Make a New Financial Year’s resolution to update your marketing mix and stimulate fresh thinking in your business.

sme-marketing-mix-tips-article

The 4P marketing recipe has spanned the decades relatively unchallenged. Sure, the traditional 4Ps saw a bit of a refresh in the nineties when business schools started to talk about 7Ps, and the original Product, Price, Promotion and Place found new friends in Process, People and Physical Presence.

But over the decades, as digital entered the arena and the customer reclaimed centre-stage, the 4Ps have become old school. And we’re not talking cool old school like Vanilla Ice, but completely passé and even defunct.

Today’s marketers are looking to a new marketing framework called S.A.V.E –Solution, Access, Value and Education. Unlike the 4Ps, it takes account of the modern day environment and how customers want to communicate and experience brands.

How to apply S.A.V.E to your business:

Solution

Rather than continuing to adopt a product-focussed approach, many organisations are now solution-focussed. What this means is that the organisation focuses on offering solutions to consumer’s needs and problems.

The company thinks from a customer perspective. Not a product perspective. The focus is on benefits to the customer and not the number of product features they can count.

Access

Smartphones and devices mean people can access product data and comparison information wherever and whenever they want. The traditional Place in the 4Ps is no longer relevant – it’s all about access.

Can your business give the customer what they want, when they need it and in real time? For example, your store might only be open ‘til 5 pm but perhaps you have an e-commerce store and online chat to help customers with their midnight shopping urges.

Value

This new marketing mix has its focus on value and not price. With so much information available to consumers, the advantages of being the most price-focussed business are severely diminished. Customers are more interested in the value your business creates.

Constant sales and discount promotions will distract consumers from your value proposition. However, while it’s all too easy to lead customers away from value considerations, it’s important to remember that consumers generally put value first and price second – so don’t leave price out of the equation just yet.

Education

When the original 4Ps marketing mix was introduced the number of communication channels was pretty much limited to the press, radio and television. Plus, it was promotion push in one direction: towards the consumer. Today there is a proliferation of communication channels, and many are two-way.

Customers see, hear and read a vast amount of information relevant to their needs. They also have the ability to interact and have a dialogue with companies in real time like never before. Social media is a great example of this in action. This allows companies to educate and gain consumers’ trust long before the consumer buys their product or service.

What would the S.A.V.E marketing mix look like for your business? Give it a try and you might be surprised how it helps shape a new mindset in your business and for your consumers, who have more control than ever before.