The 6 Ps of Marketing

  1. Product: A product may be an idea, a physical entity (goods), or a service, or any combination of the three. The product is the key to all marketing. If you don’t have a product that people want or need, it doesn’t matter how well you market it. People won’t use it. You must have a product that provides value and meets your community’s needs.
  2. People: The target audience(s) that you are trying to reach. Think of groups of people based on similar attributes and what resonates with them and their unique needs. You may have more than one target audience for your product and marketing the unique value to each group is important. Remember to delve deeper into your target audience and not simply say “members” and “non-members.” Our community is far greater and more diverse than their membership status.
  3. Price: The amount a customer must pay to acquire a product. Know the true value of your product, and know your customers and what price range they will be receptive to. Cheaper is not always better. The price signals what your product is worth.
  4. Place (or Distribution): How and where the product will be made available to the customer.
  5. Packaging/Presentation: What message are you trying to convey with how you present your product?
  6. Promotion: How are you going to get the word out about your product? May include tactics that encourage customers to purchase the product. Examples include early-bird discounts, coupons, limited-time offers, etc.

Types of Marketing

  • Outbound Marketing: The marketer initiates contact with the community through methods such as TV, radio, and digital display advertising. It is often used to influence awareness and preference for a brand. For example, sending “blast” emails to a previous meeting’s registration list to inform them of a similar upcoming meeting would be considered outbound marketing.
  • Inbound Marketing: When community members initiate contact with the marketer in response to various methods used to gain their attention, such as events, content, and web design. One purpose of inbound is to establish the business as a source for valuable information and solutions to problems, thereby fostering trust and loyalty. For example, creating a YouTube video that attracts potential members to your website is considered inbound marketing.
  • Content Marketing: A technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience—with the objective of driving community action; it creates more stickiness and emotional bonding with the consumer. For example, publishing a consistent and timely digital newsletter that promotes the value of your product(s) would be considered content marketing. Another example would be providing blog posts or a podcast related to your target audience’s interest.
  • Influencer Marketing: Focuses on leveraging individuals who have influence over potential buyers and orienting activities around these individuals to drive a brand message to that audience. For example, asking a member with a large social media following within your professional community to share content related to your brand and products.
  • Viral Marketing: A phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along an advertising message. For example, create engaging social media content that encourages members to share to their networks, which gives your content wider reach.
  • Keyword Marketing: Involves placing a message in front of users based on the specific keywords and phrases they are using to search on the internet. For example, using search engine optimization tools that help your community more readily find your meetings and services using Google searches.

Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel is a series of stages that guide prospects through the customer journey from awareness to engagement. The top of the funnel is the widest section, representing the largest potential customer base. Each step down the funnel narrows as your potential customers become more focused and a smaller group. This is important since it reminds us that not all potential customers will eventually move towards action. See example below:

Marketing Funnel: Awareness > Interest > Decision > ActionAwareness: Make your audience of potential customers aware of an upcoming meeting

Interest: Your potential customers learn who is speaking at the meeting, the location, and other details. They also may hear from co-workers about how fun previous meetings were.

Decision: Your potential customers decide that it’s worth the money and time to attend the meeting

Action: Your customer registers for meeting

Effective Promotion

Delivering the right message, using the right medium, to the right person, at the right time in order to accomplish a goal.

What (goal): Your goal will drive all of your marketing efforts going forward

Who (audience/market): It’s important to identify the most important groups of people to influence and target a message to them. When you can segment your audience into smaller groups of more similar people, you can create messages that will resonate better and will give you better results. They will feel like you know them (that you “get them”) and that they are important.

Remember to delve deeper into your target audience and not simply say “members” and “non-members.” Our community is far greater and more diverse than their membership status.

How (touch points): Examples: mail, email, phone calls, text messages, face-to-face, podcasts, videos, social media, presentations.

Remember the Marketing Rule of 7: A person needs to “hear” a message seven times before they take action.

Remember: Each audience of interest may need different touch points. Use available data on that audience to select the appropriate “How” to market to them.

When (milestones): Time your message to be delivered when your audience is most receptive to hearing the message and acting on it. For example, registration deadlines, expiration dates, when new information is announced, etc.

Where (delivering message): Deliver your message to the places where your audience is, and where they are likely to receive it. For instance, does your audience read email, what social media channels do they use, where can you catch them in-person?

Financing the Promotional Plan

Effective promotion often involves investment of financial resources. As you develop your promotion plan it is important that you consider what resources, tools, and touch points you are using to amplify your product or service. Many contemporary digital promotion tools (e.g. social media platforms, email, etc.) have considerable return on the size and scope of audiences reached for a relatively small investment.

For example, social media platforms will elevate your promotional campaign in their users’ notification feeds based upon preset demographic information you are able to select and customize. They also allow you to set a maximum budget and provide detailed outcomes data that can help you evaluate the return on your investment. A small investment of $20-$100 to such a process could help you reach a broader market and elevate the impact with your product or service.

Financing your promotional campaign should be part of your planning process.

Evaluating Your Plan

You should continually evaluate your marketing efforts to learn what are the most effective methods and how your messages, touch points, etc., can be improved. Additionally, continual evaluation will provide you the opportunity to adjust your strategy in real-time. Look for feedback with the following data points:

  • Email, Website, Social Media – Review data on opens, clicks, engagement, etc., on a regular basis. Setting metrics to monitor is an effective part of the planning stage.
  • A/B Test – Send the same email message to two groups of people, but use different subject lines or different images. Compare the results – which had more clicks? Next time start with the subject line or image that got the best results and refine it further—try another A/B test, and so forth.
  • Personal outreach – Ask several people you know if they got the message and what they thought of it.
  • Results – How many people registered? When did they register? Were there more or less than last time?