The core principles of marketing revolve around what is known as the 4 P’s. They are:
- Product – the thing(s) you make or sell
- Place of Distribution – where the products are sold
- Promotion – the actual communication & advertising undertaken
- Price – how much it sells for and its position in the market
All those 4 core elements combine to create a marketing position. Ideally it is via a strategy that combines those 4 P’s into a symbiotic and successful harmony that leads to products being sold in the ‘right’ brand environment in response to efficient consumer messaging at a price that manufacturers and retailers make profit on.
It seems quite simple when it is put like that.
There is a fifth ‘P’ that I believe is always the most important part of the marketing mix…and that is ‘People’.
The finest examples of ‘People’ as a marketing thing in the industries I work in is always visible at trade shows.
Products on plinths and hangers and platforms look great, but people are what bring them to life. A new gift range displayed on a stand can be cooed at but having the owner or creator talk you through it is golden. Being brought that cup of coffee when you sit down in someone’s booth to discuss orders, after an hour of traipsing around the halls is all part of the sales and marketing experience. Chewing the fat and having your questions answered there and then by a person is important for so many business decisions at a trade show. Being able to play together as an industry for a few hours is also crucial, so make sure the conversations continue in the bars and restaurants during the evening.
It’s all marketing, but it is the very human side of marketing…the bits you can really believe in and enjoy. The bits you warm to.
People like to deal with people. People who enable face to face business always get my maximum respect so I raise my glass (erm, mug actually) as I write this to the brands who buy the stands and the stores who walk through the doors.
People like people who go the extra mile and contribute to the industry with passion. Retailers appreciate brands that make the effort, and brands appreciate the retailers that take time away from their stores to come and see them…and it kind of works doesn’t it, and isn’t it good for business generally? Fancy that, something that has been a cornerstone of good business for hundreds of years still works!
We are hurtling through an age where marketing communications has been abducted by technology and the ability to tweet, post or email hundreds and thousands of customers or followers quickly sometimes distracts from the fact that people like to deal with people…so how personable is your business?
When you do communicate electronically, whether it be responding to questions on Facebook or sending out an email newsletter, is it clear that a real person has written it, and will the reader feel like this is a person that they would like to spend time listening to? Have a look back through your recent online activity and see how well it scores on a human scale.
What happens when someone walks into your store at 4.55pm? Do you or your sales team internally sigh and quickly point out that you are closing in 5 minutes’ time, or does that last-minute shopper who is currently bewildered by how many darn products are available get some personal attention and advice, followed by a ‘thank you’?
‘People’ create customers, and customers are more valuable than sales. A result of a customer is a sale but a result of a sale is not necessarily a customer. Customers tell their friends about you and customers come back when they need the next thing, all of which increases sales.
If you have any questions about Digital Marketing and how you are or could be using it then please get in touch and we will be happy to chat about it with you. We can even train you up if you want to get started the right way…