Before jumping onto the online businesses, let us first examine the case of an offline, physical store. How do you know about a hardware store opening this weekend in your neighborhood?
Well, you might have heard about it from your parents, neighbours, friends etc. And how do they know about the store? They might have seen flyers all over the place or heard the megaphone announcement about the grand opening or saw a business card of the store or any other ways of local advertisements.
Why do you think the shop owner decided to do advertising? I mean, think about it, a recently constructed physical store standing with all its glory would easily catch the attention of anyone passing by. Then what is the need of attaching a flyer to the local daily newspaper and getting people to know about the opening?
The most simple yet significant answer to that question would be “Publicity”. The more people know about your store, the greater would be the footfall at your doorstep. Publicity or Wide Awareness is the first and foremost step of Marketing.
All the marketing strategies of traditional businesses such as flyers, business cards, megaphone announcements, etc. give a sturdy introduction about the new business to the local demographic potential customers who are most likely to visit the store.
Just like how local advertisements draw customers to the store, well-planned online marketing strategies can drive relevant traffic to your online store with widespread brand awareness.
Online marketing is a whole other complex realm, where the flyers and business cards are replaced by social media posts, emails, Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads, higher rankings in search engines etc.
No businesses exist without marketing, even the top business giants of the era have reached the heights through organised marketing strategies. Thus, this blog leads you through the relevance of marketing and introduces you to the concept of the Marketing Mix – the 4P ingredient recipe of all excellent marketing strategies.
What is Marketing?
In simple words, Marketing includes all sets of activities that lead to the buying or selling of your products and services.
Every nook and corner stage of creating quality products, communicating them to the right customers, promoting and advertising the brand, delivering products, exchanging offers etc. falls under the broad category of “Marketing”.
Effective marketing plans including, digital marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, etc., induce customers and pave their way into the company website.
Conversion and Sales are completely at the hands of the customers, yet marketing can play an efficient role of an influencer, who can manipulate and influence others’ buying decisions.
Why is Marketing Important?
The underlying misconception about marketing is that, “Marketing = Brand Awareness”. Brand awareness is indeed an important part of marketing, yet it is not all, they can boost sales, grow businesses, create demand, maintain reputation, engage customers etc.
Customers always tend to swing back and forth between brands, if they are left unattended. First-rated marketing policies involve an effective, engaging of customers to butter them up.
Pushing offers and discounts is not the only way to go, social media marketing platforms put forth the latest contents before the customers to let them have a sense of belonging.
This level of communication established between the company and customers, builds a strong relationship within, that in turn results in maintaining company trust and reputation.
In a scenario where you have alternatives for all products, it is rather a necessity to advertise your company against the rivals. A thorough understanding of the competitors, their marketing strategies, product qualities, etc. along with developing better strategies, knowing the target audience and delivering new products and services puts you back in the driving seat.
There are plenty of reasons why good marketing is relevant in multiplying your online presence, conversions and sales respectively. The absence of a pinpoint marketing strategy, can make your disbanded advertisements and efforts go in vain without reaching the target market.
Thus, you are in need of a grand marketing strategy. How do you develop such an ideal one? Well, you could always hire the best digital marketing agencies in India for your strategic market-creating business-offering moves.
The basics of marketing lies in the 4P concept, “The Marketing Mix”, popularised by Neil Borden in the 1950s. Here we are breaking down the whole concept of marketing mix into smaller capsules, they are indeed the building blocks of all good marketing strategies.
Understanding the 4Ps
The 4P concept of marketing has evolved from Borden’s ideas of marketing mix – which was a lot, and it was E. J. McCarthy in his book, Basic Marketing – A Managerial Approach, who took out the gist of the early ideas and condensed them into the 4Ps of marketing.
Product, Price, Place, and Promotion are the four basic pillars of any marketing strategy, used extensively by the top marketing companies, branding agencies and web designing companies across the globe.
It is said that the implementation of these 4Ps’ can get your way around the table. Yet, it is not so simple as it seems!
So let’s dive in and get acquainted with the 4Ps’ one by one.
Starting with the first P and the title goes to “Product”. Yes, online or offline, a company needs something to offer the customers, and that “something” the company sells is defined as a product.
It can be physical goods like groceries, stationery items, dresses, shoes, etc. or intangible services like web designs, consultancies, softwares, etc. Whatever be your product, you must have a pretty clear grasp on your product value.
With a plethora of alternative products on the stand, you must shape a product which is unique and consistent in its very core, offering everything your competitors cannot provide.
And how do you do that? Conduct detailed target research and understand what your target audience is asking for. If you could fill them in with their needs, outshining your competitors, you are SO in the GAME.
User experience and satisfaction are all that matters, so take up a customer-centric approach and mould your products accordingly to thrive ahead on the ladder of success.
Feedbacks and reviews from the customers must be taken into account for improved product quality. Seize the opportunities and make your product stand out from everyone else.
Price is simply the retail amount of money that customers need to pay for the products and services. Products are out there and you need to decide on the prices right now. Well, that’s rather something you really need to put your mind through.
Developing a pricing strategy involves a lot ! Your prices need to be perfectly aligned with your product value. If your brand is already in the front row of the market with an incomparable quality base, like Apple, you can charge a premium amount, and the products get readily sold with no second thoughts.
But, if you are a newcomer to the field, you must consider doing intense research on your competitors and customer buying behaviours. You can’t overprice the products, because when similar products are available at cheaper rates, the price sensitive customers just slip from your hand.
At the same time, you can’t enormously underprice your products, as they kind of bring in a lot of doubts and questions along with a general wonderment of “it’s too good to be true, so it may be a scam”. Well, there goes your whole credibility.
You could always include discounts, coupons, credits, etc. into your pricing strategy, yet don’t get overtly tagged along, because you are in here for profit not just for increased sales.
Now you have your products designed and prices decided, what do you need next?
Spread the Word!
Exactly, now comes the Promotion phase of marketing, where you communicate your products and services to the customers, so that people know your brand and its value proposition.
Believe me or not, there are numerous ways to advertise your products. Online marketing is the most brilliant way to go and it includes Social Media Marketing, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Online Campaigns, Email Marketing and many more.
It is not just about communicating news about your products, it is also about a big “How?” How do you convey your brand identity, products, distinguishing features etc. in front of the targeted audience?
It is harder than it sounds, because you need to differentiate your products from the alternatives and convince them in favour of yours. Why do they need your product instead of others?
Maybe you have lower prices or faster delivery services or increased flexibility or customization. Whatever it is, embed them within the videos, images or advertisement contents you desire to use for promotional purposes.
Upon choosing the right online platforms, you may need to perform customer centric research to know which channels they use the most, the peak time of access etc. for better reach.
For the greatest sales and conversions, for the increased brand awareness, let the advertisements spread like a WILDFIRE.
The final P of marketing is the Place. Well, place refers to the location of your business. Offline stores often have physical store rooms or showrooms where people come and purchase goods.
Considering online stores, official websites are the hubs where all transactions occur, thus the website qualifies for a location or place. Since all purchase decisions are happening in the website, an artistically built, user friendly website has to be designed to catch the attention of the visitors.
Creative web design, loading speed, display of top-notch trending products aesthetically, etc. creates a delightful first impression in the minds of the customers that let them stay and crawl through the pages.
It is practically impossible for physical stores to send cabs to individual customers’ homes and drive them to the store. But it is so doable for an online store with precisely targeted marketing.
Here is the deal, imagine a person comfortably browsing in Google or scrolling through his or her personal social media page in Facebook or Instagram (Home of the customer). The person sees the Google Ad or Facebook Ad of a company right before their eyes (cab sent by the company) and clicks the link (ride in the cab) and lands on the company website (cab drops you at the physical store). Now you can make the purchase.
The example is quite outstretched, but you get the point right?
Online marketing strategies are more like, if you don’t come to us, we come to you. Pretty convenient, isn’t it?
Wrapping it Up
Having a deeper understanding of the 4Ps of marketing, Product, Price, Promotion and Place, is very crucial for developing the best marketing strategies.
From miniature startups to established businesses everyone needs to balance these four ingredients of the marketing mix to bake the finest bread out of the oven.
Your marketing techniques and plans can be raised to higher levels of success with the best marketing experts in the town.
Go along and leverage the potential of marketing for your business growth.