What are the P’s of the marketing mix? Key points for small businesses to consider when implementing a strategic marketing plan.

This week, I realise that I’ve been busy with client facing work, and have therefore been considering my product, so this week’s topic is the P’s/peas of the marketing mix, a well known aide memoire for anyone who’s familiar with marketing theory.  The traditional 4P’s of the marketing mix are:

Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

Each element must be continually considered and improved during the active process of implementing a marketing plan. It’s not a one-off action.  They must also each be tailored to your current target audience, or segment.

Product:  Your product may continue to evolve and alter as you improve your understanding of your customers‘ needs.  Do not be afraid to change it and discover new, potentially improved, versions over time.  You can think about how Gregor Mendel revealed the complexity of what is now modern genetics by cross-breeding peas.  Mendel chose to experiment with peas because they had easily observable traits for him to track the patterns of heredity across generations.  It is sometimes very revealing when you mix things up and try an alternative version of your core product or service.
What is your Product?  It is not a fixed entity.  It’s the most appropriate vehicle for transferring your benefits to the customer at that moment.  An example to shed light on this is the change in preferred methods for travel to France: ferry, plane, and train.  Each way, you’re relocated from England to France, so the benefits are equivalent.  But the methods of travel, or products, are distinctly different from each other.  The example from my own seedling business would be the way that I’m trying different types of marketing clinic methods, face-to-face and online, depending upon the client’s preference.

Price:  It may be the case that your product or service has a clear cost of production which needs to be covered by your retail price.  However, please bear in mind that price is an enormously significant factor when positioning your product and reaching specific segments.  This can be illuminated by everyday examples which we take for granted in a developed commercial environment: budget airlines and value ranges of grocery products are choices which are set alongside premium options.  The savvy customer knows the deal; there are implicit benefits relating to quality which are directly linked to the price paid.  The customer can experience a glow of self-validation when he or she chooses a premium priced product, which is akin to thinking, “Look, I must be a superior customer because I choose to buy premium”.

Place: Place is all about where and how you make your product or service available to your potential customers.  It has been affected radically by the growth of the internet and on-line shopping.  I have written in other posts about the benefits and disadvantages of trading on-line.  The most important thing for every business to consider is, “Where might my customer expect or like to find my product or service?”  Wherever it is, that’s the place which you must consider.  It might not be somewhere that is convenient for you, but you need to transfer your product to your customers by whatever means they desire.  Hence, you take your product to your market, and always think about your customers’ needs before your own. There are other P’s in marketing as theory has evolved over time, which include: People, Processes, Physical evidence, and all must remain consistent with your brand values and be tailored for specific segments which you choose to address.

Promotion: This deserves its own dedicated blogpost.  Look out for next week’s post about Peacocks.

Don’t treat each segment like peas in a pod; each one requires an individual treatment.  If you would like to discuss how to alter your P’s as you implement your strategy please visit my website: www. Lisa beaumontmarketing.co.uk and find a marketing clinic solution which meets your needs, or drop me an email [email protected]
Thank you for reading this blogpost.