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The 7 P’s of Marketing existed well before the explosion of Social Media and for decades has been taught to Students, Marketers and Business people as the fundamental basics of Marketing, known as the Marketing Mix. For any Marketer or Business knowing your 7 P’s is always a good place to start with Marketing, but as you become more advanced there are so many other theories, elements and concepts involved.
The initial 4 P’s of Marketing is more widely used whereas B2B and International Marketing are more suitable for the use of the 7 P’s. However any business in any industry can use the 7 P’s, but can we apply Social Media to all 7 elements?
What do your customers think about the product/services you sell to them?
Do you have ideas for a new concept or star product?
Would your customers be willing to pay more for a premium priced product?
Ask them. Co-creation involving your target market at the stages of idea generation and product development can be conducted via Social Media. Conduct a focus group on a webinar, groups or forums. Run polls on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook or post videos on You Tube or pictures on Pinterest. Get feedback from the very people who will ultimately buy your goods and include them at the R&D stages.
Co-creation of your PRODUCTS and ideas, all done using Social Media.
You don’t need a shop, fancy website or offices to sell to your customers, Social Media can facilitate all of this. Some small businesses find it easier to sell their products by uploading photos to the Business Facebook or Google+ Pages rather than entering complex code into the back end of company websites.
For example my own business website is modest at best, a free page which is very limited so I try to sell using my Social Media sites – and it works. As a recent graduate with a brand new business a new website isn’t in my budget yet so I network on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and forums which has won me new business in my 1st 2 months of trading. All I need is a computer, a phone, sweat equity and my Social Media networks become the PLACE I sell my services.
Different Social Media networks have varying demographics which opens up the possibility of charging more or less according to each target segment. High net worth individuals can be targeted to sell at a premium price, whereas lower income earners perhaps could be targeted with discounts or budget ranges.
Co-creation can also be applied using Social Media to help determine the PRICE of your product.
PROMOTION, this one is easy. You can promote on almost all Social Media sites as long as you know who your market is and what channel they use. Content Marketing and customer engagement are vital when promoting your company, but always remember that Social Media is social where people communicate.
Target your ads and always narrow your target market to as small a segment as possible and always keep the conversation flowing. If you get a like or a comment, respond immediately to engage with real people on a 1:2:1 basis.
PEOPLE areTHE most important element of any type of business, service or product in any sector anywhere in the world. Your customers are number 1 so consider them in every choice you ever make for your business and you’ll always do well.
Use Social Media to connect with wider stakeholders to your business such as your local community, competitors, trade associations and public bodies. Employees can be used as an asset when communicating via Social Media but ensure you train them and have a solid social media policy implemented.
Customer Service PROCESSES can be facilitated on your company Social Media sites. Respond swiftly to customer complaints and re-tweet, share and post any testimonials or positive feedback. Check all your Social Media sites at least twice daily and regularly conduct searches for key words about your company.
Walk down any street in any city and you’ll most probably see someone on their mobile phone. Go into any cafe, University or shopping mall where people communicate on their handheld devices. Their world, their PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT is in that device, talking, laughing, crying and sharing their lives on Social Media.
Get into their world, the rise of Mobile advertising targets consumers according to their habits and businesses need to think about how to fit into consumer lifestyles.
Even the old fundamental classic 7 P’s of Marketing can be adapted to incorporate Social Media. By applying old and new theories and tools, Social Media should be seen to compliment and enhance traditional Marketing.