Ever see something cool another business is doing and think to yourself, “I want to do that for my business”?  I’ve definitely heard it from several clients throughout the years, and I can understand why.  It seems as though that each day, there’s a new technology emerging to promote your business.  While these technologies are eye-catching, it’s important to not get caught up in the flashiness of it all, and remember that every tactic should be rooted in strategy.  Especially now that COVID-19 has changed what and how people buy, strategic marketing will be your best friend moving forward.

As we head into another unusual year for businesses, I think it’s important to remind you of the core principles of marketing, the 4 Ps, as you plan your strategy for the upcoming year. 

What are the 4 Ps of marketing?

Product

According to Investopedia, product refers to “a good or service that a company offers to customers.”  Historically, the most successful businesses were those offering products and services that fulfilled an existing consumer demand.  Now that competition has spiked, innovation has never been more important in order to succeed.

Why does this matter?

COVID-19 has been a game changer for consumer behaviour and demand.  Products that were popular 8 months ago aren’t necessarily what’re in demand right now.  Now that you have a better idea of how “essential” your business or industry is, I recommend strengthening or even innovating your product line to ensure your business fares well now and in future crises.

Price

Price is the cost consumers pay for a product.  It’s generally influenced by supply and demand, production costs and competitor prices.  If you’re a business owner that sells something, you’re already familiar with how pricing works and the factors that influence it. 

Why does this matter?

It’s no secret that as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, certain businesses and industries are struggling to stay afloat.  Coming up with a pricing strategy moving forward will be tricky, but it must be done strategically.  While you may want to impulsively discount your products and services to attract customers in the short-term, it’s important to think about what ramifications this may have on your business long-term, in addition to your brand’s perceived value. Everyone loves a Rolex, but a cheap Rolex… well I’m not sure I’d buy it. 

Place

Place refers to how and where you sell your products and services.  Do you have a brick & mortar store?  A list of distributors?  Do you prefer to sell online only?  Knowing who your target market is will help you determine where you sell your product or service.

Why does this matter?

Just like how COVID-19 has changed the demand for specific products and services, it’s also changed how consumers buy.  Online shopping has exponentially increased since the beginning of the pandemic.  If you haven’t yet adapted your product or service delivery to include virtual options, I highly recommend prioritizing this task.  Online experiences are now and the future. 

Promotion

For me, this is the fun part of a marketing strategy.  How do you inform your target audience about your product or service?  Do you rely on advertising or PR?  Is digital your go-to tactic?  Understanding exactly who and where your audience is will help you develop a strategy on reaching them.

Why does this matter?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the types of messages that consumers want to hear has changed.  For more information on this, I encourage you to read this blog.  Keep in mind, too, that as we continue to deal with our current situation, COVID burnout has also begun.  This may change how you approach your messaging.  Additionally, you may be faced with a tight marketing budget, or no budget at all.  This will leave you with limited options for promotion, but with a little bit of creativity you can still get your message out there.

While we can only make educated guesses about the future state of business, now’s not the time to navigate this journey alone.  With over 20 years of expertise in marketing, CreativeWorks Marketing can help you develop a strong strategy for the New Year!