Marketing is one of the most important business process for the success of any business. Marketing is basically an activity to promote a product or service and it includes advertising, selling and delivering products or services to customers. In this article, we will learn about 7 Ps of marketing. But before we move further, let us know what is the importance of 7 Ps of marketing.
Why 7 Ps of Marketing Are Important?
7 Ps are important for the marketing because they provide a right mix to market any product or service. In the conventional marketing mix, there are only four variables i.e., product, price, place and promotion, while the three more variables were added later on in this mix to make the marketing campaign more effective. These three variables are physical evidence, people and processes. Let us discuss all these variables in detail.
7Ps of Marketing
The 7 Ps of marketing are as follows:
Product is the most important variable among 7 Ps. If product will be not there, what you will market? Product is something which satisfies customer needs. If there is something tangible to be offered to customers, then it in goods and if it non-tangible, then we call it service.
The product offered by the company should be capable of satisfying customer needs. The companies offer some unique proposition to do it. The companies try to differentiate their products or services in some way or either. The product or service offered should either be of high quality or of low price.
The marketing strategy of a product or service varies as per its nature.
Price is one of the most crucial factors for the success of a product or service. Setting the right price is very important. Knowing the customer’s willingness to pay for a particular product or service is necessary for this. The maximum price a customer is willing to pay for a product or service is called the ‘reservation price’.
The price should be proportionate to the value of the product or service. If the customers perceive the product of low value, they will not be willing to pay the high price for the product. On the other hand, if the customers perceive that the product is of high value, they will pay high price for that.
Under mass marketing, the companies offer standard quality products and keep the prices low. These are low margin products but the companies make profit by selling large quantity of products.
Under differentiated marketing, the products offer unique attribute or high quality so that the companies may charge high price for these products. In this case, even if the companies sell low volume of products, thy make high profit.
However, whether it is mass marketing or differentiated marketing, the price of the product should be kept optimum. If the prices will be too high, the customers will not buy the product and if the prices will be too low, the margin will be very less and hence the company will earn less profit.
The price of the product or service depends on many factors, some of which are given below:
- Cost of production which includes fixed cost and variable cost
- Consumer tendency: Whether they are quality conscious or cost conscious
- Product type: Whether it is mass product or differentiated product
- Target market: existing or new
- Market competition: Number of competitors and their strategies
- Price elasticity of demand: How sensitive the customers are w.r.t. the change in prices
Promotion of the product or service may be done in many ways like advertising, public relations, direct marketing, etc. It is important to make customers aware about the product, to change consumer perception, etc. The main objectives of promotion are as follows:
- to make consumers aware of the product or service
- to attract customers in the existing market
- to increase the customer base in the new market
- to change the perception of customer about the product in comparison to the product of its competitors
Place is one of the most important factors of marketing. The product or service should be available at right place and at the right time to the customers. The product should be sold in a market near the customer. Developing effective distribution channel is very helpful in this. The companies take help of external distribution channels also to make the product available to customers near their locations.
While the product based companies rely on the distribution channels, most of the service based companies prefer face to face interaction with the customers to sell their services.
(5) Physical Evidence
Providing physical evidence to the customers is important since it instills confidence in them and they become more willing to purchase a product or service. Physical evidence includes the place of interaction, the place where the product or service is purchased and other tangible items which are the proof of purchase. Some of the physical evidences which help in successful marketing are as follows:
- The waiting area: it should be comfortable
- The decoration in the facility of service provider
- The cleanliness of the office
- The dress up of staff
- Brochure/ prospectus of the product or service
The physical evidences such as lighting, decoration, etc. provide comfort to the customer and the customer becomes inclined to purchase the product or service. Hence the companies should try to provide the physical evidences to the customers in such a manner that they should help in marketing of the products or services, the companies are offering.
The people are the staff and employees of the company. These people play an important role to affect the customer’s level of satisfaction. The people are the first point of interaction with customers and they can convince them to buy a particular product or service. If the staff dealing with customers behaves nicely, then they may become repeat customers and bring business to the company again and again. There are several methods to improve the customer services of staff, some of which include:
- Providing training to the staff regarding how to deal with the customers, how to answer their questions, etc.
- Creating a service script so that the staff may become confident and there is a common language to deal with customers.
- Instructing the staff members to remember important details of the repeat customers such as, their birthday, anniversary, their choices & interests, etc.
Process is one of the most important aspect of marketing. The process ensures that there is a uniformity and efficiency in operations and the chances of error are less. Most companies use process mapping teach their staff what actions to perform when providing a service. Process mapping usually consists of the following:
- Symbols for each step of the process so that employees can follow the instructions easily.
- Flowchart of the process demonstrating every step of the process.
The ‘7 Ps of Marketing’ provide a right mix to market any product or service and are equally effective in both case i.e., products as well as services. When you have to market any product or service, you can follow these 7 Ps to sell that product or service effectively. This is a set of best practices which should be followed by every organization to market their product and services. The ‘7 Ps of Marketing’ can also act as road map to develop an effective marketing plan for the sale of products and services.