In the marketing world, the 7 P’s Marketing Mix is one of the most familiar tools so we would be remiss if we didn’t expand a little on its origins and how it can be useful in DTC (and indeed broader business) strategy building.
It was traditionally capped to the core 4 – Product | Price | Place | Promotion and indeed this is what we at JDS regularly focus on within a strategy build (see Commercial Strategy framework).
The concept was designed at a time when businesses primarily sold products rather than services, and the role of customer service in helping brand development wasn’t very well known. Over time, Booms and Pitner added a further three ‘service mix P’s’ – People | Physical Evidence | Processes. And thus, the 7P’s were born.
In terms of practical application, the 7P’s do not stand-alone – they must form part of a larger scope and be evaluated and utilised at the right time.
Core diagnosis / Strategy work -> Tactical Mix (4 P’s) -> Service Mix (3 P’s)
Things to consider: 4P's
The interpretation of these considerations can differ depending on what you sell. These are top line suggestions to get you thinking, which can then be developed according to specific needs.
The key here is to identify the distinctive characteristics of your product vs. the competition in order to stand out and win the customers. Understanding the needs and desires of your customers is crucial. You then create a product that satisfies those needs (this is a market orientated approach).
What does the customer want from the product?
What features does your product need to meet these requirements? Are any of these features unique? What is different to the competition?
Where will customers use your product? How will customers use your product?
This is the primary revenue generating element of the marketing mix, so it is vital to get it right. You shouldn't just sell something at a price to drive the highest amount of sales, it needs to drive the most profit too.
What is the real and perceived value? You have to consider how you position as setting a price too high or low can signal the quality to customers
What are supply costs that need to be considered within your pricing?
What are your competitors doing with pricing?
Cost promotions - what is the long term impact on your brand balanced against the short term sales uplift?
Are your categories price sensitive?
Arguably the most topical at the moment to the emergence of Direct-to-Consumer, Covid-19 and the ever changing landscape of traditional Bricks & Mortar vs. Ecommerce. The goal is to get your product in front of the consumers who are most likely to buy, in the right place at the right time.
Where are your customers?
Where are your competition?
This element doesn't just refer to store location but also how it looks in store.
Essentially this is communicating messages to consumers, wherever they are in the buying journey. The key is selecting the right tools to effectively reach your audience.
What channels do your customer use to consume information?
What are your key messages? When is the right time to use these messages?
What is the ideal time / season for promoting your products? ie. seasonality in your market.
How do your competitors promote their products? What are their key channels and messages?
Things to consider: 3P's
PEOPLE - Who are your people and what are their strengths / weaknesses?
Individuals - marketing activities
Individuals - customer contact
Culture / Image
Training / Skills
PROCESS - Are there internal process barriers to delivering customer value?
Research and Development
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE - How can you reassure your customers?
Sales / staff contact
Experience of brand