Using the Marketing Mix to Maximize Customer Returns

The traditional marketing mix used by businesses comprised of 4 key elements thought to be vital to the success of any business. However, with the passage of time and the variations in the kind of products and services offered, there are 7 key elements today in the marketing mix that require constant evaluation to ensure the best possible results. These 7 P’s are:
Product

Price

Placement

Promotion

Physical Evidence

Process

People

Businesses use a unique combination of all these elements in an attempt to achieve the highest customer satisfaction levels.In this article, we will discuss all the 7 elements in detail and will explain how businesses can make constant variations in their product mix to maximize their goals.Product
What distinguishes your product or service from other products? While there are standard quality and service components to establish performance, the product or service needs to be somehow unique, some way better than its competitor. This “unique selling proposition” is mission-critical to the business’s success. Customer satisfaction with your product or service is of utmost importance. Though it’s important to offer a high quality or a more economical price, better availability or quicker delivery time, it is also essential to make sure that your product or service has something that is unique and that sets it apart from the competitors in the market.Price
Consider if the target market sees the price of your product or service as affordable. If the target market is not willing or able to buy, there is no chance to build your business successfully. If the price of your products is higher than competition, it is imperative to convince the market the value of the price premium.Placement
In order to capture the market, make your products and services accessible and easy to buy. If the customer can’t find you, they can’t buy from you. If you offer online sales, carefully consider the process customers must go through to buy online. A difficult purchasing process is a barrier to sales. Know where your target audience lives and shops in order to put your product in front where they can see and learn about it.Promotion
Promoting your product through the right channels to ensure highest exposure is essential to the marketing process. A promotion on broadcast TV or radio is expensive compared to other channels; they will reach people who may have no interest or not be qualified to buy your products. The costly reach of broadcast media can waste valuable marketing dollars with little return. If the channel is online, use the internet – and search engine optimization – to your advantage. Find out the keyword search terms that will bring the most amount of traffic. Leverage the content and position of the websites that feature your product to its best advantage. If promotion is direct mail, give careful consideration to a targeted mailing list. Direct mail can be more focused and waste less resources, resulting in a more exacting approach to your target market.Physical Evidence
Think about all aspects of your organization that your prospective customer encounters. From the cleanliness of the selling floor and lavatories in a brick and mortar location to the ease of website navigation, the visit should be a pleasant and hassle-free experience for the customer. Polite, courteous and well-trained staff should be a priority to convey an image of quality from the product to the people who help sell and re-sell the product. The primary and secondary packaging can elevate a simple useful product and make it more desirable. Everything that the customer comes in contact with comes under the physical evidence.Process
A lead generation process happens from the time your marketing is seen or heard by the customer until they take advantage of your call to action. The sales process starts from that call to action until the product or service is successfully delivered and paid for. Is the process well-tested and reliable? Is the experience the same from the customer’s point of view each time they interact with your company? How efficient is the sales process? If the process can be delivered from lead to sales in the optimum amount of time, conserving resources and expense, it can be replicated over and over to build more sales revenue.People
From the people who answer the phone, greet the customer, handle problems, process payments, follow up on the sale, and manage the team to the president of the company, all actions contribute to an image of quality and service. It’s common to hear companies say we have great customer service in today’s world, but how they deliver the great service is what holds great significance to the customer.How Companies Use the Marketing Mix
The marketing mix experiences a lot of variations throughout a product’s lifecycle stage. For example, if we look at the category of health supplements, a lot of the brands started off as delivering nutritional supplements to men and women in the market. However, in the development stage of the product’s lifecycle, brands were focusing more on gaining exposure through lower introductory prices and different promotional packages. As the brands crossed the Introductory stage and moved on to growth stage, businesses started catering to more specialized categories such as Teens, Men, Women, and the above 50 and began developing more products for each category. These line extensions are typical of a business in the growth stage. When a company is in the mature phase of their lifecycle, it is common to re-launch their products with innovation to capture the surge of business experience in the development stage. In the category of health supplements, many brands identified the opportunity of attracting customers looking for exercise and athletic supplements for enhance performance. This new market segment opened the doors of a completely new marketing niche for businesses that focused on diversifying the market and on increasing the market for this new category.Conclusion
Experienced marketing consultants such as 1st Straw Marketing ask a lot of questions to dive deep into the different aspects of business. Getting to know the perception of the market and the internal workings of the company selling products and services is essential to developing a strategic and tactical plan that can be successful. Depending on each stage of the product’s lifecycle and the influence of the market, business leaders and professional marketers are constantly evaluating their marketing mix and making changes to serve their target market better. Planning, review, evaluation and research goes into determining every element of the marketing mix and is vital to the overall success of a business.

Essential Garden Tools For The Avid Gardener

Gardening is potentially a very rewarding task. There is nothing more satisfying than looking out your window and seeing a beautiful flower bed in full bloom or bountiful vegetable garden ripe for the picking. However, these beautiful gardens don’t just spring up on their own. They need a lot of careful tending and hard work to make them flourish. There are certain garden tools that are essential for any avid gardener. Here is our short list.A garden or digging fork is one of the most useful and versatile tools in a gardener’s arsenal. It is useful for turning soil, mixing in nutrients and aerating soil. A spade can also be used to carry out these tasks. However, the tines on a fork come in handy for breaking up clods and raking out weeds and stones. Most gardeners will have both a digging fork and spade.There are several types of garden hoes available to use for weeding and creating seed furrows, including the heart-shaped and diamond-shaped hoe. Every gardener has his or her own favorite type of hoe based on personal preference and the type of gardening being done.Pruning shears, loppers and a pruning saw are all essential items for keeping a garden neat and tidy. Pruning shears are useful for dead heading flowers and cutting back unwanted vegetation. Loppers come in handy for cutting off twigs and small branches as well as for pruning bushes. A pruning saw is useful for cutting off dead branches from large bushes and trees.A hori hori knife is a very versatile tool. This multi-purpose knife has a sharp, heavy serrated blade with a semi-sharp point. It can used for many gardening chores, including cutting open bags of soil, planting, weeding and light digging.A garden cart or wheelbarrow is very useful for transporting bags of soil and plants as well as other gardening supplies and materials. A cart can also be used at harvest time to transport ripe vegetables back to the house.Gardening trowels are another versatile type of tool that are used for a variety of garden chores. They are especially useful for weeding, planting, digging up plants and mixing fertilizer into the soil.It’s always a good idea to have a sharp-pointed shovel on hand for digging holes and breaking up dirt clods. If a flat blade or scoop is better suited for the task, you will want to use a long-handled garden spade instead.Use a watering can or garden hose to keep plants watered. For a more automated solution, a drip irrigation system could be used instead.When shopping for garden tools, always choose the ones made by respected manufacturers with high quality materials such as strong steel and sturdy wood. Ash hardwood is the best material for handles. It is a very strong wood that still has a bit of give to it. Also pay attention to the length, weight and angle of the tool. It needs to feel comfortable to use and fit your body type. Not every tool will be the right fit for each gardener or every gardening task. You may need to experiment before you finally come up with the perfect set of tools that fit your gardening needs. The good news is, once you do find them, quality gardening tools will last for many years to come.

When Payday Loans Could Come in Handy

Payday loans are simple. Often referred to as payday advance, this is a type of loan used to address unexpected expenses that crop up before the next payday. In other words, it can be your fast and easy solution to your immediate needs.While there are countless criticisms against this type of financial grant, there are numerous advantages as well. Probably the most important of all is the fact that it don’t need collateral and they do not require a bagful of documents. As such, getting a Canadian payday loan, for example, might be a great idea. As long as you have the discipline to pay off your loan on time, then you don’t end up suffering from enormous finance charges.Here are a couple of instances when payday loans would come in handy:Medical BillsYou cannot predict when you – or your loved one – will get sick. Sometimes, regardless of how well you take care of your body, and how many kinds of vitamins you use, sickness catches you right in the face. And in a time when prices have been surging, saving for medical expenses will be your last priority.This is when it would be a wise move for you to take advantage of payday loans. Anyway, by availing of this service, you promise to pay up your loan on your next payday. So, as long as no complications will come your way, you will once again be debt-free after your payday.Household BillsYes, household bills are supposed to be part of the monthly budget. You will be pathetic if you don’t set aside a certain percentage of your salary to take care of electric, water, phone and internet bills. So you would ask: why should you need payday loans to pay off household bills when they are supposed to be budgeted?Simple. Remember that payday loans are only – ideally – used for emergency. So when you’ve been billed way larger than the usual amount, then that’s the time when a payday loan will come in handy.For example, before, it is okay for you not to use air-conditioning units during summer. With global warming, however, it’s impossible for you to breath inside your home without the aid of these appliances. Naturally, if you’ve been using your aircon units more than usual, your electricity bills will go up. And this is something that you’ve not properly forecasted. As such, you will be over your budget and you would need additional funds to cover for the “over-sized” bills. And where can you get quick and easy cash than through payday loans?Payday loans are not that deceptive. Critiques label them as such because they lure low-income families to quick money in exchange for high interests. If they don’t have other sources for additional funds, naturally, they are prone to fall prey to payday loans.But this need not be the case always. As long as you know how to control yourself and as long as you can logically and sincerely distinguish “emergency” from “quasi-emergency,” then you won’t have to deal with financial problems emanating from payday loans.Payday loans are specifically made to address emergency needs. Only when you abide by this “rule of thumb” shall you be able to protect yourself from ridiculous finance charges!Money Loans Company – Payday Loans and Cash Advance20 Eglinton Ave. EastToronto, Ontario, CanadaM4P 1A9