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Getting the (Marketing) Mix Right

As any professional chef will tell you, the secret to top-notch culinary dishes is quality ingredients and combining them in the right way. On the TV show, MasterChef the emphasis is always on fresh produce and taste, taste, taste as you cook. And as amateur cooks know, getting the measurements wrong is a recipe for disaster – “I thought it said a Tablespoon of Vinegar, not a Teaspoon!”

It's the same with Marketing. You’ve got to make sure you include all the elements and mix them the right way.

The 4 Ps of Marketing: product, price, place, and promotion are regarded as the core elements of any good marketing strategy.

They are also referred to as the Marketing Mix. The 4 Ps encompass a range of factors that are considered when marketing a product or service, including:

· what consumers want,

· how the product or service meets or fails to meet those wants,

· how the product or service is perceived in the world,

· how it stands out from the competition, and

· how the company that produces it interacts with its consumers.

While the principles of the 4 Ps have been around for a while, when it comes to Finance and Lending businesses, they remain a powerful marketing application and good business strategy.

The 4 Ps are designed to assist you to consider everything about a product or service when deciding how to market it for your business. Framing your marketing around the 4 Ps will help you learn what the competition is doing and what clients want from you.

The 4 Ps form a dynamic relationship with one another. Rather than one taking priority over the other, each is considered equally important in crafting a strategic marketing plan. Thinking about your marketing in terms of the 4 Ps will help you strategize how to reach your clients:

Product - the product is your service offering and it depends on your niche and what you do best. An effective marketing mix starts with a service offering that fills a significant client need. Evaluating how your services are likely to change over time is the backbone of a good marketing mix. You must have an understanding of your services inside and out before you devise larger marketing strategies.

How does your service meet your client’s needs?

Price – price refers to the cost of your service. Determining price includes an analysis of your competition, the demand, operating costs, and what clients are willing to spend. A good pricing strategy is one in which price points are in line with the perceived value of your service while still being high enough to maintain profit margins. Finding the right price can involve raising the price to make a service seem more exclusive, or lowering the price to make a service more available.

What is the value of your services?

Place - the place (or distribution) refers to where clients utilise your services, or where they discover them. Place is determined by the physical environment or online/e-commerce market where your service is promoted. It also includes the method used to deliver a service to your clients. You have to evaluate the potential clients in your target market to decide what sort of distribution methods are most suitable.

Where are clients looking for your service? How do they want it delivered?

Promotion – promotion refers to specific and thoughtful advertising that reaches the target market for your service. Promotion covers any sort of marketing campaign, including public relations outreach and discount strategies. Increasingly, promotional activity takes place over the internet via social media marketing or targeted ads, but there’s still room for old-fashioned advertising via broadcast ads, print ads, or signage.

How can you differentiate your service from competitors?

How to Use the 4 Ps of Marketing to Sell Your Service

The 4 Ps aren't something you can implement as an afterthought. To utilise the 4 Ps effectively, incorporate them across your entire marketing campaign.

From the initial organising stages, all the way through to a campaign launch, the presence of the 4 Ps should be evident in your marketing strategy every step of the way.

Following is a 7-step guide to developing a marketing mix using the 4 Ps:

1. Identify which service you are analysing. This may sound obvious, but before you start developing a marketing mix, it’s important to have a clearly defined service that you are trying to market. Even when brokers have diverse service offerings, the 4 Ps should be applied separately to individual service offerings.

2. Analyse how your service meets the needs of your clients. Your service should serve specific client needs. It’s important to be able to articulate what those needs are and how your service uniquely meets them. You’ll use this information later when you develop a marketing campaign that tells clients what your service does and why they should use it. You should be able to point to market research and other data that backs up these client needs.

3. Understand the places where your target audience is looking. Evaluate where your target clients frequent (both physically and virtually). If your service is being promoted in a physical location, make sure that it’s available in neighbourhoods where your clients base lives and in locations where they spend time. If you have an online presence, try to direct clients to your website.

4. Decide on a price for your service. Draw on market research to set a proper valuation for your service that will appeal to your target client. Price can be based on industry norms, however, it’s your service and you can adjust to position your offerings. Some finance professionals raise their service prices to position them as exclusive or high-quality.

5. Formulate marketing messages to promote your service. Develop marketing concepts that will appeal to your client base and communicate how your service serves them. This is also the stage of your marketing mix process when you’ll decide what types of marketing communications to invest in. Depending on your service and target client, your marketing plan could use a variety of channels including traditional marketing methods, direct marketing, or digital marketing.

6. Look at the 4 Ps holistically and decide if they fit together. Now that you’ve created a cohesive marketing mix, take a look at each of your 4 Ps and decide if your plan fits together. Constructing a marketing mix is all about crafting a plan where each element works in concert with the others.

7. Revisit your marketing mix over time. A successful marketing strategy requires you to revisit and adjust over time. As a service grows in market share and popularity, the place and promotion strategies you use should change to keep up with demand. Your potential clients might change as might the profile of your service. The elements of the marketing mix are not static. They are meant to be adjusted and refined over time, revisited regularly throughout a service’s lifespan. Your marketing plan will need to evolve.

And finally…

The 4Ps of marketing may be utilised in several ways:

  • Develop your marketing strategy. Once you get the product (your services), price, place, and promotion right, you’ve laid the groundwork for your entire marketing efforts.

  • Conduct a marketing workshop. The 4 Ps of marketing is something everyone in your operation should understand. Also, everyone can contribute ideas or insight on its components.

  • Audit a marketing strategy. When you need to audit or dissect an existing marketing strategy, the 4 Ps will keep you focused on what’s important.

The 4 Ps of Marketing is part of the Marketing module in the Business Finance Certification, a professional development program that helps you build your business and succeed and prosper. For more information go to:


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