Effective marketing will help to achieve your goals and grow your business. It will build awareness, attract customers and build lasting, profitable relationships.
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Marketing is about planning and executing the development, pricing, distribution and promotion of products and services to satisfy the needs of your customers.
The main role of marketing is to deliver customer value to attracting new customers and keeping existing ones. This is achieved by:
Marketing is about the principles that guide your customer-focused actions.
It is a comprehensive process that determines how to go to market with your products and services. For your marketing to be successful, you'll need a strong understanding of your brand positioning and the needs of your customers.
'Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.'
Dr. Philip Kotler
Both science and art are important elements of marketing practice. The science of insights, analytics and metrics, and the art of creative ideas and clever execution should work together.
Many businesses find it challenging to do effective marketing because of:
Technological advances have made customers more connected, informed and empowered than ever before. To meet the changing expectations, preferences and behaviours, your business must be:
In practice this means that you should start with strategic thinking, marketing strategy and planning before getting into the tactics (the steps and activities).
By understanding your current situation, you'll be better able to recognise gaps and make improvements. To get more out of your marketing efforts, answer the following questions:
The 7 Ps of marketing
Marketing is delivered through a combination of elements—the 'marketing mix'. These elements are also often referred to as the 7 Ps of marketing.
This popular and practical marketing model can help you to:
Assess your 7 Ps regularly to make sure they keep up with:
Product refers to what you create and deliver to meet the needs of your customers.
It requires you to think about:
It includes your products and services, as well as the features, benefits, and value your products and services offer customers.
Value also includes:
You can do customer research to find out which of these factors your customers value most.
Price refers to your business pricing strategy and how customers pay for your products and services.
It's the all-important value exchange—that is, the price customers are prepared to pay for the benefits you deliver.
When deciding on prices, you need to know:
To attract and retain customers, your ideal pricing strategy should:
You can read more about pricing strategies and use our pricing calculators to work out the best approach for your business.
Place refers to where your products and services are made, found, distributed, sold and supported. It can be a physical location, a digital presence, or both.
Whether it's real or virtual, the design must:
You may engage directly with customers, or your distribution model could include third-party intermediaries, such as:
Your distribution model forms part of the customer experience and must be actively managed.
You could also do a review of your marketing channels to see if you're targeting your promotions in the right places.
Promotion is about communicating information about your products and services to your target customer segments. It's usually designed to create a response.
As part of promotion, also consider your other communication, for example, to your partners and employees.
Choose the right promotional activities
Through the marketing strategy and planning process, you'll be able to choose the right mix of promotional activities for your business needs.
Select your promotional activities based on the media use and preferences of your target market.
Your promotional activities should use the right:
Types of promotional activities
This refers to the individuals who work for your business, including yourself. It's the people who deal with your customers, either directly or indirectly.
This is the human side of your business. When you provide outstanding service and support, you add value to the experience and encourage word-of-mouth and referrals.
Think about how often online customer reviews focus on exceptionally good, friendly service or on rude, bad service.
Consider all interactions, including:
You can give your business a competitive edge by:
This is about the activities involved in delivering your products or services. In simple terms, it's about being 'easy to do business with'.
An effective process helps you to:
It's helpful to map out the end-to-end journey from your customer's perspective. Explore all potential brand interactions, for example:
Also consider the technology you use and the partners you deal with.
Discover more about business processes and procedures together with customer journey mapping.
This refers to all existing and potential features customers see when engaging with your business.
Physical evidence may be:
Consider everything about your business that can be seen or otherwise observed, and how it can help to reinforce your brand and elevate your business.
To maximise your success, you need to make the most of your marketing mix. The power of marketing lies in combining the different marketing elements in an effective way.
To help you do this, use our template to evaluate your 7 Ps.
Marketing is an essential part of your business. Take a practical and phased approach by following the step-by-step guide to develop your marketing strategy and plan.
Before taking the next step, think about these critical success factors:
These factors will determine if you can reach your marketing goals. Identify where you need to focus your effort on by completing the interactive marketing health check.