Marketing is a crucial component of any business. It involves creating interest in a product or service and convincing potential customers to buy it, and I truly believe the only way you will be able to master it is to understand the fundamentals of marketing. But we won’t go all the way back to 35 B.C when a number of studies have found evidence of advertising, branding, packaging and labelling in antiquity.
Marketing is a pull strategy, it is the practice of identifying, reaching, and convincing potential customers to buy a product or service.
One of my favourite definitions of marketing by CIM is “ Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably“.
There you go; marketing plays a role in achieving the business’s financial targets but also involves many activities, including identifying customer needs, developing goods and services to satisfy those needs, communicating information about products/services to potential customers, and logistics and distribution management, which assures that products are delivered to customers as needed. The heart of marketing is matching supply and demand in a complex, advanced economy.
The most important functions of a marketer often have little to do with selling. Marketing’s major concern is satisfying customers’ wants and needs. While the end goal of marketing practice is to sell products or services, a great marketing plan is about much more than that final click or swipe to buy. It’s about positioning a product in the public consciousness and creating brand loyalty built on lasting relationships with customers. For example: Imagin yourself in a tech store buying TV, a sales person tries to sell a 50” TV of a brand you hardly heard of and give you all the reasons why you should buy this TV (This is what we call push strategy), Yet you still decide to pay a premium and get a brand that makes you feel safe example Sony TV (This is what we call pull strategy) both ends with sales, but the techniques are different.
The 4 Communication Mix: 4Cs of Marketing
In 1990 Robert F. Lauterbur developed 4 Cs of marketing, which was aimed to replace the marketing 4 Ps (I will cover both 4 Cs and 4Ps and 3 extended Ps)
Customer–Value: is to focus on consumer’s wants and needs; understanding what drives your target audience, conducting research, creating customer profiles, actively seeking feedback, and monitoring social media related to your brand are essential steps to grasp the needs and desires of your customers. By gaining insights into these aspects, you can align your marketing strategy to meet the expectations of your audience more effectively.
Cost: The “Cost to the Customer” component of Lauterborn’s 4Cs considers not only monetary price but also psychological and emotional costs associated with a product or service. This factor includes time investment, effort, and perceived trade-offs customers make to acquire or use the product. By decreasing overall cost or providing added value, companies can enhance the appeal of their offerings.
Convenience: In today’s fast-paced world, convenience plays a crucial role in purchase decisions. According to Lauterborn’s model, convenience is essential to help customers find, purchase, and utilize a product or service. Therefore, companies should focus on streamlining the customer journey, optimizing the buying process, and providing accessible customer support channels to enhance convenience for their target audience.
Communication: Effective communication is crucial in conveying the benefits and value of a product or service to customers. By customizing messages that resonate with customers, deploying marketing campaigns through appropriate channels, and engaging in two-way communication, companies can foster stronger connections with their target audience.
Reference: Smart Insights. “Digital Marketing model: Lauterborn’s 4 Cs”
Remember, Marketing is a dynamic field that demands constant adaptation and evolution. While new frameworks offer valuable insights, it’s important not to neglect the tried and tested by striking a balance between the old and the new, marketers can develop a comprehensive and well-rounded approach to connect with their target audience and attain their goals.
The Marketing Mix: 7Ps:
Fact: the marketing mix was first conceptualised in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy (4Ps), then in 1981, Bernard Booms and Mary Bitner added additional 3Ps to the initial 4Ps. So what is the marketing mix?
The Marketing Ps, also known as the Marketing Mix, are a set of tools that businesses can use to create a successful marketing strategy. These Ps are:
Product: It refers to the goods or services that a company offers to its target audience. Understanding your product is fundamental for effective marketing. Consider factors such as its features, benefits, quality, and how it addresses the needs and preferences of your customers. Marketers usually monitor consumers/market and requests for 1- product updates or modifications, 2- Developing of new products or 3- deleting old once.
Price: Price plays a crucial role in shaping customer perceptions and purchase decisions. Determining the right pricing strategy requires a deep understanding of your target market, their purchasing power, and the value they attach to your product; keep in mind that this is the only element in the marketing mix which linked to revenue/directly related to profit.
Place: “Place” refers to distribution channels; with a mix of traditional marketplaces and a rapidly growing e-commerce sector, it’s crucial to adopt an omni-channel approach. Consider partnering with local retailers, establishing a strong online presence, and leveraging popular e-commerce platforms like Noon, Amazon or xcite to ensure your product is readily available to customers in the Middle East. So when it comes to place, you can will need to determine if you will be selling your product or service directly to consumers (0 distribution channel) or through retailers or wholesalers or even all (remember the more distribution channels you add, the higher the cost on your business)
Promotion: Promotion is where things start to get interesting. Traditional marketing often focuses solely on advertising and communication. However, building trust and fostering relationships are equally important. In addition to leveraging traditional advertising channels like TV advertising, events, invest in influencer marketing, build social media communities, and engage in personalised communication to establish a genuine connection with your target audience.
People: The “People” component of the marketing mix reminds us to focus on training and nurturing employees who can provide exceptional customer experiences. By ensuring your team embodies the brand values, understands local customs, and communicates in the preferred language and so on. As Henry Ford once said, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay”.
Process: The “Process” aspect highlights the significance of efficient and streamlined processes, where expediency and convenience are valued, optimising your internal processes and customer journeys is crucial. From order fulfilment to after-sales service, focus on providing a seamless experience that conveys your commitment to customer satisfaction.
Physical Evidence: Finally, “Physical Evidence” refers to the tangible elements that reinforce your brand’s value and credibility. This can include store ambience, packaging, website design, or any other touchpoint that enhances the customer’s perception of your brand. Attention to detail and aligning with cultural aesthetics can make a substantial impact on how your brand is perceived.
So, as you can see, The expanded 7Ps of the marketing mix present a holistic framework for crafting effective marketing strategies that aim to support a business in generating sales and staying relevant. By considering Product customisation, Price sensitivity, Place optimisation, Promotion engagement, People-focused services, Process efficiency, and Physical Evidence enhancement, you can create a comprehensive marketing strategy that resonates with your audience.