“Whether B2B or B2C, I believe passionately that good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context and connection.”
By Telford Aduda
Any good business person will tell you that simply knowing what your potential client wants and having it will not be enough. You need to ‘tell’ the client that he/she needs what you’ve got and you need to say it louder and better than anyone else. That’s marketing.
All good marketing relies on seamless execution of what is known as the 4p model. This terminology refers to the relationship between product, price, place and promotion. These four factors will ensure that your products are consumed.
The first P is the product or you can chose to call it product strategy. A product strategy may refer to the foundation of a product life-cycle and the execution plan for further development. The product strategy allows you as a business entity to zero in on specific target audiences and draw focus on the product and consumer attributes. You need to create a product that your target audience really wants. For example, while the government runs about preparing for a season of heavy rains, floods and even landslides, entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities to make quick money. In a country like Kenya where heavy rains are often accompanied by power outages the sale of solar panels and generators to businesses, hospitals and luxury hotels should pick up in the face of the El-Nino threat. In areas prone to flooding such as the Budalangi area would be a good place to sell canoes and boats if not mosquito nets and anti-malarial medicines. Remember you need to do a market research to find out what your customers want.
The second P is the price. You’ll need to ask yourself the following questions;
• What is the value of the product or service to the buyer?
• Are there established price points for products or services in this area?
• Is the customer price sensitive?
• Will a small decrease in price gain you extra market share? Or will a small increase be indiscernible, and so gain you extra profit margin?
• What discounts should be offered to trade customers, or to other specific segments of your market?
• How will your price compare with your competitors?
If you can answer these questions, then you are better placed to grow your business.
The third P is place. Where do buyers in the area look for your product or service? If they look for the product in a store, what kind of store? Specialist boutique or supermarket, maybe both? Online? Direct purchase or via a catalogue?
How can you access the right distribution channels? Do you need to use a sales force? Or attend trade fairs? Or make online submissions? Or send samples to catalogue companies? What do your competitors do, and how can you learn from that and/or differentiate? Remember all these are aimed at giving your customers the best services.
The fourth P is promotion. This involves knowing where, when and how you get the message about your product to your target market. You can either chose to reach them by advertising online, in the press, or on TV, or radio, or on billboards or by using direct marketing mailshot or through PR and via the Internet. It all depends with the kind of consumers you have.