I want to take a swipe at the traditional 4Ps of the marketing mix which business schools have considered “de rigeur” for decades.
We are all familiar with the marketing mix 4Ps: Product, Place, Promotion & Price, with Physical Evidence, often added as an optional extra (some will add a couple more Ps). I’ll happily discuss the marketing mix and how we can use these headings to shape our approach to the market and I’m not suggesting we should abandon them entirely. But, and here’s the swipe, these are approaches from the supplier side. What about the customer perspective?
Yep, radical as it may seem we need to view these elements from the customer perspective. I suggest that for each P also consider what I call “the buying mix”. Let’s apply some letters (this is not original, but can’t recall where I got it from during my studies all those years ago) and “A” will do nicely:
Product: Acceptability – how acceptable to your target customer(s) are the products or services: do they do meet the buyers’ requirement(s).
Place: Availability - where and how readily can your customer(s) get their hands on your products or services.
Promotion: Awareness - how and how easily can your customers find out about your products and how to get them.
Price: Affordability – you may think it is a good and fair price but can your target customers actually afford it.
Just to make sure we haven’t missed any, let’s also take Physical Evidence…how about Aesthetics or Appearance…which offer a differentiation from whether a product does the job by adding the very important elements of fashion, smell or cleanliness (quite important for a restaurant don’t you think!).
So, for a really customer focussed approach, think buying mix 4As and marketing mix 4Ps.