The concept of the 7Ps is a classic model that’s used to define the key components of a successful marketing strategy. The 7Ps – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, and Physical Evidence – are all elements that need to be considered when planning and executing a marketing campaign. In this article, we’re going to delve deep into each of these components, explore their evolution in the digital marketing era, and learn how to implement them effectively in your digital marketing strategy.
Understanding the 7Ps of Marketing
The 7Ps of Marketing is a model that was initially introduced in the 1980s as an extension of the original 4Ps model (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion). The model was later expanded to include three additional Ps – People, Process, and Physical Evidence – to provide a more holistic view of marketing. This model is widely used today as a cornerstone of marketing theory and practice, serving as a guideline for businesses to ensure they are considering all necessary aspects of their marketing strategy.
In the context of the 7Ps, the ‘Product’ refers to the goods or services that a business offers to its customers. ‘Price’ pertains to the cost of the product, which can be influenced by factors such as supply and demand, competition, and cost of production. ‘Place’ represents the channels or locations through which a product is sold, while ‘Promotion’ refers to the strategies used to communicate the product’s features and benefits to the target audience.
The last three Ps – People, Process, and Physical Evidence – are particularly relevant in the service industry. ‘People’ includes everyone who comes into contact with your customers, from your sales team to your customer service reps. ‘Process’ relates to the systems and procedures that deliver your product to the customer, while ‘Physical Evidence’ refers to tangible proof that a service was provided, such as a receipt or a branded packaging.
The Evolution of the 7Ps Digital Marketing
In digital marketing, the 7Ps of Marketing have evolved to accommodate new realities and opportunities presented by digital technologies. The rise of e-commerce, social media, and digital communication channels have significantly influenced how businesses approach their marketing strategies.
In the context of ‘Product’, businesses now have the opportunity to offer digital products, such as software, e-books, and online courses, in addition to physical goods. When it comes to ‘Price’, the transparency of the internet has empowered consumers with the ability to compare prices and value propositions easily, forcing businesses to be more competitive and innovative in their pricing strategies.
‘Digital Places’ now include online marketplaces, e-commerce websites, and social media platforms. ‘Promotion’ in digital marketing is about creating engaging content and leveraging SEO, SEM, social media marketing, and email marketing to reach and engage with your audience. The roles of ‘People’ have also expanded to include social media managers, content creators, and digital marketing specialists. ‘Process’ now involves managing online transactions, customer support, and delivery. Lastly, ‘Physical Evidence’, in a digital context, can include testimonials, reviews, and social proof displayed on your website or social media channels.
Product: The Foundation of Your Marketing Strategy
In digital marketing, your ‘Product’ forms the foundation of your marketing strategy. Whether you’re selling physical goods, digital products, or services, your product needs to meet the needs and wants of your target audience. It should offer a solution to a problem your audience is facing, or fulfill a desire they have.
When defining your product, it’s essential to consider its features, benefits, and unique selling proposition (USP). The features describe what your product does, the benefits explain how it can help your customers, and the USP differentiates your product from competitors. In digital world, it’s also crucial to consider the user experience (UX) of your product. Whether it’s a physical product with a digital component (like a smartwatch) or a fully digital product (like a mobile app), the UX can significantly influence your product’s success.
It’s also necessary to be agile and adaptable with your product strategy. Technologies, market trends, and consumer behaviors are constantly changing, and your product needs to evolve accordingly. This could mean regularly updating your digital product to incorporate new features, improve UX, or fix bugs. Or, it could involve iterating your physical product based on customer feedback and technological advancements.
Price: Determining the Value of Your Offer in Digital Marketing
‘Price’ in the 7Ps refers to the cost to the customer of your product or service. In digital marketing, pricing strategies have become more complex and dynamic due to factors such as global competition, price comparison tools, and the ability to change prices rapidly in response to market conditions.
It’s essential to understand the perceived value of your product from the customer’s perspective. This perceived value can be influenced by factors such as your brand reputation, the quality and uniqueness of your product, and the level of customer service you provide. By understanding your customers’ perceived value, you can price your product in a way that maximizes profitability while also providing value to the customer.
When setting your price, it’s also important to consider your business objectives, market conditions, and competition. For instance, if your objective is market penetration, you might set a lower price to attract more customers. However, if your objective is to establish a premium brand image, a higher price might be more appropriate.
Place: Choosing the Right Digital Platforms for Your Business
‘Place’ in the 7Ps refers to where your product is sold and how it reaches your customers. In digital marketing, ‘Place’ has expanded to include online marketplaces, e-commerce websites, and social media platforms.
Choosing the right digital platforms for your business is crucial to your marketing strategy. The platform you choose should align with your business objectives, target audience, and product type. For instance, if you’re selling handcrafted jewelry, an online marketplace like Etsy might be an ideal platform. If you’re selling software, your own website with an integrated e-commerce platform could be the best choice.
It’s also essential to consider the customer journey when choosing your digital platforms. The customer journey involves the steps a customer goes through from discovering your product, to making a purchase, to post-purchase interactions. By understanding this journey, you can choose the platforms that best facilitate each step and provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
Promotion: Effective Digital Marketing Techniques
‘Promotion’ involves communicating your product’s features and benefits to your target audience. In digital marketing, promotion involves a mix of digital marketing techniques to reach and engage with your audience.
Content marketing is a key promotional technique that involves creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage your audience. This content can take various forms, including blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media updates. The goal of content marketing is to provide value to your audience, build trust, and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are also crucial promotional techniques in digital marketing. SEO involves optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results, while SEM involves paid advertising (Google Ads like those ,managed by the Calgary Google marketing agency – Matterhorn) on search engines to increase visibility.
Social media marketing is another essential promotional technique. This involves using social media platforms to reach your audience, build relationships, and promote your products. Social media marketing can include organic posts, paid advertising, influencer partnerships, and more.
People: The Role of Your Team in Digital Marketing
‘People’ in the 7Ps refers to everyone in your organization who interacts with your customers. In digital marketing, this includes not only your sales and customer service teams but also your digital marketing team, content creators, and social media managers.
The people in your organization play a crucial role in your digital marketing strategy. They are the ones who create your content, manage your social media presence, optimize your website for SEO, and interact with your customers online. They represent your brand, and their skills, knowledge, and attitudes can significantly impact your business’s online reputation and customer relationships.
It’s essential to invest in the right people for your digital marketing efforts. This might involve hiring experienced digital marketing professionals or providing training for your existing team. It’s also important to foster a positive culture that encourages creativity, collaboration, and customer-centricity.
Process: Streamlining Your Digital Marketing Operations
‘Process’ in the 7Ps refers to the systems and procedures that deliver your product to the customer. In digital marketing, this includes processes related to online transactions, customer support, delivery, and more.
Streamlining your digital marketing operations can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. This might involve automating repetitive tasks, implementing project management tools, or adopting agile marketing practices.
It’s also important to have clear processes for handling customer inquiries, complaints, and feedback. This could involve setting up a help desk, implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system, or using social listening tools to monitor customer conversations on social media.
Physical Evidence: Showcasing Proof in the Digital World
‘Physical Evidence’ in the 7Ps refers to tangible proof that a service was provided. In digital marketing, this can include testimonials, reviews, case studies, and social proof displayed on your website or social media channels.
Showcasing proof in the digital world is essential for building trust with your audience. Testimonials and reviews can provide social proof that your product delivers on its promises, while case studies can demonstrate how your product has helped other customers in real-world situations.
To showcase proof effectively, it’s important to encourage your customers to leave reviews or testimonials, and to share these across your digital platforms. You can also consider using user-generated content, such as customer photos or videos, as a form of physical evidence.
Implementing the 7Ps in Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Implementing the 7Ps in your digital marketing strategy involves taking a holistic view of your marketing efforts. It requires understanding your product, pricing it appropriately, choosing the right digital platforms, promoting effectively, leveraging your team, streamlining your processes, and showcasing proof.
Start by auditing your current marketing strategy and identifying areas of improvement. Then, create a plan that addresses each of the 7Ps, keeping in mind your business objectives, target audience, and competitive landscape. It’s also important to regularly review and adjust your strategy based on performance metrics and market changes.
The Impact of the 7Ps on Modern Digital Marketing
The 7Ps of Marketing have a significant impact on modern digital marketing. They provide a comprehensive framework for planning and executing effective marketing strategies in digital marketing.
The 7Ps help businesses understand their customers’ needs and wants, differentiate their products, reach their target audience, and provide value. They also encourage businesses to consider the broader aspects of marketing, such as the people involved and the processes used, which can often be overlooked in digital marketing.
By mastering the 7Ps, businesses can improve their digital marketing efforts, achieve their business objectives, and drive sustained growth.
Conclusion: Mastering the 7Ps for Successful Digital Marketing