With the New Year just round the corner, now is the time to evaluate your marketing mix of 2016. A clear evaluation of your current year’s marketing mix will help you plan intelligently for 2017.

The four elements of your marketing plan are the 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. So let’s consider how to deal with each one of them.

  1. Product: Every product has a limited life-cycle. The way to extend a product’s life cycle is by adding meaningful features or uses to your product. For example, when Johnson and Johnson had successfully tapped into the baby product market, they extended their appeal to include mothers using the tag “Best for Baby, Best for You!” So think up of ways how you may find a larger audience for your product to keep you ahead of the competition. You may rightly ask: but what do I add and for whom? The answer is of course by asking your customers. Run phone surveys and listen to the recorded conversations (with permission) for insights on product development.
  2. Price: If you run a transcription report that shows “expensive” as the word used by most of your clients for not buying, should you immediately lower prices? It is best to resist the temptation of lowering your price to stimulate demand. This is because you want to avoid a price war and reduced margins. Differentiating your product based on superior quality and offering additional product features can enhance the perceived value of your offering. Value based pricing entails understanding which product features appeal to your audience and ensuring that your product is on target with what the consumer values. Offering enhanced value over a price-cut may be a better longer-term option for you.
  3. Place: If you have a product in high demand and at a price point that screams value but you are unable to deliver it to the right place at the right time, you’ve lost the sale. Whether you use a retail outlet, direct sales team or a wholesaler, your product needs to be available to the buyer when she needs it. If you’re a small business owner thinking about locating closer to a larger competitor, don’t get intimidated and give up on your Placement Strategy. Be confident about your product and strive to it place it where your competitor’s clients shop. You may find yourself benefiting from spill over clients from your competitor.

Promotion: Whether you use TV ads, print media or social media, the key is to optimize your budget. If you use call tracking then analytical reports can be generated at channel, campaign or keyword level. This way you know exactly what drives your sales. The Pareto 80:20 Principle  can be applied. For example, if you find that 80% of your leads come from a volume discount ad that you placed on Facebook then try different Ad variations on Facebook to evaluate which ad copy resonates best with your audience.

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