Every business leader will have her or his own definition of marketing, peppered with the right jargon and punctuated with enthusiasm. At its most fundamental level, however, marketing is a remarkably simple concept: sitting at the intersection of a business and its customers, marketing is the key to any organization’s success.
So what, then, are the core principles of this essential business function? In this writer’s opinion, marketing is made up of the four Ps: product, price, place and promotion. For any marketing or public relations strategy to be truly effective, all four Ps must be taken into consideration.
The product sold by a business can include a physical product, such as Taiwanese cuisine, or a service, like a food delivery solution.
When a business creates a product, it must consider a host of factors, including labelling, packaging, types of uses, and overall branding. It is also important to clarify how a product will appeal to a particular market segment. Every business should aim to sell a product that appeals to at least one particular group of people, such as students or surfers.
A business must also set the price of a product. If the price of a product is too high, it will deter potential customers and keep sales low. If the price is too low, the business will struggle to turn a profit. Businesses must also consider the prices set by competing firms for similar products.
A common pricing model is to calculate the cost of production and add a desired profit, and take into consideration the value of the product as perceived by consumers. In this way, a business can formulate a product price that makes sense for both the seller and shopper.
This principle of marketing refers to the distribution channels used by a business to sell its product, or products. Distribution channels are the paths or routes through which products and services travel, from manufacture to the final user.
Distribution channels can include business-to-business (B2B) distribution, wherein a producer and industrial user are connected to transform raw material into manufactured products, or business-to-customer (B2C) distribution, where a producer is connected directly to the consumer.
Promoting a business’ product typically involves raising awareness among potential customers about the existence of the good or service on the market. For a long time, advertising has been the most popular form of promotion, relying on mainstream media such as television, radio, magazines or websites. Increasingly, however, promotion in the online world is moving closer toward Influencer and peer-to-peer communications.
Promotion can serve a range of purposes for a business, including an increase in market share, boosted brand image, or bringing a new product to the market.
Marketing in the 21st century undoubtedly requires a high degree of adaptability and market savvy-ness. At the end of the day, marketing is defined by a business’ relationships with its customers. Good marketing is boosting sales, while great marketing is knowing how to connect with target audiences in the most impactful way possible.