The 4P Marketing Strategy – How to Choose the Right Products

If you are a B2B company and want to grow your business by adding new products to your existing product portfolio this article and my other related articles will help you. They describe how a 4P Marketing Strategy can help you produce a successful “product launch” plan for your chosen marketplace.

A marketing strategy based on the marketing 4P’s looks at four key marketing and sales areas that need to be considered when producing your product launch plan:

1. Product. How to choose the right product to sell?

2. Place. Where to find the customers who will buy it?

3. Promotion. How to “package” and promote your product?

4. Price. How to choose a sales price that’s acceptable and profitable?

I don’t intend to cover all of the 4P’s in this article. I am going to focus on the first one by providing some advice and guidance on “How to choose the right product to sell”.

Choosing the Right Product

If you already have a successful B2B business or you want to grow one quickly it’s important to be able to assess whether your new product will fit in with your current product portfolio and whether it will meet the requirements of your marketplace.

Looking at your product in the context of the 4P’s of marketing is an excellent way of doing this. I have used the 4P Marketing Strategy approach for many years when launching new products. It’s easy to understand and when used correctly it’s very effective.

To be confident that you’re taking the right product to the market place you must be able to answer the following questions:

– Will the product sell in your market place?

– Can it be sold profitably?

– What skills and experience do you need to sell it?

Will the product sell in your marketplace?

If you are considering taking on a new product from another company do some research first to establish whether the product has a good sales history and whether your existing customers are likely to buy it?

If the product isn’t being sold successfully elsewhere or is only being sold successfully by companies with a very different company profile from yours you need to make a realistic assessment of the extra marketing and sales costs that are likely to be incurred before your new product can become profitable. You also need to carry out some “consultative research” with your existing customers to find out whether they would buy your new product. If they wouldn’t, you need to understand why. (You may find that it’s necessary to talk to other contacts within the same company or consider approaching companies in different market sectors if the customers in your main market sectors indicate that they are unlikely to buy your new product).

Can it be sold profitably?

Make a list of all the things you’ll need to do to market and sell your product. Use this list to build a spreadsheet of your projected marketing, sales and administrative costs and compare these with your forecast sales for the new product. Use some simple calculations to work out how long it will take before your product becomes profitable.

Sometimes it makes sense to sell a product even if it doesn’t make a profit! If your new product is very complimentary to existing products in your product portfolio and can be used to boost sales of these products it could still be worthwhile selling it. It may eventually become profitable on its own, or prepare the ground for another similar product that will be profitable (e.g. one you develop yourself).

Take into consideration all the factors identified in your previous research and don’t forget to include some estimated costs for the effort and time that you and/or your work colleagues will need to put in to launch and sell your new product.

What skills and experience must you have to sell it?

If your product is a very different type of product from those you are currently selling you will need to get some additional help (staff or bought-in resources) with your marketing and selling. Alternatively you could acquire the knowledge and skills required to market and sell the product by buying in consultancy services and training.

Whichever of these two options you choose, until you have built up a good level of knowledge and skill you won’t do a very good job helping your customers understand what the product will do for them. Neither will you be able to support them well once they’ve decided to purchase it.

The Value of the 4P Marketing Strategy Assessment

The reason why the first step of the 4P Marketing Strategy approach is so important is that it will help you reject a product that might not become very profitable and provide you with information that you will be able to use to select an alternative product that will fill the same gap in your product portfolio much better.

There may be other questions that you need to get answers to in addition to those we have considered above, but if you can provide comprehensive and satisfactory answers to my three main questions you will be able to move forward and start working on the other P’s of your 4P Marketing Strategy.

I hope I have made it very clear that thorough research is very necessary at this stage. It’s very easy to decide to skip this research if you have been “bowled over” by an exciting new product that you want to start selling as soon as possible. But bear in mind that every new product you take on will distract you from other important marketing and sales tasks.

If your new product starts to sell well soon after it’s launched into your marketplace all your effort will seem worthwhile. You’ll soon be able to invest in additional resources and help to maximize the sales of your new product. However, if your new product turns out to be unprofitable or provides only a small profit you will have wasted a lot of time and money that could have been invested in marketing and selling your existing products.

In summary, a 4P Marketing Strategy will help you develop a detailed, solid plan for the launch of your new product and will also help you to feel confident that you have the right product to ensure that this plan will succeed.

Business Strategy For a New Product Launch

Business strategy can also be referred to as a suitable game-plan that is specifically designed to reach certain pre-defined goals & objectives. The two most important stages of a well-designed business strategy are planning & execution. The success of any business strategy is more or less jointly dependent upon the efficiency of both these elements. Success is never guaranteed in any enterprise but you can definitely improve your chances for the same if your product is backed by an intelligent business strategy. Let us take a look at some of the most effective marketing strategies that can potentially grant a fine start to a newly launched business/ product/ brand:

Create a Comprehensive Marketing Plan

Planning is always the first step to any business strategy. A comprehensive business plan offers better understanding of the current market and its demographics. A detailed market analysis is extremely vital as it makes you aware of the customer’s specific requirements from the product to be launched. A product that serves most demands of the consumer is bound to be successful.

Observe & Evaluate Your Competition

Before launching a new product on the market, it is vital that you study your competition thoroughly. There may be many existing products that are similar to the one you are expecting to launch on the market. You can investigate the features offered by a competitor’s product/ services and accordingly review your business merchandise to present it in a way that sets it apart from the rest.

Reach Out to Your Target Audience

It is only after undertaking an in-depth analysis of the current demographics that you can successfully locate the target audience for your products and service. The best bet would be to target those customers who are habituated to buying items that offer features that are similar to your product. If your product/ service is on the same line and offers a better quality plus some sort of an additional benefit, there are maximum chances of the target audience switching over to you. This is one of the most commonly practiced business strategy.

Select an Appropriate Channel for Product Sales & Marketing

There are many different ways to advertise, publicize or market a particular product/ business. These days one of the strongest tools for product marketing is internet. Online marketing is certainly more convenient & effective as compared to various conventional offline marketing tactics. The best business strategy in this direction would be to use multi-channel marketing approach but doing so would require a massive financial investment which may not be possible for all businesses. A much viable option would be to analyze the consumer demand of the new product to be launched and accordingly select a suitable channel for advertising the same.

Test Your Product with a Group of Users before Going Ahead with the Final Launch

High-profile launch of a new product/ service involves enormous amount of financial investment. Market success of a newly launched product cannot be guaranteed hence there is always the chance of incurring massive loss. It would be absolutely amateurish & poor business strategy to directly head towards a major launch without reviewing its initial market response. A safe business strategy would be to release a small batch of your product as a sample to be used by a limited group of people before its official launch.

Create a Methodical Advertising Campaign

Media/Public relation companies are often hired for handling the promotional work of a particular product before its launch on the market. Most businesses either use grass-root marketing tactics or hold a massive launch event. It is important to ensure that your product is absolutely ready to be launched immediately after undertaking the public relation campaign so that you can cash-in on the media coverage that you receive from the same.

Long-term survival of all businesses/brands requires intelligent & interesting business strategy. Through MBA&Co, you can get in touch with highly efficient freelance MBA consultants who can offer brilliant ideas & business strategies for launching your forthcoming products & services and taking your business to the next higher level.