Using the 4 Ps of Marketing to Sell Online
- Digital Marketing

Using the 4 Ps of Marketing to Sell Online

The 4 Ps of Marketing is a time-tested marketing model. The 4 Ps are as follows:

  1. Product;
  2. Price;
  3. Place;
  4. Promotion.

This article will briefly describe what each of these means and how you can apply them in digital marketing.

Product

Does the product have a demand? Whether a product is a physical commodity or a service you are offering, you will only be able to sell it if there is existing demand.

Price

Is the price right? The key to setting the right price is considering whether you are asking for a price that consumers are willing to pay.

Place

Is your store in the right location? Are you selling the right products for the location? Are you easy to find? Are the products visible? Location specificity and visibility are key in determining the success of your business.

Promotion

Are you promoting the right unique selling points in the right way to the right audience? Your promotion is the first impression and can make or break a deal. Therefore, it is crucial to get the promotion right.

Considerations for Digital Marketing

Product in Digital Marketing

When considering a product for online sale, it is important to consider whether it will sell online or not. You will have to consider what digital marketing channels are appropriate for the product and whether the product or service can be modified to become more suitable for selling online. And, if it is modified for the online market, would it lose any of its salient selling points?

Case Study

Adam wants to buy a paperback of the latest book by his favorite author. So he goes to his favorite neighborhood bookstore. While at the store, he buys two more books and has coffee in the coffee shop built within the bookstore. The same book was available for purchase online. Still, Adam prefers the personalized experience of searching for, finding, and buying the physical book from a brick-and-mortar store and loves having coffee afterward.

Casey is a busy single mom who balances work life with taking care of her two children. She loves to have some alone time after her children go to sleep, during which she reads suspense novels. Unfortunately, with her busy schedule, she does not have the luxury of going to a bookstore. So she uses Amazon Kindle to buy ebooks and reads them on her Kindle ebook reader.

Alex is a Bank manager. He drives to his bank daily, which takes him an hour. During the long commute, he listens to self-help podcasts on Spotify.

All three of these people are similar in that they like to consume content, but their preferences, needs, and behaviors are entirely different. There is a significant difference between selling to a consumer in a brick-and-mortar store and selling online. When devising a digital marketing strategy, you have to consider these differences.

Price in Digital Marketing

What sets online pricing apart from price products is the online buyer’s ability to look at hundreds of sellers and compare prices quickly. In addition, some sites offer price comparisons, cashback, and vouchers. Affiliate marketing is another factor to consider when deciding on a price. Consumers also generally expect online prices to be lower than in-store prices as the cost of running a storefront is not there.

Case Study

Brian has been running an apparel business for the last ten years. Last year, he decided to sell online as well. When online sales did not pick up, he engaged a digital marketer to find the issue. He was told that his prices were higher than his competitors. This came to him as a surprise as his prices were the cheapest in the area. After some brainstorming, Brain decided to divide his stock between in-store and online sales. The stock put online was not brought to the store. Instead, he sold it directly from the warehouse. This reduced the added cost of transporting the stock to the store, maintaining the store, and paying staff. This move allowed him to become competitive online, and sales also picked up.

Place in Digital Marketing

Just like your physical store should be easy to find, online buyers should be able to find your online store easily. The layout, design, and user interface of the online store should be attractive and easy to navigate. It is also important to receive relevant traffic. There are different methods for ensuring this. You can do affiliate marketing on relevant websites, list your online store on niche-specific business directories, offer coupons on coupon sites, create content relevant to the consumer’s search intent, etc.

Case Study

Gerry owns a pet store. He decided to run paid Google ads to drive traffic to his business website. After a month, he observed that the bounce rate from paid advertising was high. He found a digital marketer on Fiverr and paid him to analyze the ads to see what was wrong. The digital marketer told Gerry that most traffic was generated through ‘informative keywords.’ The people clicking on these ads were looking for content related to pets and not necessarily buying pets or pet supplies. The digital marketer helped Gerry mark informative keywords as ‘negative’ and replaced them with keywords that had ‘buying intent.’ This brought the bounce rate down, lowered the cost of running paid campaigns, and increased sales.

Promotion in Digital Marketing

Promotion is as important in digital marketing as it is otherwise. But, if anything, a digital marketer must sell the product in much less space and time, and, that is, amidst all the digital noise.

Case Study

Derek had always paid his local magazine to print ads for his hardware store. Two months ago, the magazine editor offered him to run an ad on their new magazine website for half the price. He agreed and paid for the same ad to be published on the website and in print. At the end of the month, Derek did not see any increase in sales. When he complained to the magazine editor, the editor asked him to give the ad another chance and offered to have the magazine designer adjust the advertisement for the online audience. When the designer shared the ad with Derek for approval, he was surprised to find that the new ad was simpler yet flashy. Also, the copy of the original sale had been reduced to about 20%. Derek decided to go ahead with the ad, and the sales showed a significant increase when he took stock at the end of the month.

Conclusion

Once you understand the underlying logic of a model and the digital landscape, it becomes quite easy to modify the time-tested marketing strategies for online sales.


Julius John Alam
Julius John Alam

About the Author

Julius John Alam is a Google Certified Digital Marketer and Writer. He is currently working as the Marketing Manager at Ejobber Limited, London. He is a graduate of Parsons the New School for Design and a Fulbright scholar. He writes about Professional Development and Business Development.

Using the 4 Ps of Marketing to Sell Online

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