Once you have decided what your marketing objectives are, and your strategy for meeting them, you need to plan how you will make the strategy a reality.
Many businesses find it helpful to think in terms of the four Ps:
- Product - what your product offers that your customers value, and whether/how you should change your product to meet customer needs.
- Pricing - for example, you might aim simply to match the competition, or charge a premium price for a quality product and service. You might have to choose either to make relatively few high margin sales, or sell more but with lower unit profits. Remember that some customers may seek a low price to meet their budgets, while others may view a low price as an indication of quality levels. See price your product or service.
- Place - how and where you sell. This may include using different distribution channels. For example, you might sell over the internet or sell through retailers.
- Promotion - how you reach your customers and potential customers.
Some examples of promotion include:
- advertising: the basics
- public relations (PR)
- direct marketing: the basics
- social media
- pay-per-click and paid search advertising
- email marketing
For a more comprehensive approach, you can extend this to seven Ps:
- People - for example, you need to ensure that your employees have the right training. See training your staff.
- Processes - the right processes will ensure that you offer a consistent service that suits your customers.
- Physical evidence - the appearance of your employees and premises can affect how customers see your business. Even the quality of paperwork, such as invoices, makes a difference.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- Health and safety basics for business
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services