Promotion isn’t the silver bullet

By Andrew Baxter

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Opinion Branding

Did you know there were 10 Ps in marketing, nowadays? By the time you've read this blog there may well be another! Up until a few years ago there were just four P's (price, product, promotion, and place), but the service age, the digital age, then the social age, overlaid with an emphasis on the customer journey, made it essential to incorporate the extra Ps in to the marketing mix.

Promotion is the last in the line, but perhaps the one companies spend a disproportionate time concentrating on. Unfortunately, neglecting the other 9 Ps will have a catastrophic impact on the success of your promotion. Here's a run a down of the other 9, just so you get your mix right:

The old faithfuls

Product: what is it you've got to sell? Perhaps Coke should've have spent a little extra time on this before launching Dasani!

Price: what price do you want to chose to reflect your brand positioning? Do you want to compete on price? Sometimes giving it away affects the perceived value. Sometimes reducing a high end product price closer to mid range products means consumers may consider stretching themselves to get a higher spec product, without damaging your margins too much.

Place: where will people buy it from? Perhaps if Blockbuster and HMV had been quicker to respond to the digital age, they may have survived.

The customer journey

People: this is the customer service element. When someone buying your service or product calls your company, what service will they receive? Tesco mobile have done a great job with their Twitter account changing the perception of their brand.

Process: how will you deliver on your brand promises? "Or your money back" Could be the kiss of death if you don't work this out.

Physical evidence: what will customers experience in their journey? Do all of them reflect your brand, from your website to your offices, all should be considered. Apple are a great brand for this. One of their stores feels like stepping inside the casing of a product.

Social impact

Public opinion: what are people saying on social media about your industry? Can you use it? A competitor's blog or Facebook feed could be a useful tool!

Politics: as part of any macro-environmental review the impact of politics and legislation on your ability to sell a product should always be considered.

Partners: a problem shared etc. Can you reach out to anyone to make the journey to success a little slicker?

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