A lot of businesses position their marketing around what is known as the “Four P’s”: product, price, positioning and promotion.
While sound advice, this strategy is missing a fifth, and vital, element: people!
Without a direct focus on all FIVE of these areas, any business, even with a foolproof idea, can struggle.
Let’s simplify this strategy, starting with the product. It's never going to be enough to offer a generic product or service - the key here is specificity. The more specific the better: specific role, specific market, and specific function.
When the product has been identified move on to the price, often the most challenging facet for small business owners.
Do your research but don't focus on undercutting your competitors - there is a reason they have come to those price points. The reason is called overhead costs. They must be covered in order to ever turn a profit.
Consider different pricing strategies such as cost plus, premium pricing and a conditional competitive discount which is well thought out. Choose what works best for your product or service.
Once price has been established, move into the promotions phase. Promotions must always be a clear, concise and a clean representation of your product or service. Listen to the target audience and position the product as the answer to their question, challenge or concern.
Positioning ties directly into promotion - they go hand in hand. Wrongly placed promotions are a waste of time and money.
Placement, in reference to the actual physical location as well as where the product will be promoted, must be strategised based on the target market.
The fifth P, is people. The staff that will be selling, manufacturing, and marketing the service or product are crucial to the owner’s success.
Take time and spend money on recruiting the best people then train them, support them and provide them with the best possible tools to successfully perform their jobs.
The Five P’s should be part of any good business plan and, when executed well, will form the building blocks of a successful business.
They may not be a secret anymore, but these five areas are often overlooked or mismanaged. When this happens, one small thing can easily become the leak that causes the dam to break.