One of the things I enjoy most about general management and program management is the fact that you get exposure to how all the different parts of an organization fit together and work. When I first started my career, like many people working in a technical capacity I considered that marketing was all about having long liquid lunches, and using those special marketing phrases we all love to hate.
These days however I’ve realised the error of my ways and find marketing both fascinating and an extremely important part of any product lifecycle. Wheather you’re a general manager responsible for 2,000 people, or a project manager responsible for 5, a good understanding of marketing can help you make better decisions day to day.
Let’s begin by looking at what we need to do in order to sell a product.
If you get any one of these elements wrong then you’re product can be a failure in the market. Image we’ve just launched the next generation iPAD. We know that customers will want it, we have access to great retail channels so they will see it, the price point is such that they are wanting to buy it, but because of verious delays we don’t get it to market until mid December. It’s too late! We’ve missed the Christmas market by getting the timing all wrong, and by next Christmas the product will likely be obsolete!
Now that we’re beginning to realize there might be something to marketing, let’s look at a tool we can use to help us avoid these mistakes: The Marketing Mix (often called the 4 P’s of Marketing).
The 4 P’s of Marketing are:
What we’re trying to do is get the right balance of each of the above to hit a sweet spot and ensure that the product is a success in the market. The following diagram tries to highlight what we’re trying to achieve:
To use The Marketing Mix and increase the chances of our product hitting the sweet spot we ask questions within each of the categories.
The questions we ask in this category are related to the product or service we are offering.
Questions in this category relate to how we get the product to the consumer.
Questions in this category help us determine the prices we charge.
Questions in this category help us determine how we will communicate with the consumer, with the aim of generating a positive response to the product from the consumer.
The 4 P’s of Marketing is one of the most common methods for working out how to bring your product to the customer, so that it is a success in the market, but there are others. It is best to use this model as early as possible in the product development lifecycle to ensure the product can meet customer and market needs. Even if marketing isn’t something you encounter day to day during your job, it can be enlightening to understand the issues and questions marketers are concerned with, and make us better at our job whether we’re a program manager responsible for 1,000 people or a project manager responsible for 10 people.
Three Product Levels (Kotler)
Gap Model of Service Quality
Services Marketing Triangle
Services Marketing Mix: The 7 P’s of Marketing
Difference between Sales and Marketing
Five Product Levels (Kotler)
The Marketing Funnel Explained