Customer retention and attraction is an art that serves as the lifeblood of every business. There are several measures that marketers put into action to get the job finished such as:
- Modern and traditional advertising
- Direct response
- Special events
- Public relations
- Content marketing
However, there are critical issues that you as an eCommerce marketer need to tackle before you embark on these tactics. Sorting out these issues will result in a balanced mix of efforts that will perform the optimal task of changing customers and enhancing a driving force from top to bottom line growth.
The 7 Ps of Marketing
Categorised into distinct divisions, these tactics are known as the 7 Ps of marketing. Each of these seven Ps of marketing should be considered carefully for you to accomplish an effective marketing strategy.
The ‘’Ps’’ are very instrumental in ensuring a balanced mix of commodities in the market.
Below are the 7 Ps:
Who are the people you are solving the problem for? You need to understand the following features in determining your audience:
- Who are your consumers?
- What are their needs?
- What are their expectations?
If you carefully look into the above aspects, you’d be in a good position of understanding the best way you will tailor and provide your solution, or even be able to determine whether an eCommerce platform is your solution or not!
For companies, this is essential for employees who are largely dealing in branding as a frontline activity and are directly responsible for shaping experiences and impressions.
This creates an atmosphere for a workforce that has the right attitude, are well trained, and very motivated to serve as brand advocates.
Place refers to the exact point at which your customers can gain access to your products and services such as:
- Through direct selling
- Mail order
- At retail ventures
It can also include a mix of these methods and other applicable approaches, more so on how the product is presented to customers, like a store window or an eCommerce website.
What’s more crucial here is to maximise the availability of your products. Your goods must be in the right place, at the right time, and in the right quantity at the customer’s convenience.
If you want to change the location of your business, you should present customers with an early notice because it will have a negative influence on sales, both upward and downward; therefore, it must be carefully considered.
Promotion is the process whereby you as the marketer, are constantly raising awareness and interest of your customers to your goods and services using tools such as:
- The promotion covers branding
- Special offers
- Public relations
The idea is to establish a mix that opens the dialogue with your customers by mainly focusing on the benefits of the products as well as the features. During the promotion period, it’s very important to understand the dynamic nature of your promotion.
You also need to know that not all tactics applied will bring the same results over time. Therefore, make it a priority to test and learn from subsequent activities, such as which combinations of tactics work best under what circumstances. Also, be flexible enough to adjust the process as per the current market needs.
Consistently maintaining customer satisfaction by working in a way that raises expectations and responds to customer expectations is an issue that’s critical in any business. The process defines how the service is provided. It refers to:
- Customer services
- Placing orders
- Communication policies
This is one part of marketing that’s mostly overlooked since businesses tend to design their process for their own convenience. When we consider this category from an outside–in vantage point, we can change this ‘’P’’ into a productive and competitive advantage.
When it comes to positioning, the emphasis is given to how the brand is positioned to handle the competitive market and in the minds of your consumer. The product or service needs to be positioned as more valuable and more expensive, or as an affordable option for some superior quality.
The market experts argue that how your customers perceive you and your business will be the biggest determinant of the success or failure of your business in a competitive environment. This, therefore, means that market positioning must always remain a progressive activity in the market.
The price of your commodities or services must be convincing, competitive and appealing to your customer. And above it all, it must work to generate profit for the business. Normally the price covers:
- Retail price
- Wholesale prices
- Payment terms
To determine the exact pricing, you must understand the production cost of your commodities or service. The value ratio of the products must be tolerated by the customers. Preferably, you need to brand your goods at least with a sticker of your logo; this adds some perceived value to your customer and costs to you too.
When you’re a marketer, you should always put a lot of consideration on the products and services you offer to the competitive market. You should always be assessing how well your products or services are received in the market and whether they meet the needs of the market and consumers.
Although the quality of the products in the market is key, other elements that factor so much into a product are:
Whether the product is tangible or intangible, its value must always meet the customers’ expectations as required by the customer, not the market.
There is another P that is most often wrapped into the marketing discussion. This is packaging or physical appearance. It refers to the visible elements of a product or service and not just packaging as assumed by many.
By understanding each of the 7 Ps, business marketers are equipped with the keys needed to create an understandable marketing plan to keep the organisation responsive to the market and growing forward profitably.