Before moving on to understand the 7 Ps of marketing, let’s take a step back and gain an insight into the term “marketing”. The term “marketing” cannot be easily defined because it is anything that can make a person interested in what the company offers- be it a product or a service. It, therefore, encompasses all activities that are concerned with exploring, creating and delivering value to meet the requirements and expectations of the customers.
In a nutshell, marketing focuses on those aspects of the business that involve drawing the customer in and forging a long-term relationship. At the most basic level, it seeks to match what the company offers to those who want to access that offer. This, in turn, builds brand loyalty and ensures the long-term growth and profitability of the business. Hence, marketing is something that we cannot ever neglect.
Did you know that facebook is one of the most used platforms for marketing in India.
Importance of Marketing
In today’s highly turbulent and competitive environment, marketing has become an indispensable part of businesses. Marketing has many benefits and is responsible for not only the survival but also the sustainability of a business. Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational objectives. It involves researching, promoting, selling, and distributing products or services to customers.
Benefits of Marketing
Marketing is the most beneficial tool for any business that helps to earn customers and gain profit.This will also help in increasing sales. Moreover marketing has various benefits let us discuss some here below. Let us discuss, in brief, the various benefits of marketing.
Marketing is a very strong tool because it allows businesses to shape the customer’s image of the product or service. It is a proactive approach rather than just a reactive one. Businesses can engage a customer with advertisements to provoke certain emotions and responses.
Marketing enables a company to target the audience it wants to cater to and raise awareness amongst them. A product or a service is people-specific; hence marketing too is people-specific. For example - Apple manufactures products that are exclusively for the rich upper class and Xiaomi offers its products at a cheaper price for the middle and lower classes.
Marketing requires a company to thoroughly research the demographics and external and internal forces like their opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. This enables a company to use its resources judiciously and derive maximum output with minimal input to cut down costs. It also enables them to serve the customers as per their requirements.
Marketing is used to convey to the world what the product does and how it enhances or enriches the lives of the people. Marketing can educate the masses in cases of new products or services.
7 Ps of the Marketing Mix
In the 1960s, E. Jerome McCarthy, in his book, Basic Marketing, devised one of the most effective marketing tactics that are relevant even today by the name of the 4Ps of marketing- Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Later, Booms & Bitner in 1982, added three more elements- People, Process and Physical Evidence in order to capture the market share and satisfy the needs of the customer.
What are the 7Ps of Marketing Mix?
Marketing mix refers to a strategy tool that encompasses a set of activities or tactics which promote a product or a service and influences consumers to purchase those. Having discussed marketing, let us move ahead to gather an in-depth understanding of the 7 Ps of the marketing mix in detail.
A product could be goods or services or a combination of both. It is the focal point of any marketing strategy because it stands for what is being marketed and what the company produces to cater to the needs of the consumers like a need for entertainment is met by a television, and a need for warmth is met by a heater and so on. A company needs to create the right “bundle of benefits” with the required quality in order to make it appealing to the target audience.
Where all the other marketing activities represent the cost that the company is required to incur, price is the only revenue-generating element in the marketing mix. It stands for the amount of money the customers have to pay to get a product or a service. The price of the product depends on several factors like its quality, safety, availability, demand and the perceived benefit the consumers would derive from it. A company should have a top-notch pricing policy that not only covers the cost of making a product but also amounts to some profit for the company.
Any price higher or lower than what the consumers are willing to pay would erode the company’s market share and drastically affect the demand for the product. A consumer is usually willing to pay more if the product is unique and no direct substitutes of it are available in the market or when the customers think that the benefit obtained, the quality and reliability of the product are worth the cost of buying it.
The three things that are needed to be kept in mind while devising strategies are:
- A customer-centric approach while making a product
- Ensuring that not only the cost is covered but also a reasonable margin is obtained over it
- Increasing the market share
This denotes the area where the consumers make their purchases and deal with the availability of the product to the target audience. One of the most basic marketing strategies is to choose the most appropriate marketing channel. A place could be a physical store, an app or a website. A company can sell its products directly to their consumers or even with the help of intermediaries. The distribution policies of a company are important determinants of the functions of marketing and set the tone for the pattern of operations.
After making decisions on product, price and place, it is the responsibility of the company to communicate the necessary messages about the product to the public and influence them to buy the product or a service using coordinated campaigns, advertisements or even personal selling. Promotion is a pivotal aspect of modern marketing because it helps to raise awareness about the products and forges long-term relationships with the previous customers and attracts the potential ones.
This refers to the company’s personnel who are engaged in interacting with the consumers, taking and processing their enquiries, orders or complaints. This could either be attained through online chat services, call centres or even face-to-face interactions. An excellent product with a decent price could still fail in the market if the after-sales services offered by the company are poor. Therefore, a company must invest in the trained personnel with a requisite skill set and an in-depth knowledge of the company’s product or service., especially at places where the customers require any technical help.
It encompasses the entire set of activities that are kick-started from the time a consumer makes an enquiry about the product to buy it till the time the product gets delivered to them. Customers prefer companies that promptly respond to their requests and this could be achieved only when the processes involved are smooth and all the non-value-adding activities are eliminated. A company should always strive to make its processes more efficient.
This denotes a company’s goodwill and refers to the tangible cues of the quality of experience that a company can deliver. Physical evidence is useful at times when a customer is making a purchase that he has never made before and can benefit from the experience of others. This is the “reviews” section where people provide their feedback. Good feedback goes a long way in promoting businesses more than any marketing campaign can because the “word of mouth” is a force to reckon with.
Every business needs an adequate marketing mix strategy to survive and prosper in the dynamic environment and keep on increasing its market share. The 7 Ps of marketing is an important aspect that companies can consider to devise foolproof plans that forge customer relationships and build brand loyalty. In order to achieve this, efforts need to be made to communicate this value and raise awareness about the product (or service) amongst the target audience. We hope this blog has helped to know exactly what are the seven Ps of marketing. Now you can easily use them to grow your business.
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