Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Integrating all four Ps, part of Marketing Foundations.
The four Ps of marketing is an old and classic idea, but still very relevant. The mistake you can make is to not have all of them work together. You need to create marketing programs that are in sync with each other and support the overall positioning described in your strategy. It may seem obvious, but it can be more challenging than you think. Look at this example and see if you can spot what's wrong. Imagine your strategic positioning is to be the elite watch maker for the medium priced luxury watch market.
Your goal is to appeal to consumers who want to make a statement that they've achieved. Your product is a gold watch with Swiss movements and fine, sophisticated design. Your price point is $4,000. You promote the watch in premium magazines like Smithsonian, and then you sell the watch in thousands of discount department and drug stores. Do you see what's wrong here? Of course, it's the channel design that is completely inconsistent with the positioning.
Selling such an expensive watch right next to a $30 watch sends the wrong signal. People shopping for a $4,000 fine watch would expect to find it in exclusive jewelry stores. Not in a discount store. But channel design is not the only one of the four Ps that can go astray. Look at your product. A common mistake is to over feature the product or service. By adding many bells and whistles, you may be succumbing to a problem called feature creep.
You keep adding features to add more value, but that value is inconsistent with the value proposition. This can be a challenge for R&D or engineering teams who are motivated to make the product amazing. You, as the marketer, have to guide their development to keep it in line with strategy. Now, there may be times when your product development team comes up with an amazing breakthrough. A feature that changes the competitive balance. They find a way to make your product clearly superior to the competition.
Well, in that case, it may make sense to accept the change and go back and revise your value proposition to fit the product's profile. Pricing is another area that gives marketers problems. You want to resist this common mistake. Your product is better than the competition, and everyone knows it. It's tempting to say, hey, my product is better than theirs. If I price it lower than theirs, I'm going to win big. Wrong.
Pricing a superior product lower than the competition sends the wrong signal, and it confuses customers. They'll pay more for more value, so make sure to line the price up so it communicates more value. Finally, is your promotional part of the four Ps. You should promote your product or service only where customers expect to see it. It’s tempting to put the word out about this great new product or service through mass media to get the widest exposure possible, but once again, if you promote your product where the customer doesn't expect to see it, they may get confused and walk away.
Your value proposition doesn't sink in. Think of the four Ps this way. Each is an oar of a rowboat. Make sure all are rowing at the same time and speed and you'll get to your final destination a lot faster.
You'll also learn to address tactical challenges and present the plan to get buy-in throughout an organization, from the C-suite to the sales team, as well as use the marketing plan to guide outside agencies and vendors. Finally, you'll learn how to launch the campaign and measure its performance.
- Marketing in an organization
- Assembling the team
- Creating the marketing plan
- Analyzing your products, customers, and market
- Segmenting customers
- Creating a value proposition
- Developing a strategy
- Setting goals
- Setting prices
- Using social media
- Presenting your plan to leadership
- Budgeting your plan
- Measuring success