Once you have developed your marketing strategy, there is a seven P formula you should continually use to evaluate and reevaluate your business activities. These seven are: product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning, and people. As products, markets, customers, and needs change rapidly, you must continually revisit these seven P's to make sure you are on track and achieving the maximum results possible for you in today's Market.
To begin, develop the habit of looking at your product as though you were an outside marketing consultant having been brought in to help your company decide whether or not it is in the right business at this time. Ask critical questions such as: Is your current product or service, or mix of products or services appropriate and suitable for the market and the customers of today?
Prices Deserve Attention
The second P in the formula has to do with price. Develop the habit of continually examining and reexamining the prices of the products and services that you sell to make sure they are still appropriate to the realities of the current market. Sometimes you need to lower your prices. At other times, it may be appropriate to raise your prices. Many companies have found that the profitability of certain products or services does not justify the amount of effort and resources that go into producing them. By raising their prices, they may lose a percentage of their customers, but the remaining percentage generates a profit on every sale. Could this be appropriate for you?
The third habit in marketing and sales is for you to develop the habit of thinking in terms of promotion all the time. Promotion includes all the ways you tell your customers about products or services and how you then market and sell to them. Small changes in the way you promote and sell your products can lead to dramatic changes in your results. Experienced copywriters can often increase the response rate from advertising by 500 percent by simply changing the headline on the advertisement.
The fourth P in the marketing mix is the place where your product or service is actually sold. Develop the habit of reviewing and reflecting upon the exact location where the customer meets the salesperson. Sometimes a change in place can lead to a rapid increase in sales.
The fifth element in the marketing mix is packaging. Develop the habit of standing back and looking at every visual element in the packaging of your product or service through the eyes of a critical prospect. Remember, people form their first impression about you within 30 seconds of seeing you or some element of your company. Small improvements in the packaging or external appearance of your product or service can often lead to completely different reactions from your customers.
The next P is positioning. You should develop the habit of thinking continually about how you are positioned in the hearts and minds of your customers. How do people think about you and talk about you when you are not present? How do people think and talk about your company? What positioning do you have in your market, in terms of the specific words that people use when they describe you and your offerings to others?
People are Everything
The final P is people. Develop the habit of thinking in terms of the people inside and outside of your business who are responsible for every element of your sales and marketing strategy and activities. Your ability to select, recruit, hire, and retain the proper people, with the skills and abilities to do the job you need to have done, is more important than everything else put together.