2. Price

Price has always been a central influence on marketing strategy: it can make or break your product launch.

To determine price, you need to know how potential customers value your product and what your competitors’ products and pricing strategies are. Your price should be consistent with your promotional messages, packaging, and the types of stores your product sells in.

As you raise your price, your profitability will go up—but only to a point. If you raise it too much, customers will lose interest, and profitability will drop.

Consider the pros and cons of pricing strategies like:

  • Cost-plus pricing—determining the selling price by adding a specific fixed percentage to its unit cost
  • Competitive pricing—adjusting your price based on what your competitors are doing
  • Price skimming—starting with a high price, then reducing it as customer volume increases
  • Value-based pricing—basing your price on how much you think customers will be willing to pay for the product or service
  • Penetration pricing—starting with a low price to build your customer base (but read up on the risks, like unreasonable customer expectations and price wars with competitors)

Pricing decisions can affect your customer relationships. For example, price volatility has become a preoccupation for many businesses and customers. In a market hampered by supply chain issues and product shortages, available products can sell for higher prices, yet many consumers are not prepared (or cannot afford) to pay them.

Recognize that consumers can be smart shoppers with long memories. When economies stabilize, some consumers will remember all too well which businesses took part in price gouging. Consider the impact to your brand.

3. Place

Marketing has always been about putting the right product out in the right place and at the right time. How and where will you provide your product to customers? What placement strategies or sales channels will you use?

Think about things like:

  • where customers are likely to search for your product
  • whether they are more likely to look in physical stores or online
  • where your competitors sell their products and how you can differentiate yours
  • whether you have (or can establish) access to the right distribution channels

During the pandemic, many companies that once operated solely in person switched to operating online (or added an online presence) to cope with potential mandated business closures and cautious shoppers.

But Grenier isn’t convinced the era of brick-and-mortar stores is over. In fact, he suggests that rather than disappearing, these physical spaces are likely to be reinvented to improve the customer experience. For some businesses, the result may be a hybrid model that makes the most of both the online and in-person customer journeys.

If you’re looking to revamp your appeal, consider improving your physical space to attract and impress customers.

4. Promotion

Promotion is about the tactics you use to reach potential customers and distinguish your product from others.

It can take the form of traditional advertising (such as TV and radio commercials, billboards, and bench or newspaper ads), in-person sales, public relations and events, social media and email marketing, product markdowns (think “buy one, get one free” sales) and more.

The promotional tactics that are best for your business will depend on the other components of your marketing plan (such as product, price, place, target market), and may be constrained by your marketing budget. Use the insights from your plan to ensure your promotional activities align with your business goals and customers’ interests. Some tried-and-true options include:

  • blogs, how-to articles, videos, newsletters and other online materials
  • signs and banners on your buildings and vehicles
  • news releases to attract media coverage
  • employee ambassadors
  • sponsorships

Grenier believes a highly effective form of publicity today is the use of influencers—personalities with large social media followings. Businesses are increasingly using this approach because younger generations rely on social media platforms—such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube—for product advice from people they trust.

Businesses like this method because it’s:

  • cost-effective—many influencers are paid based on results
  • less risky—businesses can use multiple influencers instead of having just one “face” for their brand
  • authentic—by offering honest reviews, so influencers build trust with their followers

Grenier notes that influence-led advertising is not like conventional advertising. “It must feel authentic, or it will hurt your credibility,” he says.

An important caveat concerning promotion: make sure you don’t heavily promote a product that’s tied up in the supply chain; wait until it’s available.