7 P’s of Marketing Mix (Concluding Part)
Every Brand or business wants to become a market leader for that, it needs to attract the maximum customers out there. To achieve the same, it needs to have an unbeatable marketing strategy. The Marketing Mix model helps marketers plan a solid product or service offering that hits all the right notes with the target audience.
Marketing mix refers to the strategies or plan that a company formulates to increase awareness about its products or services. It is also known as the 4Ps of marketing- Product, Price, Place and Promotion since the marketing mix strategy is a mixture of these four elements. In case of a service, the marketing mix becomes 7Ps of Marketing with other three Ps being- Physical Evidence, People and Process.
We have already covered Product, Price, Place and Promotion in my previous blog, We will cover remaining 3 P’s i.e. Process, People and Physical Evidence in this blog.
This element of the marketing mix looks at the systems used to deliver the service. Imagine you walk into Burger King and order a Burger and you get it delivered within 2 minutes. You go to a bank and your account is opened in 30 minutes or whether you eat French fries in an outlet of Delhi or in Pune, taste will be the same. In all these cases companies have set up a standard process for products and services and employees have to work as per laid down process.
One of the best examples of having consistent and effective process, is supply of Tiffin’s by Mumbai’s dabbawala.
Who are Dabbawala?:
Dabbawala’ s are a group of men in Mumbai who pick-up home-cooked food from your home and deliver it to your office before lunch time and then deliver the empty tiffin back to your home on the same evening.
- 5000 odd dabbawalas deliver roughly 2,00,000 ‘home-cooked’ lunches each day. They collect Tiffins from suburbs home at around 10.30-11 O’clock in the morning, get these boxes delivered to customers in Mumbai during lunch time around 1-1.30 PM, Empty boxes are collected by 2.0-2.30 pm and these gets delivered back to suburbs homes by 3.30 to 4 PM. Each box changes hands at least 6 times in transit before it reaches customer, the same is the case in its return journey as an empty tiffin. Entre journey of the dabbawala is done on Cycle, trains and on foot.
- Most dabbawalas are semi-literate. Minimum Qualification of joining Dabbawala Association is 8 th class. To identify the particular box, a combination of alphabet and number is used as code which indicates names and addresses of customer.
- Each dabbawalla receives about 10-12000 per month, the same income,irrespective of age, experience and number of customers served. He is not an employee but an entrepreneur and an equal shareholder in the Dabbawallah Association.
- The organization has earned a six-sigma rating, which means 1 error in 6 million transactions. The dabbawalas claimed that in their 120 years of operation, they’ve erred once in 16 million transactions.
- From IIM-A to Harvard, their impeccable management skills have been studied and analysed in top business schools around the world.
- On his visit to India in November 2003, Prince Charles met the famed Dabbawalah at Churchgate station to felicitate them.
Aside from the management team, there are people down the line who are responsible for coming up with the products and services of the company. Companies should take time to hire people who have the competence and expertise in the particular industry they are operating in. This is true for people in the entire organization, from the managers down to the ordinary workers. Investing in high caliber people will allow businesses to come up with the best products and services for their target customers. Having these people represent the company will also give the company a positive image in the eyes of the consumers. It goes without saying that such positive image attracts sales.
People who bring the product to the customers:
These are the people who are supposed to know what the customers want and what the best way is for these customers to get what they want. Marketing efforts are focused on generating leads and attracting prospects. When the prospects are ready to buy, these people make sure that the products and services are accessible to them in the most convenient and affordable manner. When these people fail in their responsibility, the company will not be able to build a substantial customer base to keep their business profitable.
People who talk to the customers:
Companies no matter how big or small require customer service to support their products and services. They should have the right kind of people manning their customer touch points. For a lot of customers, this could actually make or break a deal. Customers always want to be assured that they can talk to people who are willing and able to help them in case they have problems or concerns with the products they bought or the services they availed of. Companies should ensure that they have customer-friendly people who are ready to serve their customers’ needs.
Customer service people can actually serve as a differentiating factor versus other competitor companies. There are products that serve the same purpose and are configured the same way. Customers, in these cases, look for brands and companies that can offer them exceptional customer service.
The final P in a marketing mix stands for physical evidence and it refers to everything your customers see or hear when interacting with your business. This element of the marketing mix will distinguish a company from its competitors. Physical evidence can be used to charge a premium price for a service and establish a positive experience. For example if you walk into a restaurant you expect a clean and friendly environment, if the restaurant is smelly or dirty, customers are likely to walk out. This is before they have even received the service. Few things which can be considered as physical evidence:
The ambient conditions include temperature, color, smell and sound, music and noise. The ambiance is a package of these elements which consciously or subconsciously help you to experience the service. Ambiance can be diverse. The ambiance of a health spa is relaxing and calm, and the music and smells underpin this experience. The ambiance of a nightclub will be loud noise and bright lights which enhance this customer experience, obviously in a different way. The marketer needs to match the ambiance to the service that is being delivered.
Physical Design & Layout of Premises:
Design and layout are important as they need to make customer experience simple and straight forward. If customers struggle to find what they want they will go elsewhere.
In case of a retail store:
- Store Premises should be clean
- Layout of the stores should easy to navigate.
- Design, lighting and furniture of the store should convey the image of the business.
- Eye catching displays and Sign boards.
Corporate image and identity are supported by signs, logo, symbols and artifacts of the business itself. These evidences are:
- Corporate Building or office (Interiors, Landscape, Furniture etc.)
- ·Website design and App design
- Office Stationary like letter head, Invoices, Business cards
- Company logo or brand
- Catalogs and Brochures
- ·Worker’s Uniform and Employee dress
Management Mantra: 7 P’s of Marketing Mix are key elements in success of any business and one has to implement them carefully keeping in mind various factors.
Nitesh Kataria, is a writer, Motivational Speaker, Blog Writer and Marketing Professional based in Pune and can be reached at 9822912811 or email@example.com.