To kick off the summer internship, one of my first assignments is to reflect on something I learned this past term at Grand View University, and share the knowledge along with examples with the other spark team members. As I was preparing, I sat down with Stella, the Spark team’s Poodle to discuss the 4 P’s of Marketing. I think she might say that in her “barketing” experience, the 4 P’s were defined as poodles, puppies, paws and … poop. 🙂🐶 BUT the actual 4 Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. There is some discussion as to if there are actually 6 or 7 P’s of marketing, but we will save that debate for another day. Here are a few examples that I think you and Stella might relate to.
Product – When it comes to the Product aspect of the 4 Ps, most organizations are referring to goods they offer or services that they provide. The idea behind a product is to fulfill existing consumer needs or, a product may be so compelling that consumers believe they need it. To be a successful marketer you need to know all the stages of a product’s life cycle. Lots of successful products are original and new to that category. Let’s say a pet supply company is starting up and they want to make a new product for dogs to play with. They would look carefully into the market to see what it is lacking and what dogs or their owners are more drawn towards. With that data, they might conclude that dogs and their owners are looking for something that dogs can chew on, keeps them busy, and catches their attention by making a noise or having a pleasing taste to it.
Price – Moving on to Price, the second P we want to cover today. As a marketer, you must match the price of a product or service to its perceived value – the value the consumer is willing to pay. You must also think about the supply cost, sessional discounts, and competitors costs. Sometimes raising the price of a product is a tactic to give the appearance of being a luxury item. You also need to know when a discount is appropriate if at all. Sometimes a discount will show more appeal to the consumer, but it can also give the appearance of being less exclusive or less of a luxury. Some pet companies will advertise their products as being prefered by show dogs to make people think that is what the prettiest, smartest, award winning dogs use, so if your dog is also the smartest they should use it too. Those consumers are willing to pay more for the high class products to ensure that their pup gets the best on the market. Other bargain shoppers might be buying in bulk or clipping coupons for their fur baby.
Place – When it comes to Place in the 4 Ps of marketing, organizations are looking at online versus in person as well as timing in specific geographic areas. COVID has made the place consideration more important than ever before with shutdowns; most everyone needs to have an online presence to reach their customers. While you still wouldn’t want to sell winter products in some portions of Arizona year round, you may consider your target market of dessert bunnies who head north to the mountains for a frosty getaway. Reaching this niche audience will take creative promotion. However, you may drop that same product in a place like Minnesota during the winter months and it would see better sales to a wider audience. How marketers go about product placement is that they look at what stores they want to put their product in and what stores they want to advertise their products in to reach their audience at just the right time. To simplify, when it comes to placement of our aforementioned pet supply products, a company may consider an area where there are a lot of families with animals. And with all the COVID pets that could really be anywhere humans live right now. However, a retail location alone would not be ideal unless porch deliveries were available. All companies should have a way to buy or at least order virtually.
Promotion – The Promotion of an organization’s product is probably one of the most important factors in the 4 Ps of marketing. This is because it includes marketing, advertising, public relations, and promotional strategy. The goal of promotion is to show the consumer that they need the product. For the most part, promotion and placement go hand in hand. This is so they can reach their core audience. Nowadays, the promotion and place of a product are as much, if not more, online as it is offline. To be more specific, the placement of a product on a company’s website or what social media it pops up on or even what search engines pick it up, is very important. Circling back to the pet stores – companies like Petco will advertise their pet supplies on tv with dogs in the commercial, primarily to help catch the eye of dogs and their owners. Hopefully they will also use many different types of dogs in the commercial to show that the dog supplies are for every dog and not just one type of dog. They will also exhibit how it positively affects the dogs health and well being.
Once I explained everything to Stella, I think she was actually able to understand the 4 Ps of marketing. At least she didn’t fall asleep while I was telling her, and she did tilt her head to the side several times. I’m glad that I could relay the information that I learned this year and share it with all of you. If you would like to discuss this with me, please reach out, Stella and I would love to chat and learn more.