The Pitfalls of A Marketing Strategy Formula

A traditional marketing strategy formula will leave your marketing in need.Have you ever heard of a company with a secret formula? Somehow they have unlocked the secret to capturing the most leads or generating the most revenue or retaining the best talent. Whatever it is, they’ve got it. They’ve also probably locked that secret formula away in a vault buried deep underground somewhere. It’s like Arby’s sauce or the sauce on a Big Mac or maybe even the Colonel’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices. But, here’s the thing: a marketing strategy formula won’t always work out the way you want them to and, eventually, you just have to end up revising it or coming up with something new.

When it comes to your marketing strategy, you’ve probably Googled “marketing strategy formula” or “marketing strategies” or maybe even “sure-fire, winning marketing strategies proven to work every single time you use them.” The catch, though, is that none of the results are going to work. At least, they won’t work consistently or in the long-term. Let’s look at one of the most common marketing strategies The Seven P Formula.

The Seven P Marketing Strategy Formula

The Seven P Marketing Strategy Formula is a traditional way to approach your marketing. It suggests there are 7 different, key elements that you have to include in your strategy in order to be successful. If you read up on the formula, you’ll probably find that the author of whatever book, article, or blog you’re reading suggests you revisit the seven Ps in order to stay effective. The issue with that, though, is your marketing becomes reactive instead of proactive. And you most certainly can’t afford to constantly be reacting.

Here’s a breakdown of the Ps:

Product

The formula suggests you look at your products from an outside perspective. Do customers like and/or need your products or services? Are they purchasing your products or services? Why or why not?

Here’s the issue: The formula doesn’t account for the product itself. Just the perception of the product. You need a killer product (a purple cow, if you will) in order for your business to be successful. Sure, you have to look at it from an outside perspective, but it needs to be the right perspective. Is your product awesome enough for your target market to purchase it? Very good isn’t going to cut it anymore. You need a remarkable product that markets itself.

Prices

Again, the formula wants you to constantly examine the prices you charge in order to stay current with the market. The formula suggests you spread payments out, increase prices, or be open to your price structure not being ideal for the current market.

Here’s the issue: Your pricing needs to be true to your brand. Obviously, if your market isn’t purchasing from you because you’re priced too high, then you’ll need to do something. But, you can’t compete on price. Someone will always be able to produce on a cheaper level. Your pricing needs to reflect your target market, the quality of your product/services, and your brand.

Promotion

Promotion is all about how you communicate your products or services to the market. The 7 Ps formula suggests that small changes to the way you promote your products have the huge results. Eventually, the way you are promoting your products or services will stop working. You’ll have to evaluate and change accordingly. You’ll have to be reactive.

Here’s the issue: Being reactive can leave you eating the dust of your competition. You need to be proactive. You need to be on top of your promotions. While the core of your messaging has to stay true to your brand story, you need to constantly be finding new ways to get your message in front of your target audience.

Is your website generating leads?

Place

Where are you selling your products and services? Where are salespeople heading when they go out on cold calls? Do you wait for prospects to contact you? Sometimes, sales areas dry up. You have to constantly be on the lookout for new avenues and places to sell. Explore new opportunities like trade shows or retail establishments.

Here’s the issue: Your target market is looking for you online. Maybe they don’t know about your brand specifically, but they’re looking for a solution to a problem. Your product or service is the solution. You have to be selling online. Even if you aren’t a retailer in need of an e-commerce site, your website should act as a 24/7 salesperson for you.

Packaging

Referring to the way your product appears from the outside, packaging has to appeal to your target market. But, it’s about more than just product packaging. It’s about they way your brand appears to potential customers and clients. It’s your office. Your logo. The way your employees dress.

Here’s the thing: It’s all true. Whether you like to admit it or not, most of us judge a book by it’s cover. The “package” of your brand ultimately determines how much you can charge for your products or services.

Positioning

This all about how your products or services are positioned in the hearts and minds of your target audience. The formula suggests that you constantly look at this. Constantly tweak the way you position yourself.

Here’s the issue: Marketing is a battle of perceptions. Once your audience has an impression, idea, or perception of your brand or products, you’re locked in. Good or bad, that’s they way it is. Trying to change that perception is nearly impossible. The real goal is to lock in a great perception from your remarkable product.

People

You have to start thinking about the people inside and outside of your organization. Who are you marketing to? Who’s doing the marketing? Who is setting up those social media campaigns? The people behind all of your activity is crucial to the success of your marketing strategies.

Here’s the thing: You do need the right people driving everything your business does including your marketing strategy formula. You need the right digital marketing team helping you develop your proactive marketing strategies.

Maybe some of this marketing strategy formula will work for you. But, eventually, it will stop. You can’t keep being reactive to everything happening around you. You need to develop strategies that keep you ahead of the curve.

You need a team full of design, marketing, and content geeks that is constantly developing marketing strategies for clients that produce results. You need the Iconic Digital team.

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Scott Blanton

Content Writer at Iconic Digital Marketing
As Iconic Digital's content writer, Scott works with clients to develop brand stories and key messaging. When he isn't typing away at his computer, you'll find him exploring new coffee shops, spending time with this family, or working on a new home improvement project.

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