Welcome to this beginner’s guide to marketing models and frameworks
As a novice in the business field, it’s essential to comprehend these models, as they will become the foundation for all your marketing strategies. Not only will they help you understand the market better, but they will also give you a blueprint to design effective marketing campaigns. With a good grasp of these models, you will be able to see marketing opportunities in everyday life, and you’ll be able to apply them to your business ventures. The only word of caution is that once you learn these models, there’s no going back – your business, and your life will never be the same. But in a good way, of course.
The Fundamental Building Blocks: Understanding the 4 Ps of Marketing
The 4 Ps of marketing—Product, Price, Place, and Promotion—have become ubiquitous for good reason. This framework gives you a foundational model to structure your marketing strategy and better understand your customers. By considering each element and how they interrelate, you can make decisions that directly speak to your audience’s needs and maximize the impact of your campaigns.
Product refers to your actual offer, be it a physical item, service, subscription, software as a service, and so on. Defining your product involves delineating features and functionality while positioning it favorably against alternatives. It’s crucial to intimately understand who will be using your product and how it will fit into their lifestyle or workflow.
The price you set has implications for positioning and signals value. A high price often conveys premium quality, exclusivity and status. An affordable or freemium price may emphasize accessibility and mass market appeal. Price also directly impacts profit margins and determines whether your offer will be economically viable. You must strike the right balance for your goals.
Place considers where and how your product will be available to customers. Will it be sold in retail locations, online, through an app or some combination? Place also represents a distribution channel strategy to ensure your product reaches your audience wherever they happen to be.
Finally, promotion encapsulates the messaging, media and activities you will use to spread awareness about your product and compel the desired action. This could include advertising, content marketing, referrals, sales and discounts among infinite other possibilities. Promotion is how you control the narrative around your offering.
The 4 Ps operate synergistically to provide a comprehensive blueprint for productizing an idea and bringing it to market. They force you to answer tough questions and make intentional decisions about critical aspects of how your business will run. By mastering this versatile framework, you gain an invaluable tool for architecting the foundations of an impactful marketing strategy.
Expanding the Marketing Mix: The 7Ps Framework
While the 4Ps provide an excellent baseline, the 7Ps framework builds on this foundation by incorporating three additional elements—People, Process and Physical Evidence. This expanded perspective allows for a more nuanced approach to crafting your go-to-market strategy.
People focuses attention on the human side of your business, particularly anyone that engages directly with customers. Your team’s skills, attitudes, appearance and conduct all shape the buyer’s experience and perception of your brand. Investing in hiring, training and culture pays tremendous dividends through improved service, higher satisfaction and added trust.
Process refers to the systems and workflows underpinning delivery of your core offer. The goal is to minimize friction and enable seamless, positive interactions across every touchpoint. Process optimizations might include simplifying checkout, introducing automation or offering exceptional support. The convenience and enjoyment you facilitate builds loyalty.
Finally, Physical Evidence encompasses all the tangible elements your customers see, hear or interact with. Your brand identity, packaging, signage, website design, ads and other collateral should visually communicate a consistent message aligned with positioning. These touchpoints either reinforce or undermine the narrative you’re aiming to present.
By broadening focus beyond the central 4Ps, the 7Ps framework incorporates critical peripheral factors that ultimately determine success. This forces a more holistic perspective to avoid glaring yet easily overlooked gaps in experience. Get the full mix right and your marketing will connect on deeper levels that convert.
Targeting Ideal Customers with the STP Model
While broad messaging has its place for establishing awareness, targeted marketing drives results. The STP model provides a strategic blueprint for honing in on your best-fit audience.
Segmentation involves dividing the total addressable market into groups with common needs, wants and behaviors. This might be based on demographics like age or gender, psychographics around interests, values or attitudes, firmographic details for B2B or any meaningful distinguishing characteristics. The goal is to isolate clusters that exhibit similar buying criteria.
Targeting is the process of evaluating segments to identify which represent the most viable commercial opportunities. An attractive target market has substantial size, expresses an urgent need that your offering solves better than alternatives and demonstrates buying readiness. You want a cluster with sufficient commonalities to be reachable yet enough nuance requiring tailored messaging.
Positioning comes last after you’ve selected your beachhead segment. This step focuses on defining a unique value proposition catering directly to the target buyer. To maximize appeal, you must understand their worldview to frame your solution as the ideal fit for their situation. Positioning establishes your brand as the go-to option through messaging resonance.
Executed deliberately, the STP framework carves a path straight to the heart of your perfect customer. Sales and marketing efforts grow exponentially more effective when focused solely on individuals predisposed to buy what you offer. STP allows you to cut through noise by eliminating those unlikely to ever convert while winning over the segment most likely to take action.
Uncovering Your Positioning Sweet Spot with Mapping
Positioning defines where your brand sits in the competitive landscape to stand out from alternatives. Mapping exercises provide illuminating perspective on precisely how you stack up and where opportunities exist to better differentiate. This analysis should inform messaging, features and even pricing strategy.
A positioning map plots brands within a category based on two pivotal criteria, with the vertical and horizontal axes typically representing variations of price, quality, functionality or degree of innovation. To build one for your market:
Identify 5-7 major competitors across diverse positioning territory from budget options to premium players. Choose established names recognized by consumers as markers.
Select axis metrics that provide meaningful distinction reflecting the core value proposition. For a technology company, this might be price and processing power. In apparel, it could be cost and fashionability.
Plot where each brand sits relative to the others based on a target customer’s perception. Back up placements with consumer reviews, market research or your own experience.
Locate empty spaces representing opportunities to better meet customer needs through a differentiated offer. Focus is the sweet spot balancing performance and value.
With your positioning mapped out, identifying gaps reveals where you can best add value through a refined strategy. You want to reside in quadrants characterized by higher pricing power fueled by top-tier excellence in key areas that matter most to your audience. Use the intelligence this analysis provides to hone messaging for greater resonance.
Structuring a Marketing Master Plan for Focus
An effective marketing strategy requires coordinated execution across key elements in a logical sequence designed to drive action. This begins with clearly defining your offer and the audience it aims to serve. Next, the value must be convincingly conveyed before identifying optimal channels and interactions to complete the customer journey.
The Offer (Model) – What product or service will you provide? Detail the features, pricing, promotions and all associated specifics. This forms the foundation.
The Market (Audience) – Who needs what you’re selling and will derive the greatest benefit from it? Outline demographic and psychographic segmentation to pinpoint your ideal buyer persona.
The Message (Value) – Why should the defined audience care? Document the exact pains alleviated and gains created through poignant messaging that resonates.
The Medium (Channels) – When and where can you reach them? Prioritize marketing channels from paid ads to organic content that enable cost-efficient exposure.
The Machine (Funnel) – How will you guide them to transaction? Map the sequential touchpoints from initial impression to ultimate conversion via tailored interactions.
This strategic overview sets the marketing agenda, allowing concentration of resources on proven lead generation while adding supplemental efforts as warranted by results. The master plan creates focus through a process designed to identify and double down on the 20% of activities accountable for 80% of sales.
Driving Marketing ROI Through Funnel Metrics
Beyond top-level campaign performance, granular measurement unlocks optimization opportunities hidden within the customer journey. This advanced approach, known as funnel math, assigns conversion rates and cost per action to each stage.
The model quantifies website traffic then tracks progressive reduction through lead capture, consideration and ultimately purchase. By attaching values throughout, return per intermediate step is revealed alongside overall yield.
Clicks – The initial brand impression and visit to a landing page constitutes the entrance to the funnel. Assess cost per click from all sources.
Leads – At this point site visitors convert to contacts by exchanging email or other info. Define cost per lead based on conversions.
Opportunities – Leads turn to qualified prospects through personalized communication matching product benefits to needs. Calculate cost per marketing qualified lead by further filtering.
Customers – As the final conversion from consideration to transaction, new sales seal funnel progression. Link expenses to the average customer acquisition cost.
Lifetime Value – Rather than a singular sale, view the completed purchase as the beginning to an ongoing relationship able to generate recurring revenue through retention and referrals.
While top-level metrics indicate overall efficiency, funnel math empowers targeted investment at each phase to systematically reduce customer acquisition costs. This data-driven approach when combined with customer lifetime value analysis enables self-funding marketing growth.
Greetings! I’m Jack, founder of Scythos – where I’ve helped over 50 brands transform into unforgettable identities and stunning digital presences. As a brand strategist and creative consultant, I have over a decade of experience taking brands from wallflowers to the centre of attention.
Looking to get your branding noticed and your business thriving? Reach out anytime to brainstorm creative strategies for making your brand impossible to ignore. I love collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs to conceptualize innovative ways to connect with their audiences.
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