Marketing Beyond Promotion

Marketing is the sum of all the things that make up your business, product or service. I think Steve Jobs once said something like that....But just because it is all those things, do you have to care about it?

Yes and no.

If you sell a widget, that looks like a million other widgets and there’s a huge market for widgets which people choose based on availability and price, then probably all you should  really care most about price and place (channel).

If you sell a service, that looks like a few other services, and there’s good competition, but your potential client base doesn’t really get the difference between each offering, then you want to try and differentiate. In this case, you should probably look at some of the other P's -  people, processes, performance and physical environment to offset comparisons on more basic ideas like price.

These examples are easy for us to spout off. We’ve been dealing in the P’s for years but for those of you just wanting to get a sale, another client in the door, working out which P to focus on can be a trick. We see a lot of brands focussing purely on the 'pretty' end of stuff - promotion - and wondering why they aren't winning extra business. The strongest brands are those setting up their marketing foundations by consider how each of the P's relate to the product or service they're selling and the kind of audience they're trying to attract.

There are so many ways these foundations can be designed and so many different applications depending on business structure, goals, category, industry, life cycle... which again is why it's hard to write a very straight-line blog on the marketing P's.

For example, imagine you are a middle-man type service company with both B2B suppliers and B2C customers. Both groups need to be invoiced for either services rendered or services supplied. Applying the P's to this situation, you might consider how your debtor process - and the people implementing this process - impact the relationship you have with each customer type. If you are known as a good payer and treat suppliers with respect, this helps suppliers to trust you and hopefully recommend you. Become known as a poor payer or one who shirks communication on the topic and soon enough, a reputation will be built around this. Every B2B supplier is connected to a possible B2C customer. A positive B2B connection will likely also mean this group of suppliers will treat your end customers well if they interact directly with them.


If you've been plugging promotion for a while without the success you were hoping for, there’s a good chance you need to shift your focus. Promotion is critical for getting your name out there but promotion without tending to the other elements (or the other P's) is like going to the supermarket in a three-piece-suit and expecting your food for free because you look nice.

Talk to us if you would like to know more about the marketing fundamentals. We can help steer you towards the right set of P's for you.


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