3.8.2021

The 7 Ps of Marketing

Written by Kit Jenkin

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As times move on, strategies evolve and change. We told you about the 4 Ps of marketing - the basic strategy that most marketers use to determine how to approach and promote their products. However, the 4 Ps were developed almost 80 years ago. With changes to culture, technology and operating practices, it makes sense that the 4 Ps would change along with the times, too. 

These days, we now work with 7 Ps: Product, Place, Price, Promotion, People, Physical, and Process. The 7 Ps give marketers a wider and richer source of references to navigate the complex and ever-changing world of marketing.

Here are 7 Ps of marketing. 

Where do the 7 Ps come from?

To understand the 7 Ps, we need to understand the 4 Ps.

The 4 Ps were developed by Professor Neil Borden at Harvard University in the 1940s as part of his ‘marketing mix’ theory. Inspired by James Culliton’s concept of marketers as ‘mixers of ingredients’ [1], Borden’s ‘marketing mix’ contained the 4 Ps - different ingredients that marketers can combine in different quantities to create an optimal foundation for a marketing campaign. 

The 4 Ps were used for a long time as the baseline for many marketers to think about how their products or services would be engaged within the marketplace. The 4 Ps were developed at a time when companies were more likely to sell products rather than services. Over time, Booms and Pitner added three more Ps to the marketing mix to allow the theory to apply to a wider range of issues [2]. 

The 7 Ps help companies define the key issues that will affect how they market their products and services. While the 7 Ps are useful in traditional marketing, they are also incredibly useful in digital marketing as well. 

Product 

The first point of consideration in the marketing mix is ‘Product’. Product simply represents what the company is selling, whether it be a product or service. Product should be at the heart of the marketing mix and reflect the existential questions about the product. Why does the product exist? What problems is the product trying to solve?

Let’s say you’ve opened a vape store in a middle-income neighbourhood. The success of your store will depend on how you approach the ‘product’ dimension. Is your store the only local vape store? How good is the quality of your product? What features does your product have that will appeal to your customers?

When thinking about ‘product’ for your marketing mix, you may wish to focus on aspects like:

  • Quality
  • Image
  • Branding
  • Features
  • Variants
  • Customer service
  • Use occasion
  • Availability

Place

‘Place’ refers to where you choose to distribute your products or services. It could be anywhere from a mall to a distribution centre to an e-commerce shop. Where you and your products and services end up must be appropriate for your brand. It will affect how your customers see your products or services as well as your ability to generate sales. 

Let’s say you open a bakery. You’ve discovered a great building that can carry the operation, but it’s located next to an industrial park. Not only is this location inappropriate for the business, but it will ultimately lead to low sales since an industrial park lacks the foot traffic that most bakeries need to survive. 

When thinking about place in your marketing mix, think of the following qualities:

  • Trade channels
  • Sales support
  • Channel type 
  • Segmented channels

Price

‘Price’ is perhaps the aspect of the marketing mix that most companies care about. Price is the gateway to revenue and profits. If you get it right, you can attract lots of customers to your product or service, so it’s understandable that most companies want to get this aspect right. 

The price you set should reflect your customers’ perceived value of your product. If your price is too high, you might discourage your customers from making that purchase. If you set your price too low, you run the risk of making your product seem cheap and low-quality - not to mention you’ll miss out on profits. This is why it’s really important to have a very good pricing strategy

When thinking about price, you want to think about:

  • Positioning
  • Listing
  • Discounts
  • Credit
  • Payment methods
  • Free or added-value elements

Promotion

‘Promotion’ refers to all the commonly known areas of marketing: advertising, sales techniques, and promotional campaigns. This could include traditional channels like billboards and radio ads to push notifications and affiliate marketing campaigns.

How you decide to promote your product or service will reflect directly on your business. If you place an ad on the wrong website or place your product next to the wrong competitor in your store, you could end up sending the wrong message. 

Review all the types of promotional channels that are on offer and pick the ones that are best suited to your business. Some things you’ll want to think about with promotions are:

  • Marketing communications
  • Personal promotion
  • Sales promotion
  • PR
  • Branding
  • Direct marketing

People

‘People’ refers to the people involved in your business. Whether it’s a customer service representative, a product manager, or the CEO of the company, ‘people’ can refer to anyone even remotely associated with making and selling your products or services. 

Whereas the other categories listed are more outward-facing concerns, the ‘people’ category is more inward-facing. It means looking at your company and asking yourself if you have the right people to make your products and services a success. Do you have the best training programs in place? Are your employees motivated? Do they understand your company’s values and reflect them in their interactions with customers? Do your managers have good people skills?

When thinking about the ‘people’ side of your marketing mix, you’ll want to think about the following:

  • Individuals in marketing
  • Individuals in customer service
  • Recruitment
  • Culture/image
  • Training and skills

Physical

‘Physical’ refers to all the collateral details and aspects of your brand that can influence a customer’s impression of your company, product, or service. 

Physical evidence of your marketing mix can take two forms: evidence of the purchase or use of your product or service and the confirmation of the existence of your brand.

The former can include things like receipts, packaging, invoices, forms, PDFs and more. The latter can include any number of things, including marketing collateral like brochures, business cards, and your company logo to things like your website and social media presence.

When thinking about the ‘physical’ dimension, think about things like:

  • Sales/staff contact experience
  • Product packaging
  • Online experience

Process

‘Process’ refers to all the actions that take place when delivering a product or service to a customer. Examining these processes involves thinking about things like your sales funnel, payment systems, distribution, and customer service.

When thinking about these processes, the emphasis should be on how to increase efficiency and value for the customer. You’ll also want to consider ways that you can decrease costs in these processes. Assessing and optimizing different aspects of your sales and distribution processes will help you save money in the long run. 

When thinking about ‘process’, you’ll want to think about things like:

  • Customer focus
  • Are processes business-led?
  • IT support
  • Design features
  • Research and development

Conduct marketing through your POS

Start implementing the 7 Ps today. Take the insights you get from looking at product, place, price, promotion, people, physical, and process with easy-to-use apps right from your POS.

All Epos Now POS systems are compatible with amazing marketing apps like Mailchimp and Loyalzoo.

  • Keep in touch with your customers by creating appealing sales campaigns
  • Promote your products, services, and discounts using email and SMS marketing
  • Cultivate customer loyalty with great rewards programs
  • Access unbeatable customer data to help you make better business decisions
  • Monitor the performance of your campaigns to see what’s working and what’s not
  • Use direct marketing and targeted messaging to reach the right people at the right time. 

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