Finally, we get to the part that many marketers and non-marketers alike consider the cornerstone of marketing. See my post regarding the role of the CMO to understand that you can not win on PART III if you fail on PART I & II. This is where we discuss the MARKETING MIX, the 4P’s, some now call the 4 E’s, etc…
“The advantage of solving the positioning problem is that it enables the company to solve the marketing mix problem. The marketing mix – product, price, place and promotion – is essentially the working out of the tactical details of the positioning strategy.” Market Management by Phil Kotler
Product / Experience: Value Delivered to the Customer. In our case, we delivered clothing to many many babies and children. The true value that we delivered was one place for parents to come and provide clothing for their children through multiple growth cycles. If we just thought we were selling crap, our sale and communications about our sale might have failed. See baseline.
Place / Everyplace: This is the network on which we sell our goods. It is also how a company keeps connected with customers for a variety of tasks including demand generation, delivery of goods, product customization, etc… Since we were selling simple goods, we moved all goods to one place, our house, and opened the garage doors. We did act as the “middle man” for the clothing company and our next door neighbor who needed to get rid of his lawn mower. (You would be proud of the CMO. When the eyes of the men, the ones that had to be there because their wives dragged them to my house, looked at the lawn mower, the CMO jumped into play and sold that bad boy).
Promotion / Evangelism: How are we going to drive awareness of our sale to our target customer? In our case, we needed to attract people within driving distance to our sale. The old way to do this was advertise in the paper, but that cost money and overhead for the sale of inexpensive goods. As Chris Anderson discusses in his notes and now book about the Long Tail, the internet, new media (Craig’s List) has developed an easier, more efficient aggregation tool to allow people to find and buy niche products. New Media is Free Media. We advertised on Craig’s List and it drove 5x more people than the paper advertisement did for our neighbors just 4 weeks prior. We also put up signs in our neighborhood directing the drivers to our house and alerting the locals.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The baseline neighbors did not “position” their value to the market. Remember, your marketing vehicles may just suck because your positioning and strategy sucks.
Pricing / Exchange: The product, place and promotion drive the perceived value of the goods that we were selling. In our case, we found that by NOT putting price tags on our merchandise, we were able to increase our profits. This is not always the case. The CMO has spent many years in pricing. I found that during this exercise, the buyers would pay more for our CRAP than we thought our crap was worth.
Did our marketing strategy exercise really work? Did our positioning and focus on our target bring buyers that would pay more? HELL YES!!! In conclusion, following marketing strategy does work. Our understanding of the customer, our positioning of our offering, our strategy to create the best value and our execution of the marketing mix turned our garage sale into a sell out.
And I just thought that business school blah blah blah was for the birds.
DAMN, it works. I should have paid attention the first time.
The Chief Marketing Outsider