Many people think that marketing is introducing products or services to customers and offering them attractive promotions in order to increase sales. This is correct, but marketing is much more than that. If customers try your products or services and aren’t satisfied, they won’t come back. But it can be devastating to your business in the long run if they tell others not to buy from you.
The ultimate goal of marketing is to build customer loyalty to keep customers coming back and make them happy enough to recommend your business and introduce your products or services to others. If all your customers love your product and tell others about it, chances are your business will grow and be profitable in the long run. With Marketing, you must therefore start by understanding and satisfying the needs of customers. However, if there are many suppliers that meet customer needs, they will become more selective and may support businesses that offer different products or services that better fit their needs.
Therefore: Marketing is about identifying customer needs and satisfying them better than your competitors to make a profit.
Use the Marketing Mix that includes the seven “P’s” to help you meet your customers’ needs in a way that will set your business apart from the rest:
• Product refers to the item(s) or service(s) you offer to your customers. This is the basic element to meet their needs.
• Price is the process of determining a price for your product that allows for a profit, but is still affordable enough that your customers are willing to pay the amount.
• Promotion means informing customers about your product and encouraging them to buy it.
• Place refers to how the good or service will be delivered to your customers.
• People are the key personnel you recruit and train to make your business different and stand out from the competition.
• Process is how the work is organized so that you can deliver your product to consumers. Clear and well-organized processes ensure that your products and services meet certain quality standards and are properly delivered to customers.
• Physical evidence defines the perception of your business in the minds of customers by providing them with as much tangible value as possible in interactions with them.
All seven “Ps” are interrelated, so it is important that they are unified to create a positive image of your business. Let’s take a look at the following example.
Ann has a small restaurant in her hometown. She knows that people who live in the city sometimes dine out to try different international cuisines. Its town is in a popular tourist area, so there are also many visitors who come to the town on vacation. Ann has decided that her restaurant will specialize in Thai cuisine because there are no Thai restaurants in the area and she thinks Thai food is popular with locals and tourists. To create a particular position for her restaurant, Ann will work with the seven “Ps” as follows:
• Product: The restaurant will offer Thai food only. It will also serve Thai sweets and drinks.
• Price: Ann will offer the menu items with moderate and competitive prices. This will help attract middle class customers. If the food quality is still high, the upper class customers will also visit the restaurant.
• Promotion: Ann will pay for the advertorial in free tourist maps and on the Internet. In addition, she will set up a display with a photo menu at the door.
• Place: Ann will open the restaurant in a downtown location, close to hotels and tourist sites.
• People: Ann will try to recruit a Thai chef, but if no Thai chef is available, she will hire someone who has sufficient experience cooking Thai foods.
• Process: The restaurant will feature an open kitchen, so guests will be able to see the chef cooking the food when they enter. This should make their dining experience more interesting and it will also be easier for them to decide which dishes to order.
• Physical evidence: The restaurant will be named “Sawadee” (greeting in Thai language). All waiters and waitresses will wear traditional Thai clothing as a uniform and greet guests with a ‘wai’ (both hands placed together as if in prayer) while saying: ‘Sawadee’. The restaurant will be decorated in Thai style and will play Thai music.
If customers visit this restaurant, it is very likely that they will remember its dominant Thai style which has been consistently incorporated into the seven ‘Ps’. They will probably come back when they want to have Thai food and recommend it to their friends.
Source: Bureau international du Travail, Gérez mieux votre entreprise, 2015. License CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO. Translation and adaptation by Nicolae Sfetcu. This translation was not created by the International Labor Office (ILO) and should not be considered an official ILO translation. The ILO is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this translation.