Alright team, it’s time to get back to the basics.
In the online world, there are a lot of marketers who have never taken a business or marketing class in their life. In fact, I would say this applies to most of my peers in the SEO and digital industry.
We’ve learned through the school of hard knocks. That’s made us strong, but also left many without a proper education and grounding off of which to build and change as the world around us changes.
If you’re a more traditional marketer, then the 4 P’s of marketing were likely burned into your brain early on. If you’re like me then you only found them when you needed them.
- Promotion, and
This article will walk through all four and how they play together to grow your business in a cohesive way that is effective and makes sense.
Instead of putting marketing lipstick on a very ugly pig (with broken product and price), the 4 P’s bring them together in a way that makes sense that sets the base for building a successful company.
“The man who grasps principles can successfully handle his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”
Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here we go.
P #1: Product
The first P of the 4 P’s is Product.
To put it simply, if no one wants your product then you are going to have an impossible time building a company off of it.
If people are buying it, then as the marketer your job is to:
- Understand the customer’s problem that the product is solving and that they see it solving;
- The benefits of the product that can be messaged to help potential customers who are doing research to understand how yours helps them solve the problem they have;
- The unique selling proposition so you can position it differently. If no USP, then your job will be harder and acquisition will be more expensive.
Great marketing starts with a great product that solves a real problem, has clear benefits that you can message, and a unique selling proposition that sets it apart from the crowd.
As the marketer, you should understand all of these.
P #2: Price
The second P of the 4 P’s of marketing is price.
The price is, of course, how much a customer is expected to pay for the thing you are selling. Whether it’s a physical product or an online information product (like a course), the price directly affects how well the product sells.
It’s also a trade-off and we should not all be optimizing towards “more customers”. More customers can be great, but it can also be a nightmare.
If your product is purposefully niche and upmarket, you will have fewer customers but make just as much money.
Here are ways to make a million dollars:
- Sell a $1 product 1,000,000 times
- Sell a $10 product 100,000 times
- Sell a $100 product 10,000 times
- Sell a $1,000 product 1,000 times
- Sell a $10,000 product 100 times
- Sell a $100,000 product 10 times
- Sell a $1,000,000 product 1 time
The price drives the market size, the marketing, the messaging, the features, and everything else. Price and product play in together, and you as the marketer have to understand what will sell in the market for what price.
P #3: Promotion
The third P of the 4 P’s is promotion.
Simply put, these are your communication strategies and tactics. It’s how you get the product in front of the people who could be your buyer and communicate it to them.
Promotion is a part of marketing, so the strategies and tactics in this P are not all the marketing involved.
Promotion is spreading the word and communicating it to the market via various channels and messages, while marketing involves a lot more (positioning, product, etc as we’ve just seen).
This is, in my opinion, the area that marketers most commonly overlook because it is the hardest. But without promotion, you’re not going to be nearly as effective as a marketer.
“Build it and they will come” is not a viable marketing approach.
P #4: Place
The fourth P is one that many digital marketers do not think about – Place.
To put it simply, where will the customer buy your product and how will it get to them?
In a physical product business (and when marketing physical products), there are considerations like if it’s sold in stores or online (or both), if it has to ship from a wholesaler or retailer warehouse to you or the customer, and then where the customer is physically which determines shipping and other costs for both them and you.
When talking about digital products, “place” is a much simpler product but you still have to consider:
- Where is it sold? (on your site, on a marketplace, both?)
- How is it delivered? (email, direct download)
- In what format? (PDF, online course with a login)
Just because it’s online doesn’t mean place doesn’t matter. Marketers just often don’t think about it in that way.
To recap, the four P’s of marketing that everyone, especially digital marketers, should be thinking about are: