you for you offering. Start out by taking a look at the competition in your market, and if you find yourself in a highly competitive market, consider pricing strategy adjusts and tactics that will set you apart. One great way to set yourself apart from competitors is to set the initial price of your product on the low end. If you know that your customer will need to buy more products later, offering them a price that beats the competition wins you a sale. They naturally perceive value in your product, and this gives you more room to add value in other areas, like your product concept. This will create returning costumers. Another strategy is bundling, which involves setting package options for products. Selling products that are bundled together at lower price than they would be if they were sold separately will lead to larger sales made by bargain hunters. Of course, always consider cost and demand, and work them into your pricing strategy, but never forget to consider your customer’s perception of value. If customers don’t agree that your prices are reasonable, you will lose out on sales, and you should consider adjusting your pricing strategy. Simple as that.
The place component to your marketing plan involves your channel of distribution, or the way a finished product gets from producer to consumer. As you could easily guess, the most important key to your physical distribution strategy is understanding your customers’ needs, wants, and perceptions. You are going to want to develop a strategy for your distribution that is practical and cuts costs, but don’t even compromise the value your customers receive and perceive. Aside from distribution the place component to your marketing plan also deals with your location. Choosing the right location can mean success or failure for your business. What kind of customers are you looking to attract? Is there a lot of existing traffic near your location? Is there enough parking at your location? Is working from home an option for you? Can customers find your business? Can they locate you online? These are all major questions to be asking in regard to positioning strategy. The answers to each of these will affect how your business handles distribution and location, which therefore, adds to the perception of your business.
If you find yourself at our website, chances are your promotional strategy is something you know is important to develop. Sales promotions are intended to be short-term strategies that boost sales through incentives. Customers need to be encouraged to buy. A promotional strategy figures out exactly how and when and to who you will promote to, to encourage the purchase of your product or service. Here are just a few examples of ways you can assess and determine what kinds of sales promotions fit your current needs:
For every promotional strategy or incentive to reach the intended audience, you will need to create and develop along with your promotions, a promotional media strategy. Determine the best way for your target market to hear about your promotions. Some examples* of tactical and effective ways to get the word out about your promotions are setting up a Mobile SMS Marketing campaign, using any or all forms of Online Marketing, or even more traditional methods like Broadcast Advertising. Correct timing, delivery, and advertisement for your sales promotions will always lead to good response and conversion rates, but you have to get the word out! *Note: The most effective AND efficient of all examples is Online Marketing–in all departments of Online Marketing there is the opportunity to directly target an audience and advertise sales promotions in a welcomed way.
These are the key components to a thorough and well-planned marketing plan using the Classic Marketing Mix. It is up to you to assess your products, prices, place, and promotions, and build a strategy for each that will support each other and your overall brand image. The change or impact you wish to make on your marketplace will always be dependent on these four components. Use them as a guide for breaking down a marketing place in an easy and practical way. Once you have physically written down an assessment for these four areas, you will be able to easily write down your marketing plan. Implementing is then your last step–and at this point–will be piece-of-cake! Taking the time to look deeper into these key components is your first step onto the path of success. Get started with this advice, and then also take a look at the various techniques we have decided to share with you throughout our website. It is our goal to offer you our expert advice, as well as the most pertinent information on getting started on utilizing them. There is always something new to learn!