When a business seeks advice on how to market their products or services, you will often see a glazed look as a marketing professional launches into the many aspects of marketing and something referred to as the 7 Ps of Marketing.
Here we will demystify the 7 Ps and how they relate to your business. Using a an extremely successful brand, Apple, we will demonstrate how they integrate each into their business.
So what are the 7Ps of Marketing?
OK great start, now what does each mean?
This is essentially the product or service you are selling. For Apple they sell technology gadgets including Mac desktops, iPad tablets, iPhone smartphones, portable personal computers, media players and iPod digital music.
Below is the development of their iphones from 1st generation to 2015. This has now further developed in recent years with iPhone 10 and iPhone X.
Signal, B. (2017). How America's Most Popular Companies Are Winning the War for Talent. [online] Blue Signal Search. Available at: http://www.bluesignal.com/2017/04/25/how-americas-most-popular-companies-are-winning-the-war-for-talent/ [Accessed 31 Oct. 2017].
Just to fit in with the 'P' theme, place is where your product or service is sold. Do you have a shop front, do you sell online etc?
For Apple they use several distribution channels worldwide through direct sales, retail stores and wholesalers. They do, however, keep a tight control on their distribution partners to help maintain the integrity of their products.
The launch of 'Apple Experience Stores' has been a huge success for Apple and a way to help to maintain control of their products and after-sales service.
iMore. (2017). The future of Apple Retail begins now. [online] Available at:
https://www.imore.com/live-apple-store-union-squares-grand-opening [Accessed 30 Oct. 2017]
What price are you going to sell you products or services and what strategy are you going to use to gain and maintain market share? The strategy behind pricing can help to make or break a business.
Apple Inc. implements geographical, skimming and premium pricing strategies, giving the consumer the perception of a top-end product but also making the product affordable to the general market.
T1 2016 MPK732 Marketing Management (Cluster B). (2017). Apple skimming pricing strategy. [online] Available at: https://mpk732t12016clusterb.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/apple-skimming-pricing-strategy/
[Accessed 30 Oct. 2017]
See more information about Apple's pricing strategy here.
How are you going to promote your product or services in the market? What channels are you going to use and what messages are you going to communicate to capture your desired market?
Apple marketing revolves around innovative design and simplicity. Their messages are simple and over the years they have continued to ‘push-the-envelope’ to encourage the consumer to think differently. This iPod advertising is a perfect example.
Webdesignerdepotcom. 2009. Webdesigner Depot. [Online]. Available at: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/09/the-evolution-of-apple-ads/ [Accessed 31 October 2017].
This includes all of the procedures which your business may use to ensure success. From recruitment to training or pre-sales to post sales, documenting and ensuring consistency in processes is an important part of your marketing success.
The scope of procedures essential to Apple's prosperity include conducting extensive marketing research, employee selection and recruitment, new product research and development, customer service and distribution.
Apple.com. (2017). Apple - Jobs at Apple - Corporate. [online] Available at: https://www.apple.com/jobs/us/corporate.html
[Accessed 30 Oct. 2017].
Who are the people who work within your business and do they resonate the brand experience you wish your business to have? Many businesses are employing staff for the cultural fit in their business, more than the skills they possess - these can be taught later.
Apple encourages innovativeness and creativity and looks to employ people who are tech savvy, have a genuine desire to be involved in the industry and are happy to work in a high-paced environment.
Apple workers have a desire and passion to be working for the company which reflects in the brand culture. Just walk into an Apple Experience Store to see this.
Wikipediaorg. 2017. Wikipediaorg. [Online]. Available at: http://www.playbuzz.com/williamh18/top-10-secrets-apple-store-employees-wont-tell-you [Accessed 31 October 2017].
7. Physical Evidence
What is the physical evidence of someone engaging with your brand? Does this give the consumer confidence to shop with you again? Does your logo reflect the essence of who you are?
The simple design of Apple is a strong component of brand's physical evidence. Apple Stores are typically very innovative and sleek in appearance while employing highly knowledgeable and well-mannered customer service agents who are constantly present to help.
Apple's logo is synonymous with innovation and quality.
Apple modern logo Dormehl, L. (2017). Today in Apple history: Rainbow Apple logo gets a modern overhaul | Cult of Mac. [online] Cult of Mac. Available at: https://www.cultofmac.com/498704/rainbow-apple-logo/ [Accessed 30 Oct. 2017]
Understanding that each of the Ps of marketing are important for an overall successful marketing strategy will help to build a strong brand and a successful business.