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7 P's of a Positive Marketing Strategy

Posted by Production Productive IT on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Once you've developed your marketing strategy, there is a "Seven P Formula" you should use to continually evaluate and reevaluate your business activities. These seven are: product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people. As products, markets, customers and needs change rapidly, you must continually revisit these seven Ps to make sure you're on track and achieving the maximum results possible for you in today's marketplace.

Product

To begin with, develop the habit of looking at your product as though you were an outside marketing consultant brought in to help your company decide whether or not it's in the right business at this time. Ask critical questions such as, "Is your current product or service, or mix of products and services, appropriate and suitable for the market and the customers of today?"

Whenever you're having difficulty selling as much of your products or services as you'd like, you need to develop the habit of assessing your business honestly and asking, "Are these the right products or services for our customers today?"

Is there any product or service you're offering today that, knowing what you now know, you would not bring out again today? Compared to your competitors, is your product or service superior in some significant way to anything else available? If so, what is it? If not, could you develop an area of superiority? Should you be offering this product or service at all in the current marketplace?

Prices

The second P in the formula is price. Develop the habit of continually examining and reexamining the prices of the products and services you sell to make sure they're still appropriate to the realities of the current market. Sometimes you need to lower your prices. At other times, it may be appropriate to raise your prices. Many companies have found that the profitability of certain products or services doesn't justify the amount of effort and resources that go into producing them. By raising their prices, they may lose a percentage of their customers, but the remaining percentage generates a profit on every sale. Could this be appropriate for you?

Sometimes you need to change your terms and conditions of sale. Sometimes, by spreading your price over a series of months or years, you can sell far more than you are today, and the interest you can charge will more than make up for the delay in cash receipts. Sometimes you can combine products and services together with special offers and special promotions. Sometimes you can include free additional items that cost you very little to produce but make your prices appear far more attractive to your customers.

In business, as in nature, whenever you experience resistance or frustration in any part of your sales or marketing plan, be open to revisiting that area. Be open to the possibility that your current pricing structure is not ideal for the current market. Be open to the need to revise your prices, if necessary, to remain competitive, to survive and thrive in a fast-changing marketplace.

Promotion

The third habit in marketing and sales is to think in terms of promotion all the time. Promotion includes all the ways you tell your customers about your products or services and how you then market and sell to them.

Small changes in the way you promote and sell your products can lead to dramatic changes in your results. Even small changes in your advertising can lead immediately to higher sales. Experienced copywriters can often increase the response rate from advertising by 500 percent by simply changing the headline on an advertisement.

Large and small companies in every industry continually experiment with different ways of advertising, promoting, and selling their products and services. And here is the rule: Whatever method of marketing and sales you're using today will, sooner or later, stop working. Sometimes it will stop working for reasons you know, and sometimes it will be for reasons you don't know. In either case, your methods of marketing and sales will eventually stop working, and you'll have to develop new sales, marketing and advertising approaches, offerings, and strategies.

Place

The fourth P in the marketing mix is the place where your product or service is actually sold. Develop the habit of reviewing and reflecting upon the exact location where the customer meets the salesperson. Sometimes a change in place can lead to a rapid increase in sales.

You can sell your product in many different places. Some companies use direct selling, sending their salespeople out to personally meet and talk with the prospect. Some sell by telemarketing. Some sell through catalogs or mail order. Some sell at trade shows or in retail establishments. Some sell in joint ventures with other similar products or services. Some companies use manufacturers' representatives or distributors. Many companies use a combination of one or more of these methods.

In each case, the entrepreneur must make the right choice about the very best location or place for the customer to receive essential buying information on the product or service needed to make a buying decision. What is yours? In what way should you change it? Where else could you offer your products or services?

Packaging

The fifth element in the marketing mix is the packaging. Develop the habit of standing back and looking at every visual element in the packaging of your product or service through the eyes of a critical prospect. Remember, people form their first impression about you within the first 30 seconds of seeing you or some element of your company. Small improvements in the packaging or external appearance of your product or service can often lead to completely different reactions from your customers.

With regard to the packaging of your company, your product or service, you should think in terms of everything that the customer sees from the first moment of contact with your company all the way through the purchasing process.

Packaging refers to the way your product or service appears from the outside. Packaging also refers to your people and how they dress and groom. It refers to your offices, your waiting rooms, your brochures, your correspondence and every single visual element about your company. Everything counts. Everything helps or hurts. Everything affects your customer's confidence about dealing with you.

When IBM started under the guidance of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., he very early concluded that fully 99 percent of the visual contact a customer would have with his company, at least initially, would be represented by IBM salespeople. Because IBM was selling relatively sophisticated high-tech equipment, Watson knew customers would have to have a high level of confidence in the credibility of the salesperson. He therefore instituted a dress and grooming code that became an inflexible set of rules and regulations within IBM.

As a result, every salesperson was required to look like a professional in every respect. Every element of their clothing-including dark suits, dark ties, white shirts, conservative hairstyles, shined shoes, clean fingernails-and every other feature gave off the message of professionalism and competence. One of the highest compliments a person could receive was, "You look like someone from IBM."

Positioning

The next P is positioning. You should develop the habit of thinking continually about how you are positioned in the hearts and minds of your customers. How do people think and talk about you when you're not present? How do people think and talk about your company? What positioning do you have in your market, in terms of the specific words people use when they describe you and your offerings to others?

In the famous book by Al Reis and Jack Trout, Positioning, the authors point out that how you are seen and thought about by your customers is the critical determinant of your success in a competitive marketplace. Attribution theory says that most customers think of you in terms of a single attribute, either positive or negative. Sometimes it's "service." Sometimes it's "excellence." Sometimes it's "quality engineering," as with Mercedes Benz. Sometimes it's "the ultimate driving machine," as with BMW. In every case, how deeply entrenched that attribute is in the minds of your customers and prospective customers determines how readily they'll buy your product or service and how much they'll pay.

Develop the habit of thinking about how you could improve your positioning. Begin by determining the position you'd like to have. If you could create the ideal impression in the hearts and minds of your customers, what would it be? What would you have to do in every customer interaction to get your customers to think and talk about in that specific way? What changes do you need to make in the way interact with customers today in order to be seen as the very best choice for your customers of tomorrow?

People

The final P of the marketing mix is people. Develop the habit of thinking in terms of the people inside and outside of your business who are responsible for every element of your sales, marketing strategies, and activities.

It's amazing how many entrepreneurs and business people will work extremely hard to think through every element of the marketing strategy and the marketing mix, and then pay little attention to the fact that every single decision and policy has to be carried out by a specific person, in a specific way. Your ability to select, recruit, hire and retain the proper people, with the skills and abilities to do the job you need to have done, is more important than everything else put together.

In his best-selling book, Good to Great, Jim Collins discovered the most important factor applied by the best companies was that they first of all "got the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus." Once these companies had hired the right people, the second step was to "get the right people in the right seats on the bus."

To be successful in business, you must develop the habit of thinking in terms of exactly who is going to carry out each task and responsibility. In many cases, it's not possible to move forward until you can attract and put the right person into the right position. Many of the best business plans ever developed sit on shelves today because the [people who created them] could not find the key people who could execute those plans.

Excerpted from Million Dollar Habits

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Chris Niel Music

Posted by Production Productive IT on Friday, June 26, 2015

Chris Niel has been a great individual to work with.  Chris is a local music artist that partnered with Productive I.T. to create a website that he could be proud of to showcase his music talents.  Chris was recently featured at a Boston Red Sox's game where he played the National Anthem.  


Thanks Chris for allowing us to create your show piece!

www.chrisniel.com


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Gift of Life Foundation

Posted by Production Productive IT on Monday, June 15, 2015

We have gone live with the new Gift of Life Foundation site!  They have been wonderful clients to work with and we look forward to partnering with them in the future for any new projects that they need our help with.  

Read what they had to say about us!

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Renascence Rack Cards Arrival

Posted by Taylor Daughtry on Friday, August 16, 2013

Our friends at Renascence have some fantastic Rack Cards! They just arrived, and we're extremely happy with how they turned out.

Take a look:

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Look Who Came to Training!

Posted by PIT Staff on Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dextera had a great training today for their site! Here's a picture of the guys!

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5 Tips to Make Facebook More Effective for Your Business

Posted by Taylor Daughtry on Friday, August 09, 2013

Facebook is extremely powerful as a marketing tool, and it’s made exposure for your business easier than it’s ever been. It does require effort and consistency, but that’s a small price to pay for the returns that you’ll get from a solid Facebook Campaign.

There are few extremely important things that can make your time spent with Facebook more effective. They can mean the difference between a Facebook page with 10 Likes and a page with 1,500 Likes.

They’re that important.

Let’s take a look.

Tip #1: Provide Relevant Content

You shouldn’t post about anything and everything. Material posted on a Facebook page that isn’t related to the page’s topic is considered ‘noise’, and people have no desire to introduce more noise into their feed.

They want specific, extremely relevant content in their feed. If it’s offering them value, they’ll Like it, and engage with your content. If it’s not, they’ll probably unlike after a week or so.

You can offer them this value by posting about things they’d want to hear about. If you’re a coffee company, post about new flavors you have, or some new technique you’re doing with your beans. If you offer a coupon, you’ll get even better engagement with your followers.

Tip #2: Be Consistent

Consistency is the most pivotal part of Social Media. If you’re not consistent, you’re simply wasting your time. This is the ‘secret’ of what makes Pages successful.

The fact is that Facebook works just like any other aspect of your business: what you get out of it depends on how much effort you put in. If you’re spending at most a few minutes per month on managing your page, you could probably spend those minutes better elsewhere.

A good goal to aim for your business is posting at least 2 a week. Preferably 1-2 times per day, if you have the staffing available for it. This is the optimal amount to both engage your followers and avoid spamming them with your content.

Tip #3: Be Realistic

Most businesses try to come across as ‘corporate’. They only address anyone online in professional manner, and don’t engage with actual conversation with anyone. The odd thing about this is that most corporations are actively seeking out ways to become more personal.

Acting like a corporation doesn’t work offline, should why should it work on Facebook? It’s all about providing a connection to your followers, and providing value to them. Don’t be a business that you’re not. If you provide lawn care services, don’t put up pictures of flashy, sleek banner with a modern feel. That won’t be effective for your audience.

Tip #4: Use Insights

Facebook Insights is the most powerful thing you can do on Facebook. It gives you so much actionable information that it can be overwhelming at first, but it’s worth it to completely understand what Insights is telling you when it comes to your users.

One of the most critical parts of Insights is checking your Demographics. You should be checking this monthly to ensure that your audience isn’t changing or decreasing, and that you’re targeting the most effective audience.

Another great benefit is tracking your likes to see what is most effective. If you’re posting tons of text statuses, but a picture you posted a month ago is still your most popular item, you should probably consider posting more images and monitoring the engagement. This can all be done through Insights!

Tip #5: Post the Right Items at The Right Time

If you’ve looked at Insights for any length of time, you’ve probably discovered what I’m about to cover.

When you start a page, you need to know what’s most effective for your audience. If most of your followers are in the 18-34 age bracket, they’re probably viewing your page on a mobile device. That means images should be small and easy to understand at small sizes, yet still able to look good on a high-resolution monitor they’ll likely have at home.

Not an easy task, I know. But this is one of the challenges of Digital Media: knowing your audience, and how they’ll view your content.

Another part to this problem is posting at the right time. If most of your followers are in the 45-60 age bracket, then posting your content at 1:00 AM right before you head to bed probably isn’t going to produce much engagement—it’s already far down their feed by the time they wake up. However, posting at 8:00-8:15 AM is probably the optimal time, as that age bracket tends to wake up earlier, and report to a steady job at 8:00 AM.

Again, it’s all about posting the right things at the right time.

Learning More

Facebook can seem like a massively complicated beast that’s simply too much to understand for most people. But if you’re willing to simply get a grasp of the basic concepts behind Facebook pages, it can make your business far more successful than simple word-of-mouth advertising.

If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook pages and how they work, or you’d like to hire professionals for your business Social Media, you can give us a call anytime during business hours at 334-356-3561. We’re experienced in managing media online, and we can provide consulting to help you get the most out of Facebook, and we're available right here in Montgomery!

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Macon East Academy

Posted by Taylor Daughtry on Thursday, August 08, 2013

Macon East Academy is now live! Take a look at their site.

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Leadership Montgomery is Live!

Posted by Taylor Daughtry on Saturday, August 03, 2013

Leadership Montgomery is now live. Take a look at LeadershipMontgomery.org!

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New Age Home Builders Launch

Posted by Taylor Daughtry on Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Age Home Builders' site is launching today. Check it out!

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Wilson Shaw IT is Now Live!

Posted by Taylor Daughtry on Monday, July 29, 2013

We launched Wilson Shaw's new website this past week, and I've gotta say I like the way it turned out! See for youself at WilsonShawIT.com.

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