Put a Ding in the Universe. Use the 5th P’s.

On Wednesday I received a random text from a 17 year old that inspired this post.

17 year old text – “What are the 4 P’s?”
My text reply – “Easy…Price. Product. Placement. People.”

Yup, got it wrong. The 4th P is actually promotion. And I DO marketing for a living!! So, crash course in the 4 P’s it is. Here we go. There are four critical elements needed to market products and services. They’re called the 4 P’s.

1. Product – Do you have a product that is wanted or needed by an audience?

2. Price – Is your product priced at an amount that your audience will consider affordable and worth their money?

3. Place – Is your product available at a place where it can be purchased by your audience?

4. Promotion – What are you doing to let your audience know that your product is available for them?

I’m keeping the 5th P. It’s pretty genius. I mean, without people, the other 4 p’s can’t exist.

5. People – Sellers of the product. Buyers of the product. Marketers of the message. Audience of the message.

No matter which of the 4 P’s are being focused on, it’s people who make products successful. Know your audience. Who buys your product and why do they buy it? Is it something they need or does it satisfy a want? How badly do they need or want it? What is it about using your product or service that satisfies that need? Interacting with your audience provides valuable insights. Form a relationship with them so they’re comfortable giving you feedback. Listen to their suggestions. Thank them. Act on their requests. They’ll love you and your product a TON if you do.

Pricing can be tricky. It’s important to know that there is always an exchange, whether it’s monetary or not. You’ve invested time and effort in the development of what you’re selling and should be compensated for it. Know your audience well enough to know the value of your product to them. Both buyer and seller should walk away from the transaction satisfied. There is a middle ground where you both agree that what you’re selling is worth what they’re buying. Find the middle ground and it’s a win-win.

Your customers have likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests. Life is busy and fast. We’re told to stop and smell the roses, but often times there aren’t enough hours in the day to do that. So make buying and using your product easy for your customers. Know where they live and how and where they carry out their daily activities. Be where they need you to be to make buying easy.They’ll love you. And they may even get some time to smell roses as a result.

In 1984, Apple bet the farm and spent a kagillion dollars to talk to its audience in a :60 ad during the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl. It said, simply, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce the Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984.” Apple had taken the time to get to know their audience and in 60 seconds, launched the company into a technological dynasty that put a dent in the universe. So…long story short, know your customers well enough to speak to their needs in a language they understand and in a place where they are likely to see it.

Be crazy enough to want to change the world. Use the 4 P’s and your path will unfold successfully. :)

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs. Mission accomplished.