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Four ways to create marketing excellence

First, let’s recall the four “P’s” of marketing

Marketing is a science devised to help drive customers to your door.  There are lots of ways to define how to market well, including the four P’s of marketing (1): product, price, promotion and place.  This is considered to be the producer-oriented model. These are still the driving focus behind most marketing courses, and deserve to be so.

More we are taught in marketing classes

Then there is the four C’s, the consumer-oriented marketing model (2).  The four Cs: Consumer, cost, communication and convenience.  This makes sense too, and surely deserves time.

Oh boy. Then there’s the compass or cardinal definitions model for marketers:   N=needs, W=wants, S=security, and E=education.  We can go on forever.

But I have my own model that is even simpler.

I’ll call it my IDCL model, just to fit into the scheme of the conversation.

I= increase revenues.  Find a way to position the company and the product to be wanted so much that it moves into the needs column for the consumer.  Use all the techniques you learn in marketing classes to drive demand.  Higher demand results in higher prices – if there is limited supply.  Or, with or without limits on supply, higher demand results in greater revenues, satisfying the “I” in the formula.

[Email readers, continue here…]   D=Decrease costs.  With greater demand comes the option to increase production and gain efficiencies of scale, driving costs down in the process.  Even without higher demand, reducing costs should always be a focus for management to provide breathing room for increased profits.

C=Customers, and more customers.  Marketing should provide a pool of ready to listen customers, no matter what the price or complexity of the product.  More importantly for management, finding a way to focus on extreme customer service will be the most inexpensive, effective marketing tool of all.  Existing customers have low acquisition costs, addressing the “D” in the equation.  Extremely happy existing customers are the greatest marketers you will ever have.

And finally, L=Low touch-no touch.   The world has turned upside down with COVID-induced worries about touching any kind of surfaces, and for good reason, even after we exit from the pandemic period.  How can you differentiate yourself from others with a no touch product, if you are a producer of a product that must be pushed, handled or driven to make it produce results?  Are you behind others or ahead in thinking of ways to market a unique experience that fits into this new era?

Increase revenues, decrease costs, better serve customers, and think low touch-no touch.  IDCL:  that could be a motto or even a manifesto for any good management team.  And it’s a good place to start a focus upon positioning.

  • Love this article! The use of the four P’s is a great technique. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Michael O'Daniel

    Hi Harley. Rather than get into a point-by-point refutation of your take on my “common mistake,” why don’t I just say that we totally disagree on what constitutes Marketing and what constitutes Sales, and leave it at that. If your POV and your practices that flow therefrom work for you, great! Agreed, definitely two areas of responsibility, but outcomes are so much better if Sales and Marketing collaborate in the various aspects where they interface with each other instead of operating in silos…

  • Harley Kaufman

    Hi Dave. Michael O’Daniel makes the common mistake of mixing up ‘Marketing’ vs. ‘Sales’. He’s describing sales technique, not marketing approaches. Validates my long standing opinion that almost invariably when a company is missing sales targets it is a failure of marketing, not a failure of sales. That’s why I have always insisted on two areas of responsibility exist in companies where I held sway.

    Always enjoy your messages.

  • Great reminders and new content Dave. I use the 4P’s whenever I launch a new product or enter a new company that needs to fix its growth story (the “I” in your IDCL model). You’ve given me a couple new tools to add to my toolkit with the 4C’s, NWSE & IDCL models. Using these types of tools are worthy of a day-long brainstorming session. This approach truly works. Thank you!

  • Michael,
    Great comment. Yes, I will address benefits vs. features more than once over time. That subject is one of the top ones I coach entrepreneurs about in their marketing efforts. Seems most developer-entrepreneurs want to speak only of their great features. Worse yet, some young businesses come to market without understanding the context of the marketplace, either ahead or behind the demand opportunity.

  • Michael O'Daniel

    Possibly this will be covered in a subsequent Berkonomics, but one of my cardinal rules is BENEFITS vs FEATURES.

    In other words, how will all the great bells and whistles your product or service offers — the features — benefit the potential buyer?

    Keep the features list to a minimum and focus on the benefits to the customer, in a clear, concise, compelling manner. (Those are my “3 C’s,” which apply to any type of storytelling.)

    Far too many marketers get hung up on “we” (the features) instead of “you” (how the product or service benefits the customer. And ideally the benefits are described in a manner that either directly or by implication differentiates your product or service as superior to your competition’s.

    Visit a typical marketing website and you’ll see tons of content about “we” and little or no focus on “you” the customer…

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