No, I'm not stuttering.
I know exactly what I'm sharing with you. These are The 9ine P's of Marketing.
You have probably
heard of the four "P's". Or sometimes five. Nothing wrong with
those lists ... except they aren't complete.
There is nothing
magic about nine. Just so happens, I think!, the nine cover everything
you need to do to introduce a new product, reintroduce an old product,
keep the market share you previously earned, establish a maintenance program
for a mature product ... i.e., whatever it takes to win in the marketplace.
Marketing 101, during
your first year at the University, had a matrix that looked something
Markets are read
horizontally - products vertically. So a new product aimed at a new market
is in box #3. An existing product directed toward an expanded market is
in box #4. A modified product at an existing market is in box #8.
This nine-box grid
is a simplified way to look at your product and its marketplace. To be
successful you first have to know in which market(s) your product or service
you do - you have clearly established the marketplace for what you have
to offer. You are comfortable - in fact confident - you have carefully
selected the right audience to receive your message. Here's how The 9ine
P's will help you be more successful.
The first P is PRODUCT.
What is your product or service? What are you offering? Can you describe
your PRODUCT in one sentence ... no more than one paragraph?
Is what you offer
seen as a need PRODUCT vs. something that fills a want or
desire? Is it usually sold with a more emotional, or rational appeal?
What does your target audience buy? What do they take home? Physically?
If you are selling
personal transportation, people drive away in a car, a truck or ride off
on a motorcycle. This is your PRODUCT. Know what your target buys ...
know your PRODUCT.
The second P is PURPOSE.
Why does anyone want your product? How do they really use it? What PURPOSE
does it have ... what objective does it fulfill? Does it make your audience
happier, richer, more comfortable? Does it save time or money? Does it
make anyone feel better? Does it offer prestige or security? Does it make
people powerful or influential?
People, both at home
and in the office, do not buy what you have to sell because of the features
you offer. They buy because your product/service fills a need. It solves
a problem. It makes them feel good or look good - or both. They buy from
you because of the benefits you offer. It does something for them. It
helps them complete their PURPOSE.
PERFORMANCE is the
third P. PERFORMANCE is the rate or level of your PRODUCT compared to
others. Are you five stars ... or something less?
There is room in
this world for compact and luxury automobiles. And four-wheel drives.
We need a Chevy, a Rolls-Royce and a Toyota pick-up truck. All offer personal
transportation ... but most certainly not at the same level of PERFORMANCE.
They are different. You must know before you go to market, what level
you offer to your audience. Against what they have as a PURPOSE for buying
Next is POTENTIAL.
What is the maximum POTENTIAL market for your PRODUCT? Earlier we assumed
you had carefully selected your audience. This is more than that. Now
we're talking about the scope, the depth, the numbers available to you.
If you sell business-to-business
or to consumers at home, you do not have an infinite number of prospects.
No one does. No business has ever had too many customers over a measurable
timeframe ... such as a fiscal year. Sure, maybe you had too many Friday
morning when you had your Third Annual Special Holiday Sale. Over 12 months
no one has too much business.
you to describe your market. Is the need for what you offer general, or
specific? Is it geographically spread, or in a concentrated area? How
many POTENTIAL customers do you have for your PRODUCT? To be successful
as you plan your marketing plan you must know the POTENTIAL.
The fifth point of
The 9ine P's is PLACE. Where can your PRODUCT be bought ... the PLACE
where it is offered? Is it available retail? Wholesale? At an industry
trade show? Through a network of independent dealers or distributors ...
or only from your captive sales force? Is the PLACE where I find what
you offer a chain of stores - or only in your outlets? Are there several
different choices as to where I can buy what you sell?
You buy a McDonald's
hamburger only at a McDonald's fast food restaurant. You can buy a specific
make of automobile at a
number of different
dealerships, through a broker, off a used car lot, from your brother-in-law
and several other PLACES. You can bank by computer, in person, through
an ATM or a drive-through window, over the telephone or through the mail.
Where does your audience buy your PRODUCT ... what is the PLACE?
PRICE is always a
factor in any buying decision. PRICE usually is in the top five considerations
of any buyer; one of the key elements in making a buying decision. It
is never the primary reason people buy.
How much is your
PRODUCT ... what is the PRICE? Can I save if I buy in bulk, or today,
or before the 30th of next month, or on my next birthday? Do you ever
offer a discount? Is there a special this month? Does your PRICE vary
by the PLACE where it is bought?
How is your PRICE
when compared to similar PRODUCTS from your competition? Is it high, low,
in-between? And, from your marketplace ... a lot, some, little?
Because PRICE is
an issue in every buy/sell situation, how you PRICE is a key part of the
success of your marketing.
PROMOTION is the
next P of the nine. PROMOTION is a catch-all word for all the ways you
take your PRODUCT to market.
Will you use advertising,
such as broadcast and print media? How about the direct marketing tools
of direct mail and telemarketing? Public relations? Merchandising? And
maybe special events or sponsorship? Sales promotion, with contests, games
or other target audience involvement techniques?
What are the usual
ways to PROMOTE your PRODUCT? What are the unusual ways? What does the
competition do? What did you do last year that worked - that should be
repeated? What is expected of you by the marketplace?
The world will not
beat a path to your doorstep ... even if you do have a new mousetrap.
That is, they won't unless you make your offer, unless you tell your story
POSITION comes next.
What is your POSITION in your marketplace? Where do you see yourself?
How does your competition view you? And most importantly, what about your
customers ... how do they think about you, what is their opinion about
Part of POSITIONing
is knowing where you have been in the past, where you are currently, and,
in what direction you are now going. You are "ranked" by your
marketplace based on your PRODUCT, your PERFORMANCE, the convenience of
PLACE, your PRICE and how your audience sees your PROMOTION. You do earn
your POSITION ... whatever it is.
Is part of your POSITION
leadership of your category? You can be a very local company or association,
and still hold the leading POSITION in that community. You don't have
to be a worldwide organization to hold a high POSITION.
You could be the
best there is in all of South Georgia - known only to that marketplace
- and still be the leader. You could be the best Thai restaurant in Venice,
California. That is your POSITION.
POSITION will affect
your POTENTIAL. It might affect your PLACE. It will affect your PROMOTION
and PRICE. Your POSITION is a very important part of your marketing program.
The ninth P is PROFIT.
A PROFIT comes only through a thorough plan. Thinking smarter/working
When you know what
your PRODUCT really is, when you know the PURPOSE your marketplace has
for it ... what they do with it, their objective in purchasing from you,
and when you know your PERFORMANCE level compared to the competition,
you are getting ready to make a PROFIT.
When you have clearly
identified the true POTENTIAL for your PRODUCT, when you have decided
upon and set-up the best possible PLACE for your audience to buy, when
you have established your PRICE as it relates to PERFORMANCE, you are
getting ready to make a PROFIT.
When you create your
PROMOTION and go to market with it, when you have done all of this keeping
your POSITION in the forefront of your thinking, and based on that knowledge
have put your marketing plan in order ... then you will earn and enjoy
and PROFIT. The 9ine
P's of Marketing.