As part of my apprenticeship at Spring I have a weekly college release day where I attend a class with other apprentices, all about Digital Marketing. On a recent college release day we were taught about the 7Ps of marketing. Below is short summary of what I learnt:

Known as the Marketing Mix, this term was credited to Neil Boren who first used the phrase in 1949.
The 4 Principles of Marketing (4Ps) were created by an expert named E. Jerome McCarthy in the 1960s. At this point there were only 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
Bernard Booms and Mary Bitner in 1981 realised that there are other important elements that need focusing on – People, Process, Physical Evidence. Over time Packaging has also become part of an organisation’s marketing mix. The Marketing Mix is referred to as the 7Ps however it is widely recognised that there are 9Ps to choose from when designing your marketing strategy.

Product

This is what an organisation wants to supply in the market. It may be a physical product or a service. All products should have distinguishing characteristics and a Unique Selling Point.

Price

There are three main pricing strategies; Market Penetration Pricing, Market Skimming Pricing and Neutral Pricing. Marketing Penetration Pricing is when a product starts at a low price and then slowly increases over time. The idea is to lure customers away from your competitors with the low initial price. Market Skimming Pricing is when customers have to pay a high initial price which lowers over time, like a newly released iPhone. Finally, Neutral Pricing is when the price is relatively similar between one company’s product and a competitor’s.

Place

This is the location where a product or service is distributed and made available to a consumer at the right location and the right time.

Promotion

Refers to any type of marketing communication used to inform target audiences of a new product or service.

People

This point refers mainly to employees. Staff who believe in the products or services that are offered by their employer are most likely to perform the best they can at work. The skills of an employee can be very important as it can make or break the sale of a product/service.

Positioning

Market position refers to the consumer’s perception of a brand or product in relation to competitors. It acts as a brand or product identity. For example, if you were to book a plane seat with Etihad Airways or Virgin Atlantic you would expect a higher quality experience and service compared to cheaper airlines like easyJet or Ryanair.

Packaging

This is what shows off the product in the best way possible. It is the first thing people see when they purchase a product and it can have the ability to catch or divert their attention.

Physical Evidence

This refers to the physical environment experienced by the customer, whether it is the reception of a hotel or the layout of a company website.

Process
The methods of offering a service or handling sales of product can be important. Now companies experience high levels of online interaction with customers, an efficient process is a must for any company.

 

The 7Ps are very useful to any business as they help businesses review and define key issues that affect the marketing of its products or services.