Marketing is about making sure the right people know about what you have to offer, getting them to come to you and getting them to buy. This section explains exactly what marketing is (and what it is not) and how to apply it to your business.
2. What is Marketing?
Customers are essential to any business. No matter how good your product or service, without customers, you have no business!
The way to get customers is through marketing and effective marketing puts the customer at the centre of your business.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as:
“The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
A more straightforward explanation is that marketing provides you with a powerful set of tools which, in the right combination for your business and with the right planning, drives a consistent flow of customers straight to your doorstep.
3. The 4 Ps in my business
Marketing is about getting the right product or service to the customer at the right price, in the right place, using the right promotion – and making a profit for your business.
This is known as the 4Ps of marketing or the marketing mix. It looks at Product, Price, Promotion and Place.
The 4Ps is a useful tool that helps you to figure out what to say to customers and how and where to say it.
Please Note: The 4Ps model has been expanded and developed in recent times and you may now also hear about the 7Ps, which addresses services rather than products, and the 4Cs, which is a more customer-driven replacement.
The 7Ps model adds in Physical evidence, People and Process to the original model.
The 4Cs model covers Consumer, Cost, Communication and Convenience.
The 4Ps, however, remains a good starting point for determining your approach to your marketing. Create a Product that a particular group of people want, Price it at a level which matches the value they feel they get out of it, Promote it so they know about it, and put it in a Place that those people visit regularly.
A good way to understand the 4Ps is to ask yourself questions relating to each P. This helps you to define your marketing. The diagram below summarises some of these questions.
Use this template to look at the 4Ps in your business (MS Word 39kb).