No not peas – yes, we do know peas are healthy and filled with iron but this is a mnemonic formula to whet your appetite and aid you in focussing on what is important in getting take-up of what you offer.
In Product Marketing – the principle of the nine P’s is key.
The 9 P’s are:
- Physical evidence
These nine memory-aids remind you of what you might consider when deciding the ‘what, where & how’ of selling your products.
Place: The product needs to be placed where it (they) will be seen and (if applicable) used by the most people. Passing foot traffic is important but lingering traffic is also vital. Considering where and how advertising will best present your product or service is vital and needs careful consideration.
Positioning: If two vending products are to be placed in the same vicinity they should not compete but complement each other in what they offer. Product mix should also not compete. How you display what you want bought is an art— this is all ‘positioning’.
Product: As above. Getting the right mix of products is vital to success. Remember: no two peoples’ tastes are the same and there is invariably a generation gap between (say!) what Teachers and Parents believe pupils want and what pupils will actually pay for. So we monitor trends in all the schools we supply to so we can assist in their best and most cost-effective use. We do this across all our markets. This is so we can advise our customers and keep them abreast of ever-changing trends. But, by doing this with all our offerings, we are able to maintain relevance to our sale presentation. We want to keep our customers’ business – we do – we have customers we have kept for four decades and more.
Packaging: All products have to offer real value, look good, be reliable and deliver what is expected. They must also be secure & safe. Ours are. The packaging display has to be tempting — but the P for Presentation is not one to be rushed.
Price: Our buying right means we sell our goods profitably yet affordably. Our prices cannot be bettered. Therefore, neither can our customers if they are selling on.
Promotion: Don’t let your product or service be the best kept secret in the marketplace. Promote them on the internet. Refer to them in your emails and indeed, every document you send out – even on your invoices and statements. Every day find another way to tell the world your business exists and your products and services are relevant and offer value.
People: You know your customers – we know ours. Our evidence is accumulated from the many, many thousands of customers we supply and have done so over decades. We also know when the trends are changing so they will never be offered anything other than the latest and the best of the latest. We value every customer old and new. Customers are hard to find – we like keeping them.
Process: Planning is another P but is only part of the Process. Our customers never want to run out of anything. We ensure the ordering process is exactly right for them—offering and promoting not too much, but never too little -and always backed by caring, efficient customer service.
Physical Evidence: We gather all the evidence. Our ongoing analysis of what is being bought, by whom, why and how and when keeps us ahead of our competition. This is why we have lasted and grown for more than fifty years. We never try to manage by whim – we like facts. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you get there? We plan, we target, we present, we package, we promote, we process, we price, we focus our business on real people – and we do it all based on the real Physical Evidence we gather and analyse every day.
(Martin Button is the Managing Director of UK Vending (Britain’s longest serving vending business)