How to Implement 4 Ps of Marketing

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The 4 Ps of marketing is a model that companies use to control and optimize the essential factors of marketing a product or service. The four components of the model are product (what you sell), price (how much you sell it for), place (where you sell it), and promotion (how you get customers).

Jeremy McCarty originally proposed this type of marketing mix in his 1960 book, “Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.” Since then, the model has been widely adopted by marketers and is still used today.

In this article, you will learn how to connect each of the 4 Ps into a coherent strategy to promote and sell your product or service effectively in four steps:

  1. Understand the product you are working with
  2. Decide on a price
  3. Choose a place to sell your products
  4. Create a promotion strategy

1. Understand the product  to apply marketing ps you are working with

Most of you probably already have a product or service in mind or at least an idea for it. After all, that’s the first step in the marketing mix. But before moving on to the next step, take a moment to check that you are on the right track. At a minimum, you should be able to answer these fundamental questions:

  • Who is the target market?
  • How big is the market?
  • What characteristics does the market demand and value?
  • How is your product different from the competition?

Learning the answers to these questions is a job for market research, which you can learn more about here. If you don’t have time for that right now (it can take quite a while), write down your best guesses so you have something to work with. You can always refine it later.

Here’s how 4 ps of marketing works:

Price is the cost your customers will pay for a product or service, and it should be tied to the actual and perceived value of your offering.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding on the price:

  • What costs should you consider? (costs of supply, personnel, distribution, etc.)
  • Will it be enough to make you profitable?
  • Will your target audience be able to afford the product?
  • How will the price be perceived in relation to your profits and your competitors?

The main problem you need to solve here is how to connect your business costs with what your customers perceive as value.

The answer for our product was: data. Data is what our clients need, and at the same time, data is what generates costs on our side.

So we decided to tie Ahrefs pricing to data caps and data refresh rate.

Then we decided to divide the price into four tiers (plus a custom business plan). The cheapest plan is suitable for basic. Smaller SEO needs and marketing departments, while the more expensive plan reflects SEO needs agencies and large marketing departments.

To make things simpler and even more beneficial for our customers, every paying customer gets all the features that Ahrefs has to offer.

What may surprise you is that we have a paid trial. After all, this is a rare practice.

Let me give the floor to our CMO to explain the reasons for this. Maybe it could also be a good option for your business?

Let’s also touch on the issue of affordability. In other words, how do you ensure that your product is affordable for the target market?

One way to do this is to simply ask. You can survey or interview your target audience. For example, you can use the Van Westendorp model to determine the optimal price. The model is based on these questions:

  • what price would it be so low that you start questioning the quality of this product?
  • At what price do you think this product is starting to be a bargain?
  • If this price of the product start to look expensive?
  • At which price is this product too expensive?

Or you can hear what people are saying on social media about similar products. But be careful with that. It’s hard to find people who will publicly express their satisfaction with the price of something unless they get a bargain. You are more likely to see people complaining.

However, if you are lucky, you will come across lively discussions about pricing in your product category.

Here’s a good example (note that it contains strong language):

Benchmarking is also a good idea. We did this by pricing Ahrefs. Using prices comparable to our then super-profitable competitor Moz reduced our chances of making a big pricing mistake early on.

3. Choose a place to sell your product

The place is about where and how customers buy your product or service. Think in terms of the type of stores, cloud versus downloadable, staff required, and possible fees for intermediaries.

Key questions that this part of the process should cover:

  • What are the buying habits of your potential customers?
  • Where does your competition sell their products?
  • Where can customers get the best shopping experience and after-sales support?
  • Do you need sales representatives or will it be self-service?
  • How much revenue will you have to give up to offer the product through a particular distribution channel?

I recently wrote a post on creating a go-to-market strategy where I explained distribution models and how to choose the right one in more detail. So check it out if you want to learn more about this.

But to get an idea of ​​what to expect, here is a table that summarizes the distribution models:

Salesforce is an excellent example of a company that establishes a strong connection between product and place. In the beginning, they decided that their product would be unlike anything on the market: a SaaS CRM sold by subscription. This choice cemented their distribution model and made the look of the place of their marketing mix their brand differentiator.

This decision not only made Salesforce the company it is today, but it also shaped the industry for those who came to market after them. Now every CRM is a SaaS CRM.

Salesforce went even further by creating a strong connection between product and promotion (another “P”). They “translated” the architecture of their products in a promotional campaign called “The End of Software”, which attacked the traditional model of software distribution.

Salesforce’s End of Software Campaign in Action. Source: Business Insider

The bottom line here is that the correct distribution model is highly influenced by the type of product. Whenever you see more than one place where you can sell your product, consider the costs and benefits. Perhaps you will run into a gold mine as Salesforce did.

4. Create a promotional strategy

Promotion refers to the tactics you need to use to reach your target market with your message. Think to advertise, blog posts, social media, PR, etc.

Your promotion strategy should answer:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • How do your competitors reach your customers?
  • According to you what is the typical buying journey for your prospects?
  • how much budget and staff do you need?
  • What kinds of tactics can you use to fill the marketing funnel?

Let me show you how we at Ahrefs answer some of these questions in our promotion strategy.

The cornerstone of our promotional strategy is content marketing. There are a few reasons why we choose this type of marketing.

First, many people Google for solutions to the problems our product solves.

For example, it is estimated that there are 450 searches per month in the US for “how to rank higher on Google”:

So we wrote a blog post explaining how to solve this problem with Ahrefs, which now ranks third for this keyword:

We’ve done exactly the same for hundreds of other relevant search-in-demand topics. As a result, our blog now receives hundreds of thousands of organic search visits every month.

Second, since Ahrefs is an SEO tool, what better sales pitch is there to rank ourselves for each SEO-related topic?

By demonstrating that we can classify our content using our own tools, we create a strong connection between product and promotion within our 4 Ps model. That strong connection acts as a reason to believe in the value of our product and provides us with many case studies to cover on our blog.

And finally, let’s consider our distribution model. Since our product is self-service and we sell it only through our website, we need a mechanism to get closer to our target market. Content marketing solves this problem.

Let’s take a look at the three core elements of our content marketing strategy in more detail.

Free tools

We currently have 14 free tools showing features of our main paid tools. These allow us to connect the P’s and use our product as a promotional vehicle to:

  • Increase brand awareness. as ranked by relevant searches, such as “free backlink checker.”
  • Reduce friction by allowing potential customers to try before they buy.

Blog

Our blog also sends tons of targeted organic traffic our way:

This is because we keep our blog business-oriented. You won’t find us blogging about company retreats, office dogs, or how to remove the background from an image. Those first two topics have no search demand and the last one has no “commercial potential.”

‘ Commercial potential’ is what we use to measure the likelihood that our readers will discover our product through an article on a particular topic. We judge it on a four-point scale:

So even though an article explaining how to remove a background from an image could send us a lot of organic traffic, it doesn’t make sense for us to write about it because it has zero “commercial potential”.

Estimated monthly organic search traffic to top ranking result for “how to remove background from an image”. Data via Ahrefs Site Explorer.

Instead, we primarily write about topics that score two or three on our ‘business potential’ scale. An example is ” SEO audit”, which we have ranked fairly consistently over the years:

Our historical rankings for “ SEO audit” through Ahrefs Site Explorer.

If you want to learn more about business blogging, we have a free five-hour course here.

Youtube

Our YouTube channel is another central element of our content marketing strategy.

We have been creating videos regularly for about three years (when Sam joined us). During that time, we posted 181 videos, a feat that simply wouldn’t have been possible without someone dedicated to that marketing channel.

The way we approach our YouTube channel is very similar to our blog. We keep you business-oriented, and each video shares our experience on how Ahrefs can solve common problems. SEO and marketing problems.

You can learn more about our YouTube keyword research and ranking strategy in this video:

Final thoughts

The 4 Ps of marketing is a bit like the NERD. Both are extremely elegant in their simplicity, touch the fundamentals of the business, and can be used for multiple purposes.

Here are some ways you can use the 4 Ps of marketing:

  1. Develop your marketing strategy. Once you get the right product, price, venue, and promotion, you’ve laid the foundation for all your marketing efforts.
  2. Take a marketing workshop. The 4 Ps of marketing are something that everyone can understand. Also, everyone may have interesting ideas or knowledge about its components.
  3. Audit a marketing strategy. When you need to audit or analyze an existing (perhaps competitive) marketing strategy, the 4 Ps will keep you focused on what is important.

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