pandemic marketing, post-pandemic marketing

Why Revisiting the 6 P’s of Marketing is Particularly Important To Any Organization Right Now

I broached the topic of this blog post a bit in my most recent e-newsletter, but I’ve been itching to return to and elaborate on it. Given how much our country, and our world, has changed in the last several months, each and every organization — whether they are a for-profit or a non-profit one –should be revisiting the 6 “P’s” of marketing related to each of its various product and service offerings to make sure previous decisions regarding the P’s still apply.

So, just what are the 6 P’s of marketing? Different marketing subject matter experts may refer to or combine them differently, but ultimately, the following very interrelated marketing elements (marketing mix) are always at play:

  • Product (or service) — features should address customer desires and requirements related to:
    • function/use/capabilities
    • look & feel
    • packaging
    • warranty/guarantees
  • Price — each of the below pricing-related features needs to reflect the product- or service-in question’s position in the marketplace, i.e., what target audiences will be willing to, and what means they’ll use, to pay for it
    • selling/actual price
    • payment options, including available credit terms
    • discounts (this should also be addressed under the “P” of promotion
    • price matching (can/will your organization meet the pricing of a competitor?)
  • People (Your People aka Employees)
    • quality/level of service provided if providing a paid service
    • customer service level
    • appearance and professionalism of employees, including attitude
    • employee relatability/resonance with population
  • Population Served
    • if business-to-consumer product or service, basic demographics of target audience — gender, age, household income, education level, parental status/children at home, home ownership, marital status, geography, and more
    • if business-to-business product or service, target organization qualifications, such as size/# of employees, annual sales/income, and industry
  • Positioning
    • where you stand in the marketplace if there are other organizations offering similar services or products, i.e., is your product or service considered low-end, mid-level, or high-end, based on quality, features, and/or pricing?
  • Promotion
    • messaging employed
    • advertising/media vehicles used
    • PR/publicity
    • Sponsorships/event attendance
    • networking/prospecting/sales
    • other

Whether it’s with their marketing/advertising agency, marketing consultant, marketing team, or entire leadership team, organizations need to walk & talk thru each of the elements above and document what, if anything, needs to change to ensure future success. It’s likely many organizations will need to revise their marketing mix because of the impact the pandemic has had or is expected to have on their organization.

Pandemic/Post-Pandemic Marketing Questions to Consider

This list is not meant to be exclusive, but below are some examples of questions to be asking as you work through the above list of P’s:

  • Is it likely that my target audience’s income levels, and therefore, their price sensitivities, have shifted — whether they be consumers or businesses?
    • if yes, does it make sense to offer a lower-cost version of your product or service?
  • Assuming you haven’t created new messaging for marketing materials and activities in the last few months in response to the pandemic, what, if anything, needs to change about content, slogans, language, etc. used in promotional activities, so as not too appear irrelevant, callous, heart-less, or out-of-touch?
  • How have the ways my target audience gathers information, and particularly, the ways that my target audience prefers to gather information, changed? And, related to this, can my target audiences access the same channels of information they did pre-pandemic?
    • Transit (bus, subway, train, etc.) advertising is a good example of advertising and information-sharing that far fewer individuals have access to now — this may continue for many months.
    • Think about whether target audiences have access to hard copies/printed versions of newspapers and magazines — perhaps, they only had access to these at work and/or they cancelled their home subscriptions because of disposable income challenges that the pandemic has presented.
  • Have target audiences adopted new technology for gathering or sharing information that you can now capitalize on?
  • In keeping with the above, what vehicles should I consider for information-sharing and promotion that I hadn’t considered pre-pandemic?
  • How should I best communicate product/service additions and/or changes to employees? What’s the best way to train employees who interact directly with/service clients and/or serve in a customer service role on the aforementioned additions/changes?
  • In keeping with the above, if I provide a service or product that must be received/accessed via a physical location, what new policies/procedures/protocols will I need to put in place and how do I best communicate this information to both employees and customers?

The above are just a sampling of the types of questions that may arise for you and your team as you walk through the 6 Marketing P’s above. We are always here to take you and your team through the above exercise or execute required tactics that arise from your discussion, so please reach out if we can help.