If you’re a small business looking to ramp up your marketing efforts, it’s important to always keep in mind the 7Ps of marketing when developing your marketing plan. Read more about how to use the 7Ps of marketing in our handy guide.
What are the 7Ps of Marketing?
The 7Ps of Marketing – also called the Marketing Mix - were originally only four Ps: product, price, place and promotion. These 4Ps, devised by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960, have been expanded on as marketing has evolved and now include three additional components – people, process and physical evidence.
The 7Ps of the Marketing Mix is a classic marketing model and simple framework that any business can use to review and optimise its marketing mix and strategy.
The 7Ps of Marketing are:
- Physical evidence
Read on for an explanation of each of the Marketing Mix 7Ps and some examples of how they might apply to your business.
The 7Ps starts with the product you’re selling. This might refer to a physical product, a service or an experience. When you’re marketing your product, you should think about the key features and benefits your customers want and how your product meets these needs. Consider competitor products too – how does the product you’re selling stack up against the competition in terms of product aesthetics, quality and durability?
If you’re starting a new business, you should undertake a thorough customer and competitor analysis as part of the product development process. Existing businesses can also benefit from performing a regular market analysis to help them ensure that their products continue to meet and exceed customer expectations.
Price refers to your pricing strategy. When setting your prices, you should understand how much customers are prepared to pay for your product, the profit margins you need to achieve, and the costs associated with selling your product (rent, wages, website and payment gateway fees, etc.). Your competitors’ pricing strategy is also relevant here – how have you positioned yourself against premium brands, discount brands, and everything in between, and does your pricing reflect this?
You should review your pricing strategy often to ensure your product pricing sends the right message about your brand and reflects your position in the market.
Place is where your products and services are seen, made, sold or distributed. This could refer to a shopfront, an online store, a warehouse, or a cloud-based platform. The design of your place – whether physical or virtual – sets the tone for your business. It gives potential customers a sense of the quality of your products, expected pricing, and more. Your place should reflect both your business and the customers you want to shop with you.
Consider your retail store or website through the eyes of a first-time customer. Is it sending the right message, or are there areas for improvement?
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The way you promote your product will have a direct impact on the success of your brand. There are a vast number of promotional channels you can use in today’s market – from traditional paid advertising via outdoor, TV, radio and the internet to more modern approaches including social media, podcasts, SMS and email marketing, and in-app advertising. Think about your target audience and the channels they use – to be effective, you must promote your product where they are. Again, examining your competitors’ promotional efforts should inform your marketing strategy.
If you’re not using digital promotion to market your business in 2021, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. The possibilities of digital and content marketing are only limited by your imagination.
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People refers to employees who work for your business. It includes everyone directly or indirectly involved in selling your product or service and providing customer service. Your people are the face of your brand. You could have a winning product, but if your employees can’t speak to its features and benefits and provide a great customer experience, you’ll struggle to succeed.
Get the people component of your marketing mix right by hiring the right people, providing comprehensive ongoing training, and creating a culture that they want to be a part of.
Process refers to the processes involved in delivering your product or service to customers. This includes aspects like your sales funnel, your payment systems, your distribution approach and the way you manage customer relationships. Having established, customer-focused processes in place supports your people to deliver a positive and consistent customer experience and work more efficiently.
Think about your internal processes from a customer perspective. Are you easy to deal with? And do the partners you work with – payment systems, logistics and delivery partners, influencers and more – align with your business’s values?
7. Physical evidence
Physical evidence is everything your customers see when interacting with your business. This includes the environment where you provide your product or service (either physical or online), the design of these spaces, your logo and branding, product packaging, social media presence and more.
Physical evidence isn’t just the marketing-focused things your customers see – it also includes operational aspects like the way your staff look and act, your receipts or invoices, and any customer-facing forms. Step through your entire customer journey to identify areas you can optimise.
The 7Ps of Marketing can be applied to every aspect of your marketing mix. Product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence should be considered holistically to ensure you’re sending a coherent and consistent message about your business and brand.
As products, markets and customer expectations continue to evolve rapidly, you should revisit the Marketing Mix 7Ps often. By evaluating and optimising your marketing strategy regularly, you’ll give your business the best chance of succeeding in an increasingly competitive marketplace.