The concept of a marketing mix, the major components of a marketing strategy, was first developed in the 1960s by marketing scholar E. Jerome McCarthy. His original concept described the four basic components of every marketing campaign, the Four Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. The concept was groundbreaking at the time and was part of a movement to deconstruct and systematize marketing. It still has tremendous relevance today, but what was once considered leading edge, is now prerequisite knowledge. Classic Mix Oldies but goodies, the original Four Ps are still fundamental concepts that every marketer spends countless hours analyzing and making tough calls on. 1. PRODUCT Put simply, a product is something that you are selling to satisfy a customer’s needs or wants. It can be physical goods or intangible services, ideas, or experiences. The marketing choices that affect a product include the design of the product itself (such as the features, quality, and style), the assortment (i.e. the types of product lines offered), and the branding, packaging, and labeling. Associated services (such as after-sales help desks), guarantees and warranties, and return policies are also considered elements of the product. 2. PRICE This is the amount you intend to charge for your product as well as the means by which customers can pay (e.g. cash, credit, layaway). The price of a product is important for marketing purposes because the amount a person pays for something affects their perceived value of it. 3. PROMOTION Promotion refers to communications made to potential customers informing them of your offering. Common sources for that information include advertising, public relations, direct marketing, and sales promotions. The choices to make at this stage include developing a promotional mix (e.g. ad heavy versus PR heavy) and a messaging strategy, a clear idea of what you are saying and the desired response. Other promotional choices include picking the optimal channels to communicate on (e.g. social media versus traditional media) and message frequency. It’s essential to have a well fleshed out buyer persona when making these decisions. The ideal promotional strategy speaks in the language of the target market, reaches them where they already are, and sends a message they are receptive to. 4. PLACE Last, but not least, place refers to the distribution methodologies employed to get the product into customer’s hands. Choices that need to be made include whether to invest in brick-and-mortar outlets or pursue online, mail-order, or call-center based sales. Place choices also cover your distribution strategy. Are you trying to get your products into the hands of anyone who wants it, or limiting it to an exclusive few? In sum, the four Ps are really asking some simple questions. What are you selling? How much are you charging for it? How are you informing people of your offering and enticing them to purchase it? And, how are you going to get the product to them if they do make a purchase? The Next Generation Today, several additions and alterations are competing to update McCarthy’s original four. Because service industries have grown rapidly since the 1960s an additional three Ps were added to better cover the marketing needs of service-centric companies. The 7Ps model includes the original four but adds: Physical Evidence, People, and Process: 5. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE Physical evidence (or physical environment) refers to the places where services are performed as well as the tangible things that serve as reminders that it took place (e.g. souvenirs, mementos, brochures, photographs, etc.). The place a service happens can have a big impact on how it is perceived. That means special care needs to be taken when considering facility choices such as equipment, furniture, accessibility, as well as signage, and ambient conditions like music, cleanliness, and air temperature. 6. PEOPLE Because services typically involve a human element ‘people’ are given their own category that covers the human actors that help deliver the service, interact with the customers, and form the public face of the company’s values. Choices in this area include staff recruitment and training practices, uniforms or dress codes, conversational scripts, and customer service procedures. 7. PROCESS The seventh P, process, describes how the service is delivered. It requires you to decide on a standardized system or a customizable one. It also involves monitoring and tracking performance (which itself requires developing key performance metrics). Conclusion There are numerous other models as well. Some separate the monitoring parts of the process category into its own heading as an eighth P, Performance. The Four Cs system (Consumer, Cost, Communication, and Convenience) is another system that is optimized specifically for B2C operations. But, regardless of the framework being employed, all it takes is for one miscalculation to ruin the whole thing. It doesn’t matter how easy it is to buy your product if know one knows about it. Likewise, it doesn’t matter how well you promote your product, if no one can find a place to get it. A well thought out and effective campaign is like a cake. You need the right ingredients in the right proportions. More ingredients means more complexity, but in the 21st century you need to master the time-tested fundamentals and the modern additions. RELATED BLOGS: Importance of going Digital in Covid-19 Pandemic
Recruitment requires a lot of creativity these days. In a largely candidate-driven job market, recruiters need to be on its left, right, and center to find the talent their organization so desperately needs. That includes being aware of the current and rising trends in the recruitment land. Let’s start with a quick recap of what we saw in 2019 – the growing use of AI in recruitment, a stronger focus on diversity hiring, an expanding gig economy, chatbots… Some of these recruiting trends will still be relevant (perhaps even more so than last year) in 2019-20, but at the same time, the focus shifts onto several other parts of the recruitment landscape. In this article, we’ve selected 6 recruiting trends for 2020 we believe will shape recruitment this year. Some of them you may have heard of already, but we’re sure you’ll find at least a few you’ve missed and really should be aware of. 1. COLLABORATIVE HIRING There’s a reason why they say two heads are better than one. When it comes to recruitment, involving your entire team in the recruitment process can be of tremendous value. Just think of the potential that could come out of the combined (personal) networks of your team members, for example. This is one of the reasons we see an increase in employee referrals. Referred hires generally are (among other things) more productive, more engaged, and less likely to leave. Given the current market situation, it seems only natural for companies to increase their focus on collaborative hiring, even more, this year. The same thing goes for internal mobility programs. Although not that many organizations have a (well-developed) internal mobility culture and program in place yet, this can be a great way to meet skill shortages, decrease turnover and boost engagement. Did you know that referrals are one of the best sources of hires? 70% of companies offer Cash Referral Bonus for successful hires. How is your company supporting employee referrals? 2. GROWING IMPORTANCE OF RECRUITMENT MARKETING As we’ve said, 21st-century recruiters need all the help they can get to find the best candidates. This explains the rise in recruitment marketing solutions. Recruitment Marketing – also called the pre-applicant stage of talent acquisition – is the process of attracting and nurturing talent to your organization by marketing to them. Just like the main goal of traditional marketing is to drive individuals to buy a company’s product or service, the primary objective of recruitment marketing is to get people to apply to your organization’s job openings. We’ve already seen the use of certain marketing techniques in recruitment before. Now, however, companies increasingly turn to, let’s call them full-service recruitment marketing providers. This means a recruitment marketing solution that helps organizations strengthen their employer brand, reach candidates on social media and optimize their career sites (of course, many other possibilities are depending on your company’s specific needs). To stick with the marketing jargon: this year, we’ll continue to see a transition from outbound to inbound recruitment. 3. AI Yes, there it is again, artificial intelligence. And yes, we know you’ve probably been inundated with AI-related content. However, applications of AI in recruitment will become even more widespread in 2019. This year, in one way or another, AI will become a must-have in the recruiter’s toolbox. From automated candidate sourcing, recovery, and matching, to hiring remote workers and creating customized employee value propositions, the number of different uses of AI in recruitment just keeps growing. 4. EMBRACING THE FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE For most organizations, their workforce already consists of a combination of full-timers, contractors, freelancers, and everything in-between. Independent workers like the fact that they can work anywhere they want, when they want and are often happier than ‘traditional’ employees Technology, of course, is a big enabler of this kind of freelance work: people can use their smartphones, have free internet available in a lot of (coffee) places, and freelance platforms like Upwork, PeoplePerHour and Fiverr match freelancers with projects. Especially when companies need to find skilled people urgently – and in an industry where talent is scarce – they’ll have to turn to freelancers, contractors, etc. to meet their needs. Especially when companies need to find skilled people urgently – and in an industry where talent is scarce – they’ll have to turn to freelancers, contractors, etc. to meet their needs. 5. A SHIFT FROM JOB DESCRIPTION BASED HIRING TO PROJECT BASED HIRING This is a result of several of the trends we’ve seen above, like the growing gig economy and the shift from experience-based hiring to hiring based on transferable & soft skills for instance. Both of these developments are likely to change the way organizations manage their projects. In a time where finding good full-time employees are hard and turnover often is high, it could make more sense to start hiring differently. Based on projects rather than job descriptions, for example. This has, among other things, the advantage of gathering those people who are the best in their field for each project. Instead of buying labor, organizations will be buying (and thus recruiting for) results. 6. TREND TO HIRE FRESHERS AND TRAIN THEM ACCORDING TO THE NEED They’ve been entering the global workforce for a while now, although so far, mainly in internship and entry-level positions. Slowly but surely though, Generation Z (the cohort that comes after the Millennials, born somewhere between the mid-’90s and the mid-2000s) is now finding its way into the workplace. If your knowledge about these Digital Natives is a little rusty, you might want to bring it up to speed again, because this year the recruitment of Gen Z will, without a doubt, accelerate. To succeed in recruitment in 2020, make sure to consider these points when creating your recruitment strategy.