Have you heard of the 4 P’s of marketing? Many small business owners regularly use them to market their products.
If you haven’t heard of them, here’s a brief crash course:
E. Jerome McCarthy came up with the 4 P’s in 1960. He suggested that every marketing strategy should consist of four key elements, each of which conveniently started with the letter P.
The 4 P’s of marketing are:
Each P focuses on an important aspect of marketing. Product addresses the components of the commodity you’re trying to sell and how they differ from your competition. Place is where you will sell your product. Price is how much your product will cost. And promotion is how you will make people aware of your product.
Seems simple, right? That’s the problem.
In this post we will show you why the 4 P’s of marketing are too simple for today’s digital marketing climate. Then we will explain why the SAVE framework is the better choice for your business. We will also provide helpful steps for implementing the SAVE framework in your marketing.
Why the 4 P’s of Marketing Don’t Cut It Anymore
Marketing has changed a lot since the 4 P’s were invented in 1960. One of the main reasons for this was the advent of the Internet. The new medium has created many new ways for businesses to attract customers. And with more people than ever finding local companies on the web, it only makes sense for small businesses to be there.
The problem with using the 4 P’s to do Internet marketing is they only scratch the surface of what today’s consumers expect from companies online. People don’t just want to know what your product is what it costs and where they can buy it. They also want to understand how it will benefit them.
As we will see, the SAVE Framework is a better model for making customers care about your products and services.
How the SAVE Framework Goes Above and Beyond
Before we get into this new framework, we should clarify that you shouldn’t abandon the 4 P’s altogether. They are still crucial elements to keep in mind for marketing your business. But rather than focusing on them, you should use them as the foundation for the SAVE Framework.
Like the 4 P’s, the SAVE Framework consists of four central elements that should make up a marketing plan. However, whereas the 4 P’s focus only on the product or service a business sells, the SAVE framework broadens the focus to include the needs of the customer.
Here’s how it takes each of the 4 P’s to the next level:
- Product becomes Solution
- Place becomes Access
- Price becomes Value
- Promotion becomes Education
Let’s look at each of these transformations:
Product Becomes Solution
Let’s be honest. You can hype the product you sell until you’re blue in the face. But your customers won’t care about your product’s amazing features if they can’t see how those features will solve their problems.
For this reason, your digital marketing will benefit from highlighting the solutions your products or services provide to your customers. So, instead of bombarding your customer with jargon about your product that they may not care about or understand, you will communicate in a more relatable manner. This style of marketing caters much better to the Internet searcher’s need for instant gratification. By meeting them where they’re at, a solution-focused approach is much more likely to convert them into customers.
Place Becomes Access
The Internet has complicated the second P immensely. Gone are the days when the only ways to communicate with a company were by phone and in person. Now, people can access businesses instantly on the web. So, a static view of Place will no longer cut it. Small businesses instead need to broaden their view on how customers can access them.
Just as Solution puts customers first, Access does as well out of necessity. After all, people expect more from a business in this digital age. Therefore, companies with a lackluster or spotty online presence won’t attract customers. To prevent this, Access requires marketers to use their online presence strategically. This strategy includes website optimization and being active on other channels, such as social media and email marketing.
So, don’t get left in the dust because you think having an address and a phone number is enough. Instead, make sure your customers can easily access your business online.
Price Becomes Value
Obviously, your customers will want to know how much your services cost. So, businesses should establish pricing when developing their marketing plans. However, focusing solely on price is rarely a good selling point for a product or service.
After all, money is such a subjective thing. What seems cheap to one person may be expensive to another. Plus, you may not be able to offer the low prices your competition offers. So, what’s a small business to do?
The SAVE Framework suggests going beyond price by emphasizing the value your product will bring to your customers’ lives. This shift goes right along with the Solution portion of the SAVE Framework. Once you’ve established the problems your product solves, it’s easy to determine what benefits to highlight.
When people understand the value your product or service will add to their lives, they will be more likely to pay your asking price (even if your asking price is higher than your competitors). In this way, the perceived value trumps price every time.
Promotion Becomes Education
The reason promotion no longer cuts it is today’s consumers are much more spoiled than they used to be. Back in the day, people had to sit through ads to watch their favorite show on TV. And everyone read the newspaper, so newspaper ads were foolproof promotional techniques. Advertising to the masses was simple because businesses had a captive audience.
Today, however, consumers have ultimate power. They don’t have to view your promotion if they don’t want to because they have so many options on the Internet. And web surfers can sniff out salesy promotions from a mile away. If they feel like a business is just trying to sell them a product, they will dismiss your advertising as not worth their time.
For this reason, the SAVE Framework urges companies to move from a promotional mindset to an educational mindset. Instead of saying “buy our product,” it suggests saying “we want to help you get the most out of our product.” The best way to do this is by creating educational content about topics related to your product on your company blog. By doing this, you can build trust with your customers so that they will be more likely to buy from you when the time comes.
How to Implement the SAVE Framework in Your Business
Clearly, transitioning from a 4 P’s model to the SAVE Framework makes a lot of sense in today’s digital marketing landscape. However, if your business has been using the 4 P’s for a while, then adopting the SAVE Framework will take time. It will also require your whole team to be on board with the transition for the transition to be effective.
Still, once you make the changes, you should see significant improvements in the effectiveness of your marketing.
Here are some action steps you can start taking to add the SAVE Framework to your marketing:
Listen to Your Existing Customers
The SAVE Framework requires a customer-centric mindset. So, you’re going to need to engage with your customers to start formulating a plan. You can do this through in-person interviews, surveys, or by reaching out on social media.
When you do reach out, you’re going to want to ask your customers questions related to the different elements of SAVE. For example, to get more information for Solution and Value, you can ask your customers how your products or services have benefitted them. You can also learn about Access by asking them how they first found your business, and Education by asking them to list any questions they have about your industry.
In short, the more you engage with your customers, the better equipped you will be to use the SAVE Framework.
Consider Different Marketing Channels
You should also examine whether your business is using the Internet to its full potential. There are many marketing channels available out there, including SEO, social media, email marketing, and reputation management. So, you are going to want to consider how those available channels might be advantageous for connecting with your customers.
Plus, if you’re not sure whether a channel is a good fit for your business, you can always contact a digital marketing expert. An Internet marketing specialist can help you better understand how that marketing channel might benefit your customers.
Brainstorm with Your Team
Transitioning to the SAVE Framework requires a perspective shift, which may seem overwhelming when facing it on your own. However, by getting your employees involved, it can bring new life to your transition.
Your team members may bring things to life you never thought of before. For example, they may see a benefit your product provides that you had never considered.
Also, by discussing this transition with your whole team, you can get everyone on the same page about this perspective shift. This will make it easier for you to move forward with your new SAVE-inspired marketing strategy.
Are You Ready to Take the 4 P’s to the Next Frontier?
We hope this article has gotten you excited about using the SAVE Framework in your marketing strategy. Using it will better equip your business for marketing to your target audience on the Internet.
If you have any questions about implementing the SAVE Framework in your marketing, please reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the SAVE Framework and help you get started on implementing it in your marketing.
We can help your business take the 4 P’s to the next frontier. Give us a call at 847-254-0837 or email us at email@example.com today!