The 7 P’s of marketing
Most people think of marketing as just the promotion of their business. However, when you dig a bit deeper there’s a lot more that needs to be taken into account.
When looking at the marketing strategy for your business it helps to put structure to your method and one excellent way is to consider the 7 P’s of marketing; Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence. By assessing each of these areas you can start to evolve the marketing in your business to a highly strategic level and ensure you are on the right path to making your business more profitable and attracting more new patients.
The 4P’s to the 7P’s of marketing
This marketing method originally started out as 4 P’s, Product, Price, Place and Promotion, but over the years, as marketing has gained sophistication, the other 3 P’s of People, Process and Physical Evidence, have been added.
The 7 P’s of marketing are also commonly known, as least amongst marketers, as the “marketing mix”.
This is because none of these areas can be reviewed in isolation and they each make up part of the bigger picture. For example, it is difficult to consider Product development without also considering Price and Promotion.
With the right attention and focus, the marketing mix can be continually adapted to grow your business.
“Product” can in fact refer to a physical product or a service, as is largely the case with doctors and dentists.
Product development requires market research, something business owners frequently get wrong, as they decide in advance what they
want to offer and see later if any customers are actually interested.
The key here is to focus on developing products and services that people actually want to buy, not what you think they want to buy. In other words, don’t try and sell a Mercedes when someone wants a VW Golf.
Ensure that you have a system in place for continual feedback from your clients – it is their opinions that really count and will help you build and develop your service based on facts and figures.
Pricing a product or service is something many business owners struggle with.
Again, market research and feedback from your existing patients can help ensure you are on the right track with pricing – remember, your products and services are only worth what someone will pay for them.
Pricing must be competitive and of value to the customer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the cheapest, however price determines your business position in the marketplace so take care with any sections of your target market that are going to be price sensitive.
The higher the price, the higher the expectation from the customer – ensure your business can support the demands of the price you set.
This is the location which the product or service is sold to a customer, i.e. your practice.
For success, the position of your place of work definitely helps. Is there a market for your services in the area? Are people willing to travel to receive services?
For new businesses particularly, place, needs careful consideration.
Promotion is all about communication of what it is you offer. It can include branding, advertising, PR, marketing literature, special offers, discounts, exhibitions and talks.
This is what most dental and medical business owners relate to when talking about marketing.
It’s essential to figure out though which promotional activities work for your business and which don’t.
Which attract new customers and which are a waste of time and resources?
This way you can constantly change your promotional marketing strategy.
The people who connect with your customers and potential customers have a lot of influence on patient retention, customer satisfaction and new patient recruitment.
Training of your team is essential as part of marketing to ensure that everyone in the business projects the right messages.
Consider also allocating certain staff to handle certain high value patients.
Process as part of a marketing mix is often overlooked, however it can be the thing that differentiates you from your competition. It is the method of systemisation within your business and can control things like how long customers have to wait on the phone or in the waiting room and how frequent contact is made outside of routine.
Business owners usually design systems and processes to help them, not necessarily help the customer.
They often also consider Process to be “behind the scenes” when really it should also be part of the forefront of your business.
Getting this “marketing P” right can add a lot of value to your reputation.
Customers have to take a leap of faith when they use your services for the first time. Subsequently, anything you can do to instill confidence in people that they are making the right decision will help. Testimonials and Case Studies will provide a greater insight into the experience of other patients and give credibility to your “sales pitch”.
Also, a clean and well organised place of work will give those visiting for the first time added confidence that if this is in order, so should your service be.
Make the 7P’s work for your business
Getting all aspects of the marketing mix in line will help your business to move to the next level of marketing. Instead of only focusing on the promotional side of marketing, dig deeper and look at the effectiveness of your products and services, your marketplace, your pricing structure, your team and how they perform, your systems and processes and the initial physical evidence you can provide to show them your worth.
Figurit act for many doctors and dentists who struggle with marketing. Contact us today to receive more marketing tips via our useful Fact Sheets. Or download them direct from our blog.
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