The 7 Ps – a term often discussed but not always fully understood – hold the key to crafting your ultimate marketing plan. They are the foundational elements that can transform your product or service from obscurity into a market force to be reckoned with.
Imagine your offering as a hidden gem in a vast marketplace, waiting to be unearthed by your target audience. To achieve this, you must master the art of the 7 Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Process, and Physical Evidence. Each of these components plays a pivotal role in shaping your marketing strategy.
Before we get started delving into the 7 Ps of marketing, let’s first understand what a marketing plan actually is.
Alternatively, if you’re more of a watcher than a reader, check out this great video by Leaders Talk.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is like a guidebook that a company uses to navigate its marketing efforts. It lays out what the company wants to achieve with its marketing, like who they’re trying to reach and what makes them special.
It also sets targets, like how much money they’ll spend and when they’ll do things. This plan helps the company stay on track and make sure they’re moving in the right direction with their marketing.
Companies usually look at their marketing plans often and make changes when they need to, like when things change in the market or the company’s goals shift.
Marketing Plan vs Marketing Strategy
When you’re learning about making a marketing plan, you might come across the term “marketing strategy.” People often use these words interchangeably, but they actually mean different things.
To make things clearer, let’s break down the main difference between them:
A marketing strategy is like a big plan that explains why you’re doing your marketing and how you’ll achieve your goals. It’s the part that connects your brand with your overall business plan.
When you make a marketing strategy, think about your business goals, who you are as a brand, and what you want to say to people. You should also consider what makes you unique and how you’ll tell people about it.
Usually, a marketing strategy includes information like:
- A quick summary
- What your company aims for
- Info about your market
- Who you want to reach
- What your competition is up to
- Your brand and what you say
- Where you’ll do your marketing
By thinking about these things, you’ll have a solid marketing strategy that guides your actions and makes your brand’s connection to your business goal stronger.
Your marketing plan is like a detailed instruction manual for carrying out your marketing strategy. It shows you the exact steps to follow when doing your marketing. This covers everything from how you’ll promote your stuff to how you’ll measure how well it’s working.
By making this plan, you can figure out how to best reach the people you want to reach. It includes things like when you’ll do your marketing stuff and where you’ll do it. Normally, this plan has sections like:
- Campaign goals: What you want to achieve with your marketing.
- Content plan: What you’ll say and how you’ll say it to get people interested.
- Timeline for delivery: When you’ll do each marketing thing.
- Marketing activities: The specific things you’ll do to get your brand out there.
- Responsibilities: Who’s doing what in your team.
- Budget: How much money you’ll use for your marketing.
With a clear marketing campaign plan, you can carry out your marketing strategy smoothly, making sure it lines up with your overall business goals.
Why Do I Need a Marketing Strategy for My Business?
A marketing strategy helps a company decide where to spend its advertising money for the best results. Having a clear strategy has become even more important recently.
In 2022, compared to 2018, marketers with a clear strategy were almost seven times more likely to succeed, showing how planning is crucial for successful marketing.
Why Do I Need a Marketing Plan For My Startup?
A startup really needs a clear and efficient marketing plan for several reasons:
- It helps you figure out who your target customers are and what they need.
- It lets you create a unique brand and place it in the market.
- It helps you find the right places to show your ads to your target customers.
- It allows you to track your progress and see if your marketing is working.
- It keeps you focused, so you don’t waste time and money on random marketing efforts.
- It helps you understand what makes your product special and how it’s better than your competition.
Even though making a full marketing plan can be time-consuming, startups still need a basic plan to know who they’re targeting and how they’ll promote their product. Here’s a short guide to help you get started with your startup marketing plan.
What Are The 4 P’s of Marketing?
The four Ps are Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. They’re super important in marketing a product or service.
You need to think about these things when you’re starting a new business, checking out what you already offer, trying to sell to a certain group of people, or testing out a new way to market to folks. When you pay attention to these four Ps, it helps you handle your products better and get to the customers you want..
The 7 P’s of Marketing
If you’re really wanting to hammer down on how you market your product, you may need to focus on an extra 3 elements in your marketing strategy (people, packaging and process).
- Product: This focuses on understanding and meeting customer needs through the development and offering of your product or service.
- Price: Determining the appropriate pricing strategy that aligns with customer expectations and perceived value.
- Promotion: Select the channels and methods to communicate and promote your product or service to your target audience.
- Place: Identify the distribution channels and locations where your product will be made available to customers.
- People: Recognising the role of individuals involved in the sales and customer service process and ensuring they effectively represent and promote your product.
- Packaging: Creating an appealing and suitable packaging design that enhances the presentation and perception of your product.
- Process: Establishing efficient processes and systems for delivering your product or service to customers, including order fulfilment, customer support, and after-sales service.
By addressing these 7 P’s, you can develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that covers all the critical aspects of successfully bringing your product or service to market.
How Do I Create a Marketing Strategy?
Marketing strategy and planning are closely connected. Developing a marketing strategy and creating a marketing plan are essential and interrelated components. Companies must consider both internal and external factors when forming these strategies and plans to ensure a strong connection with their target customers.
To help you get started, we’ve outlined steps for developing marketing strategies and plans. While specific steps may vary, these guidelines can serve as a foundation for your efforts.
- Start with a clear goal: Align your marketing strategy with your business objectives. For instance, if your aim is to increase revenue, set a goal to boost website visitors and conversions by a specific percentage. Create a mission statement to outline what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it.
- Conduct market analysis: Before creating a marketing plan, understand your market thoroughly. Analyze internal and external factors, such as your strengths, weaknesses, market trends, and competitors’ challenges.
- Know your customers: Put your customers at the center of your planning. Anticipate their needs and develop strategies to meet them better than your competitors. Identify target markets and create customer personas to understand your audience better.
- Understand your product and resources: Know your product’s uniqueness, pricing, promotional opportunities, and distribution channels using the “4 Ps of the marketing mix” framework.
- Define specific objectives: Establish measurable, specific, achievable, relevant, and timely (SMART) objectives that align with your business goals. These could include gaining new customers, increasing sales, enhancing brand awareness, or growing your email subscriber list.
- Outline techniques: Consider various marketing techniques and channels to achieve your objectives. Choose methods and tools that suit your business and goals, like social media marketing or content optimization for increasing email subscriptions.
- Set a budget: Allocate funds that ensure a reasonable return on investment while achieving your marketing goals. Accurately estimate expenses and forecast potential returns.
- Create a marketing plan: Develop a comprehensive plan based on the steps outlined above. Use these guidelines as a reference to guide you through this process.
- Analyze performance: Establish a system for measuring the success of your marketing campaigns. Continuously assess your strategies and make necessary adjustments. Measurement and analysis are crucial for evaluating your marketing efforts’ effectiveness.
How Do I Write A Marketing Plan?
Now that you know how to create a marketing strategy, it’s time to put your plans into action by developing a marketing plan. This plan will provide a detailed roadmap for implementing your strategy.
Here are the steps to follow when creating a marketing plan:
- Reach your customers: Use your strategy as a reference to identify your target customers and their profiles. Decide which marketing channels and methods will effectively reach them. Consider options like digital marketing, traditional methods, or a combination. Think about using direct marketing or events to connect with your audience. Keep all these factors in mind during this stage.
- Create marketing materials: Assign responsibilities for producing various types of content, such as videos, blog posts, print materials, TV ads, or other promotional content. Establish clear guidelines for branding and tone of voice. Set up efficient workflows to ensure smooth content creation.
- Plan material distribution: Explore different marketing channels and decide how you’ll use them to share your marketing materials effectively. Consider options like email campaigns, social media strategies, organic search, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, or any relevant channels. Include timelines and delivery dates for each channel in your plan.
- Analyze campaign success: Define the criteria for measuring the success of your marketing campaigns. Align these criteria with the objectives from your overall marketing strategy. Think about various metrics that can help gauge success. Decide on specific metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
What are the Key Sections of a Marketing Plan?
The key sections of a marketing plan are:
- Target Audience Identification
- Competitor Analysis
- SWOT Analysis
- Marketing Strategy
Target Audience Identification
Identifying your brand’s target audience is a crucial step in creating a marketing plan. It helps you determine who your marketing should focus on and where to find them. If you’ve read our post on The 5 Core Elements of A Successful Startup, you should already have a basic idea of your target audience.
To pinpoint your target audience, create at least one buyer persona for your product. This persona should represent the core traits of a potential customer. Include information relevant to your business, such as:
- Age range
- Job title
- Goals related to your product
- Current solutions/products they use
- Challenges they face with current solutions
- Where they can be found (e.g., on Facebook)
Once you have these details about your target audience, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what they seek in your product and how to reach them through your marketing efforts.
After you’ve identified the target audience for your application, you need to fully understand your competitors so that you can persuade your audience to use your product rather.
When analysing your competitors, make sure you include information on the following in order to identify where your product fits within the market:
- What does your competitor’s product do that yours doesn’t
- What does your product do that your competitor’s doesn’t
- Predicted market share
- Price points
SWOT analysis in marketing helps evaluate a company’s current market position and find areas for growth. Its goal is to understand the internal and external factors affecting marketing efforts.
- Strengths: These are the company’s internal advantages over competitors, like a strong brand, unique products, or a skilled marketing team.
- Weaknesses: These are internal disadvantages, such as limited resources, weak brand recognition, or a small marketing budget.
- Opportunities: External factors the company can use for marketing success, like a growing market, emerging trends, or new technologies.
- Threats: External factors that could harm marketing efforts, such as increased competition, changing consumer preferences, or economic conditions.
Analyzing these factors helps a company better understand its marketing environment and develop a strategy that capitalizes on its strengths.
The marketing strategy combines all the information above to outline how the company will promote its product. This typically includes the 7 P’s of marketing:
- Product: What is the product, and how does it solve consumer problems?
- Price: How much does it cost, and are there discounts?
- Place (Distribution): Where and how will you advertise to reach your target audience?
- Promotion: How will you market the product and provide value to consumers?
- People: Which team members will be involved in the marketing plan?
- Process: What systems will be used to market the product and when will you release your marketing?
- Physical Evidence: What features of the product will consumers see in your marketing?
The 7 P’s framework offers a comprehensive view of the marketing strategy, helping companies consider all aspects of their plan. By using this approach, companies can develop a more effective marketing strategy.
This final step of the simplified marketing plan allows companies to be able to monitor the success of their efforts in a quantifiable way. This allows you to identify whether any of your marketing strategies are performing particularly well or poorly and to adapt the strategy accordingly.
For each of the marketing locations, the quantifiable metric should be included in order to compare performance. For example, a Google advertisement could have a target of 50,000 interactions in a month.
How Often Should I Revise My Marketing Plan?
We recommend that you revise your marketing plan regularly, at least once a year and especially whenever there are significant changes in the business environment or your company’s goals and objectives.
A marketing plan is a dynamic document that should reflect the current state of your company and its future goals. As your business grows and evolves, its needs and priorities will change. Regularly revising your marketing plan can help you to stay focused on your goals and remain competitive in the market.
Marketing Plan Template
Check out a free one-page marketing plan template example created by Hubspot, which covers all of the points described here.
- The 7 Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Process, and Physical Evidence) are fundamental elements in crafting an effective marketing plan.
- A marketing plan serves as a guidebook for a company’s marketing efforts, outlining goals, target audience, and strategies.
- A marketing strategy is a broader plan that connects marketing with overall business goals, while a marketing plan provides detailed instructions for executing the strategy.
- Regularly revising the marketing plan is crucial to adapt to changing business environments and goals.
- The 4 Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, and Place) and the 7 Ps provide a framework for understanding and managing various aspects of marketing.
- Understanding your target audience, conducting competitor analysis, and performing a SWOT analysis are essential steps in developing a marketing strategy.
- Metrics play a vital role in evaluating the success of marketing efforts and should be regularly monitored and adjusted to meet goals.
- Marketing plans should be revised at least annually and whenever significant changes occur in the business environment or goals.
What is the Purpose of a Marketing Plan?
The purpose of a marketing plan is to outline a company’s strategy for promoting its products or services. It serves as a roadmap, guiding businesses on how to reach their target audience, achieve specific objectives, and ultimately, succeed in the market.
How is a Marketing Plan used by Marketers to Set Up a Business on a Journey Towards Success?
A marketing plan is used by marketers to chart a business’s path to success. It helps them define goals, understand their audience, and create strategies for promoting products or services effectively.
By following the plan, marketers can stay focused, allocate resources wisely, and adapt to changing conditions, ultimately leading the business towards success.
What to Include in a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan should include:
- Target Audience: Define your ideal customers.
- Market Research: Understand competitors and trends.
- Goals: Set clear objectives.
- Strategies: Outline how you’ll reach your audience.
- Budget: Allocate funds for marketing efforts.
- Marketing Channels: Identify platforms and methods.
- Content Strategy: Plan what content you’ll create.
- Monitoring: Track results and make adjustments.
What Two Activities are Part of the Development Step of a Marketing Research Plan?
The two activities that are part of the development step of a marketing research plan are:
- Research Design: This involves determining the overall approach, methodology, and techniques that will be used to collect and analyze data. It includes decisions on whether to use qualitative or quantitative research methods, the selection of data collection tools (surveys, interviews, observations, etc.), and the development of a research framework.
- Sampling Plan: Establishing a clear plan for selecting the individuals or entities from whom data will be collected. This includes defining the target population, specifying the sampling method (random, stratified, convenience, etc.), and determining the sample size. The sampling plan ensures that the data collected is representative of the larger population or market being studied.
Your Friend is Developing a Marketing Plan for Her New Business. What Should She Put in This Plan?
To create a successful marketing plan for her new business, your friend should consider key components:
- Define Target Audience: Identify the ideal customers her business aims to serve, understanding their needs and preferences.
- Conduct Market Research: Research competitors, industry trends, and customer preferences to inform marketing strategies.
- Establish Brand Awareness: Create a strong brand identity with elements like logos and taglines to stand out in the market.
- Develop a Marketing Budget: Allocate funds to various marketing channels while ensuring responsible spending.
- Identify Marketing Channels: Choose effective platforms like social media, email, or advertising to reach the target audience.
- Create a Content Strategy: Plan and produce valuable content to engage the audience and establish industry authority.
- Monitor and Adjust: Continuously track website traffic, social engagement, and sales data to adapt marketing strategies for better results.
A flexible and data-driven approach will set her business up for long-term success.
Why is it Necessary to Regularly Adjust a Businesses Marketing Plan?
It’s necessary to regularly adjust a business’s marketing plan to adapt to changing market conditions, customer preferences, and competition. This flexibility allows the business to stay relevant, maximize opportunities, and respond effectively to new challenges, ultimately improving its chances of success.
Why Do Firms use Metrics in the Last Step of the Marketing Plan?
Firms use metrics in the last step of the marketing plan to measure the success of their marketing efforts. Metrics provide data and insights into how well the strategies and tactics performed, helping companies understand what worked and what didn’t.
This information enables firms to make informed decisions, optimize future marketing campaigns, and ensure they are meeting their goals effectively and efficiently.
Now that you understand how to create a successful marketing plan and strategy for your business, have a look at our 10 unique marketing ideas, or see our list of 40 things to do before launching your product.