Categories
Marketing Marketing Strategy

The 7Ps of a good marketing strategy

I’ve led a sheltered life and have only thought of the 7 Ps of a good marketing strategy in marketing terms:

  • Product/Service
  • Price
  • Place
  • People
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence
  • Promotion

However, I recently discovered that the Military also adopt a 7Ps:  Theirs is a little different:
“Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance”
so think how powerful your marketing strategy could be if you combined both?
I often smile wryly if I introduce myself to someone who concludes that because I am in ‘marketing’  I dabble with some  ‘advertising’!  If you take a look at the list below, you’ll see that advertising is one part of offline communications which is one of the 7 Ps of marketing.   I’ve given up trying to convert!
I’ve touched really briefly on the various elements of the marketing mix – but please do call if I can help you work through anything in particular.  This is the tiniest snapshot of the breakdown of marketing.  But it is good to sit back from your business and challenge yourself with some of these questions.
Product/Service: 

  • Is there a market for what you do? How do you know?
  • Why should people buy what you offer at all and why should they buy from you?
  • What makes you different from your competition?
  • Who is your competition – when did you last do a competitive SWOT?
  • What are the overall growth trends in your sector?
  • What is your sales pattern? What area of your sales is strongest and why and can you harness this strength elsewhere?
  • And what area is weakest? What are you doing about it?
  • How well do you treat your customers?
  • Which profitable customers can you win from whom? How?  Why? Where? When?

Price

  • Have you built value into your pricing?
  • Are you competitive?
  • Is your cost enough for you to work with profit?
  • How do you set your price?
  • Will you discount?
  • How will you avoid being always known for discounting?
  • What do your competitors do?
  • Keep It simple

 Place

  • How easy/convenient is it for your customers to buy from you?
  • Where and how are you currently selling your products and services?
  • What are the opportunities to extend these?

If you are selling a service on the web, are you supporting with testimonials and case studies?
People

  • Are your people one of your main strengths of your business?
  • Or are you the bottle neck in your company? Are you better than everyone else and does everything have to come through you first?
  • What type of leader are you?
  • What is the path for your team to voice their concerns other than coming through you?
  • Are your people your best ambassadors or are they whinging about you/the business as soon as they are out of the door?
  • Are they as well trained as they can possibly be?
  • Did you involve your team when you last undertook a company SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) –really powerful.

Process
One of the vital Ps but often overlooked and often designed for the company’s benefit rather than the customer’s.    Ask yourself:

  • Can your team deliver a consistent level of service to all customers and at all times?
  • Customer retention is critical.. how failsafe is your process to ensure you don’t lose any?
  • How effective is your sales process?
  • What processes have you in place for telephone answering/billing/communication with your clients/recommendations/operations/

Physical Evidence (Brand)
Your brand is defined as

  • Signs by which you are known and remembered
  • A bundle of explicit/implicit promises
  • A reflection of personality
  • A statement of position.

Have you thought about/discussed what does your company stand for? What’s its personality and philosophy? What’s your one key brand promise to your customers?
Your brand is so much more than your logo.  Think about a new visitor’s journey to your web site – does this reflect the look and feel of any communication they have had from you hitherto?  Will they recognise this as being part of the same business?  Have you had your website made mobile friendly?  Really important.
A few hours spent on this are far from fluffy nonsense.  See my article on local company Mulberry here
Promotion (Communication)
Just a few from the hundreds of options

  • Off line
    • Face to face
    • WOM referral
    • Networking
    • Telesales as part of a process
    • PR
    • Exhibitions and events
    • Direct marketing and sales letters with appropriate follow up driving to the web
    • Postcards
    • Events and seminars
    • Advertising but think carefully before you embark here. One off random ads are a waste of time and money! Is it the right target market?  Don’t be dazzled by offers…

 On line

    • Website and how are you pushing your web? Does your copy talk about ‘you’, ie the reader?  Are you  making regular blog posts and updates?  Have you considered more SEO eg PPC,  back links, etc
    • Online videos on YouTube – how to/ about/testimonials – so many options
    • Social media – which?
    • Facebook advertising
    • Email news and updates

So then, back to the military version:
Using your marketing knowledge to create a good strategy/plan coupled with the military 7Ps of “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance” will surely lead to improved business performance for 2016?  But do remember that marketing is not a quick fix.  Think of it as your new exercise regime for 2016 – little and often on a regular basis.
My audit is a really good starting point – Give me a ring or email me on debbie@armstrongbeech.co.uk  if you’d like to chat over.

Categories
Customer Trust Trust

Do your customers trust you?

Do your customers trust you?
For me, trust has always been one of the most, if not the most important factor in any relationship with clients.  Whenever undertaking any sales training and running through the most important qualities of anyone working in sales, trust invariably comes out on top.
This time the issue is about the Charity sector and a Mr Rae who forgot to tick a box when he filled out a lifestyle survey in 1994.  It seems that the company behind the survey sold his personal information to charities which then bombarded him with requests for donations and some then proceeded to pass on Mr Rae’s personal information to other charities, data brokers and companies – over 200 times in total and resulted in him being scammed as well. No-one deserves this and the Data Protection Act is very clear – the very first principle is that your data is only processed fairly and lawfully.
Again, it comes down to trust and expectation and not simply down to the fact that 20 years ago Mr Rae didn’t tick the box to say ‘don’t share my information with ‘like-minded’ companies’. An interesting discussion yesterday on R.4 commented that part of the issue was too much short term thinking and too high targets for the sales team on the phone and a lack of understanding that the charity/donor relationship is very much long term and very much dependent on trust.  It is critical for donors not to feel bad if they can’t up their giving. Every donor should be encouraged to give to their comfort level but never beyond, they should never be made to feel guilty. This is a negative emotion and not at all productive.
So this then leads into emotion v logic not being understood, and perhaps processes in the business not being as robust as they might be. Are yours sound in your business?  Are there any that could lead to customers or clients feeling that you are not being transparent and perhaps not worthy of their trust?
I love getting process right. Call me if I can help.
3rd September 2015