Charlie and I took a walk on the beach today (as we do most days). Here the grass is still green and many asters, roses, dandelions and clover species are still blooming. We have fog, little frost and no snow. I’m sharing this news with you because it underscores the need to think about all six P’s of marketing before you look out your “local” window and project the problems & opportunities you see around you onto the world at large.
Southern Ontario retailers are stocking, but won’t be selling rock salt, shovels, blowers, remote starters, batteries, snow tires and other “deep-freeze basics” any time soon. That impacts carrying costs, profit margins and other operational realities.
Many of our communities are also becoming home to new immigrants who have different priorities than the multitude of post-war immigrants who moved here decades ago. Provincial Park attendance is down, Condo sales are up. Sports equipment and apparel sales are up because nothing is general anymore - the experts say you need special shoes and outfits for everything you do. Urban deep-freeze avoidance opportunities like cozy basement insulation and cozy (non-fur) coat sales are up ensuring less of the outside gets inside.
And, of course, the American chains are coming north for all sorts of reasons.
When you construct your marketing plan, we urge you to consider the ever-changing global business landscape – think beyond the short-term, local environment you may be used to. To get the most out of your marketing efforts, you need to base your plan around research and tested practices, not hunches.
To do so, we encourage you to use all 6 P’s of Marketing:
1. Product - Remember: people do NOT buy features. They buy benefits like comfort & convenience.
2. Price - When people say it costs too much, they’re telling you they don’t see benefits or value.
3. Promotion - Experiment, document and learn what media channels work for your brand and when.
4. Place - Whether you’re selling from a store, door-to-door, or over the internet, people will only buy from a “place” that makes them feel safe and secure. The exception to this rule is desperation. When you’re desperate, you’ll do or try anything to alleviate your sense of desperation.
5. People - Treat the people who make and represent your products & services like they are your 1st and last customers; their good will and good word (as your brand ambassadors) is invaluable.
6. Passion -Brand passion really matters. So, if you don’t care (anymore), find someone who does.
Countless research studies demonstrate what you already know intuitively: customers who love the brands they use are more loyal, less price sensitive, more forgiving when things go wrong (and you make them right), purchase them more often and are more likely to recommend your products and services to friends and families.
Bottom line: If you want your marketing to be an investment, not an expense, don’t make assumptions.
Do your homework.
For more information or support – call us. We’re here for you.