Today, I attended a talk by Dr. Michael Hitt at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business about “Institutions and Entrepreneurial Strategies.” Dr. Hitt was sharing about the impact of institutional forces on entrepreneurial strategies and their polycentricity. In layman’s terms, it means that the institutional laws and forces are interdependent as they collectively impact entrepreneurial strategies, having a combinative effect. Essentially, you can’t isolate one to understand the impact that it would individually have on the strategy.
The bottom line is that there are multiple ‘forces’ that impact success. This same interrelationship holds true for the field of marketing. Often, agencies and marketers will only consider one aspect of the marketing mix. But to have a truly successful marketing strategy, you must consider all of the potential impacts within the brands environment in order for the brand to thrive. The best way to do this effectively is from the traditional lens of the 5 P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place, People and Promotion. These five ingredients form the strategic foundation upon which your brand success will be built:
A product is either a tangible good or intangible service that fulfills a need for its customers. You must have a clear idea of what your product is and the need it satisfies as well as what makes it unique and different in the marketplace.
When you think about pricing for your product or service offering, you have to consider many factors from profit margins to supply and demand and any existing pricing norms within your category. You also can’t forget any discounts or price-matching that you plan to offer. It’s imperative that you fully understand the price elasticity of your product in order to ensure that you are maximizing both profit and demand in your pricing strategy.
In today’s world, it’s critical that you have an integrated online and offline presence. They must seamlessly work together whether purchase happens online or in-store. Even when the actual transaction doesn’t happen on the website, most consumers today are at least engaged online and doing research prior to purchase.
This refers to the staff, both sales and customer service reps, that will interact with your customer or the end users of your products or services. It’s important to think through and consider how you want your customer service employees to be perceived by your customers. Are they friendly? Are they experts? This will greatly impact how your product or service will be viewed by your customers.
Promotion is probably what most people think of when it comes to hiring a marketing agency. It comes down to how you choose to deliver relevant product and service information to your target customers. This may be through a variety of means from advertising to PR to social media marketing and email marketing. But the marketing tactics need to be conducive to delivering your message while also maximizing your ROI.
In the end, achieving the right marketing mix comes down to having the right products, at the right price, at the right place, sold by the right people at the right time. This kind of synergy with the 5 P’s is what ultimately drives a successful marketing strategy for your brand.