With the start of the NFL season here in the US, I’m reminded of one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in marketing, don’t forget to take care of the basics first because without doing that, none of the fancy, fun stuff matters.
In the NFL, there are a lot of talented players who get the big stats, fame, money and glory for the wins. They are usually skill positions like quarterback, running back and wide receiver. I know they work hard and yes, without exceptional players teams often don’t do very well. However, a team can have great skill players, but without the rest of the team executing the basics, blocking and tackling, none of that matters.
Many times I’ve seen teams with great offensive lines and solid defenses make average skill players look pretty good. The guys in the trenches grinding it out and focusing on the basics make everything else possible. Without executing those basics, quarterbacks get sacked, running backs get tackled for losses and wide receivers run around the secondary whining because they are not getting any passes while the quarterback is trying to get up off the turf.
So what does that have to do with marketing? Countless business people and marketers have worked to make a product or business successful but they failed. In hindsight, they didn’t focus first on the basics and make sure they had their blocking and tackling down before expanding on them and forging ahead. The four P’s of marketing are much like blocking and tackling. It’s the basics and just missing one of the four P’s can cause failure.
The 4 P’s:
Product – What is the product really? What does the customer want from the product or service? How will it fill their needs? Do they want it or need it? Is it relevant to the customer or are you trying to sell it for another reason?
Place – Where would buyers look for it? Can you offer it in a place that the customer will find it and want it there? Can you access the right distribution channels?
Price – What’s the value to the customer? What are competitors prices? Is yours worth more because of value add?
Promotion – How and where will you be able to promote your product and effectively get your message across? What mediums can you use? Any seasonality issues?
As a marketer, it’s easy to lose site of the four P’s of marketing. Ignoring just one of these and leaving them to chance often leads to failure. Focus on these basics first and everything else you do will at least have a chance of success.