This week we kick-off a little marketing 101. The 4 P’s of marketing is a pretty common notion and they are: product, price, promotion, place. Many times people want to limit marketing down to just promotion but that would be selling marketing short. Phil might make the finest widgets in the world but if the customer doesn’t understand that and can’t find them, he is going to have a hard time staying in business.

This week we are going to breakdown product.

I can’t help you if you do not have a good product to sell. The product/service that you offer has to be of good quality or no one will buy it. If we went ahead and did the marketing and sold that bad product, the consequences could be worse than the benefit of the few you would sell. People could return them or spread bad word of mouth which could kill your chances of succeeding, potentially even if you fixed your offering.

A good marketing partner will help you diagnose how to improve your product/service. Now this might be difficult with some things that are more technically challenging. This is not to say that a marketer is an expert in your field, but most marketers are quick learners and bring a outsiders perspective to your business model. They do not bring the burden of knowledge to your business and can look on your offering with fresh eyes.

But keep in mind that the actual product/service is not all that there is to the product category. The customer experience of getting that product is also very important to how good a product is. This is an area where a marketer can really help you. An outsiders perspective is extremely valuable in assessing how a customers experience might be coming across.

Additionally, marketers may be able to help you improve your product by conducting focus groups or customer interviews. Who better to talk about how to improve your offering by talking to the people who buy it or the people you want to sell it to! These groups can help you to test your assumptions verse the market which can pay dividends in the short and long term.

Product is the first on the list of 4 P’s because it is the most foundational. Next week we will be back with the second P: Price.

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