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MARKETING: THE FOUR P’S OR THE FOUR C’S

INTRODUCTION:

The marketing mix was first developed by McCarthy over 40 years ago. It was designed to suggest that you should have a balanced mix of marketing activities within your marketing plan.

ELEMENTS OF THE MARKETING MIX:

The 4 Ps – The main four elements of the marketing mix are described as “the 4 Ps” – product – price – promotion – place.

PRODUCT:

The first P is you product. This should define the characteristics of your product or service that will meet your customers’ needs.

 

PRICE:

The second P is the price of your product/service and decisions surrounding your overall pricing strategies. Pricing can be a very complex area. Most people believe they should undercut their competitors but this is not always a wise strategy. Consumers place value on higher priced products so it’s best if you test various pricing levels of your products and over time you’ll find the right pricing level that maximises your profits.

Even if you decide not to charge for a service it’s useful to realise that this is still a pricing strategy.

PROMOTION:

The third P is about promoting your products and services. This may include advertising, personal selling (eg: Attending exhibitions), sales promotions (eg: special offers) and atmospherics (ie: creating the right impression through the working environment). Public Relations is also included within Promotion by many marketing people, although PR people tend to see it as a separate discipline.

PLACE:

The final P is about PLACE the location where the service is actually going to be delivered. Many retail gurus will tell you it’s all about LOCATION, location and location and this still holds true today.

POWER – SWOT analysis:

POWER SWOT is something I personally add to my business plan, making it very unique, enabling you as the CEO of your company to incorporate a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and treats) in every section of your business plan.

The advantage of doing the SWOT analysis in just about every area of the business plan is that it focuses one thoughts and discards the ‘waffle’ not necessary to record. Should there be an area in the plan you find yourself not getting to the point introduce the SWOT analysis to refocus yourself.

 

 STRENGTHS:List all positive points    WEAKNESSES:Now list all the negatives
 OPPORTUNITIES:List all opportunities in this area  

 THREATS:Now list all the threats in this area

 


 

THEN THE 4 CS:

Many now dismiss the 4 Ps as being out of date and have developed the four Cs to replace that concept.

For example, there are the C’s developed by Robert Lauterborn and put forward by marketing guru Philip Kotler:

  • Place becomes convenience
  • Price becomes cost to the user
  • Promotion becomes communication
  • Product become customer needs and value

The four C’s reflect a more customer oriented marketing philosophy. They provide useful reminders that you need to focus entirely on the customer when deciding where to offer a service. Which ever you choose you should include all four basic elements into your own marketing mix and then custom tailor this to your specific situation.

It can be clearly seen that if the 4 C’s enforce the 4 P’s it will keep you in-touch with your brand and the customer’s ultimate needs. To the one cannot do without the other. They compliment each other!

SUMMARY:

The following points must be discussed and recorded in your marketing plan:

  • The ‘team’
  • Brand strategy
  • SWOT analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Market trends
  • Target Customer group
  • Market share
  • Customer demographics
  • Sales strategy
  • Distribution strategy
  • E-commerce and technology
  • Pricing and positioning
  • Advertising and promotions
  • In-depth Marketing Plan with your 4 P’s and the 4 C’s
  • Risk Management
  • Financial statements (budgets and forecast)

Each one of these points should be included under the main headings of your Marketing Plan. Remember this is not your Business Plan this is a marketing plan!

The Risk Management (red flag) is also one of my unique methods to include in a Marketing plan, as it enables one to identify possible areas of risk, and pin pointing such, highlight these areas so as to alleviate CHAOS and rather encourage planned and structure reaction to situations.

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