What is your marketing strategy?

At some point in the past year, odds are someone has asked you that question. The marketing strategy you pursue and the channels you use to achieve your goals may vary based on your industry or the size of your business. You’ve probably read online about how promoted Twitter ads, Facebook dark posts, content marketing, website retargeting, and search engine optimization can help achieve those goals…and that’s not false. But is it really fair to expect you to run before you can walk? These marketing tools, while effective in the right hands and proper context, are advanced and could be a waste of your budget (and time) if they aren’t strategically used.

So rather than focusing your time and money on these modern concepts you may not be familiar with, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, it may be more effective for you to pursue a strategy that’s been around for over 50 years.  We’re not talking about advertising on the radio, filming a commercial, sending a flyer in the mail or throwing a print ad into the local newspaper.  The return on your investment with those marketing methods has diminished greatly as customers have grown immune to them over years and years of exposure.  Suggesting a specific method for your goals isn’t something we’re equipped to do without knowing more about your business.  What we can suggest is a classic concept that has stood the test of time and remains a building block of any successful strategy, whether marketers realize it or not.

In this blog post, we want to focus on 4 specific words critical to your marketing success.

The 4 P’s

In 1948, Neil Borden developed the idea of a balanced, strategic “marketing mix”, which was used as the foundation for 4 P’s of marketing by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960.  Even though these concepts are old, they’re a foundational cornerstone of marketing and can be applied to any business or industry.

 These are the 4 P’s of Marketing:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place

Your product is any tangible good or measurable service that you sell to customers.  The price is what your customers pay for your good or service.  Promotion consists of all the different advertising, PR, social media, email, and search engine tools used to communicate information about what your product does.  Lastly, the place is where your customers go to acquire and purchase your product.  Now, this may all seem pretty basic, but the critical thing to remember here is not the individual meaning of each word but how they work together, in harmony, to drive business and help you make more money.

In 2014, your product is as important as it’s ever been. Websites like Yelp empower any customer to review your product, good or bad, and leave their thoughts for millions of people to read and make a judgment call on. On social media channels your customers can share their unfiltered thoughts on your product in an instant, influencing the way people perceive your business without you even knowing. We know this might be a scary thought, but if you have a quality product it can be a great way to generate more word-of-mouth (free promotion!) about your business and help more people discover you.

Key Question: What do your customers perceive the value of your product to be?

For any business that requires customers to actually be in a physical location (place) to complete a purchase, the price of your product is something your customers are going to consider, and possibly second-guess, before they commit to making that purchase in your business.

According to a study conducted by Accenture, 50% of consumers are more comfortable making large purchases in-store if WiFi access is available. The reason for this, in our opinion, is because the ability to use WiFi to search competitor pricing helps remove any doubts they had about making the purchase during that specific visit. By allowing your customer to conduct that search, it also signals that you are confident enough in your product and its value to know that in the end they will make the purchase in your store.

Key Question: What promotional channel will result in the most effective use of my marketing budget?

Whether you can spend $100 or $10,000 per month on your marketing plan, how are you going to spend it?  The first things to consider when it comes to your budget are the resources readily available to you.  Make a list of all of the assets you already have at your disposal and think about how you can leverage them to do more.  Do you have a marketing team, or are you operating on your own?  Do you have an existing social media presence, or is your product one that even lends itself naturally to social media?  Once you know what you have, and what you can spend, it’s important to clearly identify what you hope to accomplish.  Do you want to build your mailing list, drive website traffic, generate sales or grow your brand awareness? We know that may be a lot to answer and we don’t expect you to right now.  The answers to these very questions are difficult to pinpoint for most business owners, regardless of their experience or size.  Without knowing your goals before launching a marketing campaign, you can’t measure whether or not it was a successful project.

SocialSign.in Goals and Results

At SocialSign.in, we want to help make your marketing plan easier by taking something customers expect in your place, WiFi, and leveraging it to communicate promotional information about your product and price to your most relevant audience.  Our product is designed to save time, and you may already have what you need to get started.  As a business owner, we reduce the amount of time and effort you need to dedicate to developing different marketing programs by nurturing your real customers and on-boarding them into the initiatives that matter the most to you, automatically.  We currently work with venues of all sizes, from coffee shops and small, local businesses to national franchises and arenas hosting thousands of people at a time.  Contact us today if you want to learn more or get started.