The marketing mix uses the “4Ps Framework” for their sales process. This framework is often used specifically whenever there’s a marketing component involved in a case. For example; If you want to increase sales based on profitability optimization or if you’re deciding on an approach to enter a new market etc”.
The 4Ps approach is to address a market-oriented situation by assessing:
- Product (or Service)
- Place (Location & Distribution)
For a business to succeed, you need to:
- Get all the elements right
- Strike a Balance Between The Elements
Differentiation of your business from your competitors can be achieved through adjusting the elements to make your product/business more attractive. For example; If you wanted to market a high profit brand, you would focus on promotion rather than price.
Because 4Ps place more emphasis on product aspects and specifications than it does on unique differentiators and the value it delivers, because people want to understand first before being informed about specific features, 4Ps “product-focused” approach undermines the ability for consumers to connect with the people’s brand in a way that they can realize the greater value.
The goodnews is, to efficiently modernize the marketing mix, rather than seeing the 4Ps as an obsolete method, the framework was slightly revised to arrive at the significantly different “solution-centric viewpoint” known as the SAVE Framework.
The SAVE Framework
The SAVE framework now guides business owners and marketers to focus on marketing considerations such as Solution; Access; Value; and Education. This new structure is a bit more evolved and “customer-centric” helping you to attract prospects and convert customers while producing valuable and shareable contents in alignment with today’s customer journey.
4Ps ; 1st P: PRODUCT
Satisfying the customer’s needs and wants, in turn making a profit is your aim of providing a product/service. It’s essential that you get your product/service right. There are various ways in which you make your product stand out and be appealing. Use your sense of evaluating the product and ask yourself how does it feel and look?
Take For example, “HOTEL” as your product. Key Questions to Ask Will Be Based On:
- ATTRACTIVENESS: is the visual nature of the hotel appealing to sight? How attractive and colorful does it look?
- EXPECTATIONS: Does the hotel meet customer’s expectations? For instance; customers may have expectations in terms of security
- BENEFITS: Does the hotel have the benefits its customers may want? Benefit describes what it is that a customer gets out of the hotel and differs from features. For example: Below Table Considers the Following Features & Their Corresponding Benefits of a Good Hotel.
(What It Is)
(What It Does)
(What It Does For The Customer)
|Movie Theater||Entertainment||The customer stays within the hotel to watch a movie without the need to go out for such need.|
|Spa and Beauty|
Resorts/Retreat Connected Within hotel
|It serves customer during relaxation time, massages etc||It helps customer to unwind from a busy day on his holiday|
|Air-conditioned room||Keeping the environment fresh and cool during hot period||Makes him feel comfortable throughout his stay|
|Wifi Network||Provides free internet access||Work-friendly|
|Electronic Locking||Using Codes to lock doors/entrances||Security & safety Purposes|
- FUNCTIONALITY: How well does it do the job it’s supposed to do?
- COMPETITION: How is it fair or preferable compared to similar hotels
- RELIABILITY: Is it reliable?
Finding Solutions To These Needs Via Your Products Lead Us To Interchanging Product With Solution:
SAVE MODEL 1. (S): SOLUTION (Over Product)
Because the customers care more about having their problems solved, ultimately the product or service is meaningless unless you position it around the needs and wants of your customers while communicating benefits over features.
Thus, you would focus on “Solution” instead of product. This is why many organizations are moving their business model from product-oriented to solution-oriented. Customers don’t care about your product, all they care about is solving their problems. What is the job you get done?
4Ps; 2nd P: PLACE
“Place is the mechanism through which goods and services are moved from manufacturer/service provider to the user or consumer. It’s also referred to as “distribution channel or intermediary”.
Successful distribution of your product/service is not only dependent on the delivery mechanism. You must also consider your customers – where is it that they would expect to go to find products/services like yours? It’s therefore essential that you choose the correct distribution channels.
- From where do your customers expect or prefer to buy the product or service?
- What are the existing distribution channels in your chosen market?
- Do you want to use direct or indirect channels? (e.g: direct to customers, indirect via an intermediary)
- Do you want to use single or multiple channels?
- If using an intermediary, Is it intermediary familiar with your target consumers or intermediary appropriate for your target consumers?
SAVE MODEL 2 (A): ACCESS (Over Place)
Today, geographic location is no longer a deterrent when it comes to purchasing products or services. The internet has long since taken over and broken down most of the physical barriers. This means anyone can review and purchase anytime, anywhere and on any given device. Be sure your website as the epicenter of your digital communication has a responsive design and is mobile-friendly.
By focusing on access instead of place, we noticed that many organizations are moving their business model from ownership to “access to”. Nowadays, many businesses that operate are always on high speed internet access. What do you give a customer at this precise moment that he has a need?
4Ps; 3rd P: PRICE
You need to know what your customers would be prepared to pay inorder to price something effectively.
- Comparing your product/service with similar ones belonging to your competitors should give you some idea of typical prices in the market
- You’ll need then to decide upon a pricing strategy. For example; You might use cost-based pricing where total cost are calculated and a mark-up is added to give the required profit.
- Or you might consider differential pricing, where you charge different segments of your market different prices for the same service
- The strategy you choose will have an effect on the success of the product.
Whichever strategy you choose, you need to distinguish between cost and price. To maximize your profits, you should aim to charge the maximum amount that people will pay, while seeking to reduce costs and increase productivity.
SAVE MODEL 3 (V): VALUE (Over Price)
A customer’s perception of value is far more significant than actual price of the product or service when it comes to making the decision to buy.
With more instantaneous access to information and with a broader selection from which to choose, the concept of value plays an even more critical role for consumers today. By concentrating on what benefits your consumers will truly value the most will help you identify the right positioning of value in the form of benefits in relation to cost.
In contrast to cost-plus pricing, value based pricing works best when you build a strong brand or the product has highly valuable features or is a service indistinguishable from competitors.
By focusing on value instead of price, customers would only have concerns about price after their concerns about value. What’s the value you create? When designing new business model, your value proposition is the key.
4Ps; 4th P: PROMOTION
Promotion is about effectively communicating with your customers so that they are encouraged to buy from you. You need to promote to both existing and prospective ones, which may involve promoting to each in different ways.
To promote successfully, you need to take the following into account:
- You need to know as much as possible about your customers and their buying habits
- You need to identify which are the important questions customers could have about your product or service. E.g. Is this reliable product? Your promotional activities should answer these questions
- You need to identify your unique selling point (USP) and communicate it effectively to your customers
- You need to identify the style of your promotional activities
- You need to decide when you are going to promote.
When you have answers to the above, you’re in a stronger position to decide what to say, how to say it, when to say it and which promotional methods to use.
PROMOTION MIX: is the combination of promotional elements you use to promote your products/services. The various elements which make up promotion mix: personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing etc.
SAVE MODEL 4 (E): EDUCATION (Over Promotion)
Promotion usually entails buying your ways in to gain the awareness of your audience. Today, customers can tune in and out what they want and when they want , almost everything is on demand these days. So why not produce informative communication materials to which people would choose to tune-in? Sharing educational contents will not only position you as an expert and thought-leader in your industry, it will also build trust as your audience will gain a feeling of dependability and familiarity from you, the very key ingredients required for gaining customer loyalty.
By focusing on education instead of promotion, businesses today can act as entreproducers, providing current and potential customers with information relevant to their interest to create a sense of familiarity and trust long before a purchase is made even.