Wednesday, October 12, 2005

»Four P's« of marketing and beyond

Marketing is so much more than just advertising, but people (especially on the internet) usually forget this. Only sticking a site on the net isn't going to bring profits even with the fiercest advertising. Here, we'll quickly look at the »Four P's« that marketing is sometimes encapsulated as and then look at what else is important and where to get that information.

First »P« stands for »Product«
First you have to have something to sell. It could be a physical product (including software), service, or solution to a problem. You have to know your product or service thoroughly, better than your customers or competitor. The key part to marketing is to match your product to a market. Once you know your target market, you can estimate how many prospects are available to your business. But realize that not everyone who fits your customer profile will buy from you. You want to find those who will and make them aware of what makes your product or service stand out from those of competitors.

Competition in your market is a good sign. Lack of competition is a serious red flag. It means either you don't know what business you're in or there's no market for your product.

Second »P« stands for »Place«
Conrad Hilton stated that success in hospitality business is due to three factors: location, location, and location.On the internet, location is meant more as the ease of finding your business. You have to make it as easy to find as possible. That includes search engines optimization, inclusion in as many directories as possible (read previous two posts below) etc. You must also make sure that you can deliver the goods to your customers in a way they find acceptable.

Also be sure to get a good domain name (brainstorm at least a hundred ideas and then pick out ten best ones and try if they are available. Also ask other people what they think. Try to also have your primary keyword in mind here) and hosting sollution. Your host should guarantee 99% uptime, have good, reliable and fast servers and an outstanding support (trust me, you'll need it).

Buying your product should be as easy as possible with no complicated steps. Don't make them fill in unimportant data. You can do that after they've bought. There's nothing I hate more than when I click that »buy now« button and get a 30 field form to fill out. I usually then never buy such products.

Third »P« stands for »Price«
Price is a major but not the only important aspect of marketing. In most purchase decisions, price is a secondary consideration. Quality, service, availability, status, and many other factors that compose value are far more important than mere price. Very good prices are: $9.95, $19.95, $29.95, $39.95, $69.95, $97 and so on. Some software products sell for $147... A higher price can sometimes be better! Test it. Some of the best marketers are now using the »increasing price« method. They say: today the price is let's say $97, in a week, it'll be $197 and the next $297 where it will stop. »Get it now, when it's still low«, they say.

Fourth »P« stands for »Promotion«
Promotion includes all the methods we can use to reach our markets and make them aware of our products and services. These include advertisements, public relations, special promotions, positioning and much, much more. I wrote some promotion techniques in the previous posts, but I will write much more in the posts to come. There's so much stuff you can do it's amazing. So are the results.

So, these are the basic four P's of marketing. But there are at least 14 more that are equaly or more important if you want to really succeed. These four are very helpful though and have led me to a bit of a different thinking which in turn was very important for me. If you wish to explore the rest of the P's of marketing and get really good fast, I recomend the book "A Crash Course in Marketing - low cost marketing strategies that will double your sales - not your expenses" by David H. Bangs and Andy Axman. They are both very successful authors and their book is a joy to read as well as very informative with great examples and step by step "less is more" approach. An excellent investment - see the customer reviews. Here's the link:

In the next post I'll talk about great ways to quickly build great content rich web pages.


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