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Marketing strategies are a "mixture" of decisions about products, prices, location, advertising, people, processes, and physical evidence. The best storytelling companies ONLY use seven priority story families. The combination of the "Marketing Mix" with the seven narratives gives you a matrix of 49 possibilities. Almost a story for every week of the year.
As you know, all companies, regardless of their size or market, use marketing to sell. However, not everyone knows that marketing is more than just “promotion” or “propaganda”. There are at least six other levers that can be activated. And if you add narrative techniques to it, the effect can be multiplied many times over. In this article, I'll tell you more about these parameters, these stories, and how to relate them.
Sixty years ago, when economics was mainly industrial, Professor E. Jerome McCarthy pioneered marketing research. I wanted to understand the discipline and improve the way it worked. After years of study, he found that the companies with the best marketing made more or less conscious decisions in (only) four relevant areas:
Product: This means that the company makes a voluntary decision about the product that it sells. Imagine being Coca-Cola … Do you sell 2 liter bottles or single cans? Container made of aluminum or glass? … Each modality you offer meets a specific need. Price: That is, how much do you sell each of your products. Or also what discounts will you apply or what offers will you make (2×1?), Or if you accept installments or cash … Distribution (or place in English): that is, where are you going to sell yours? Products? In super exclusive shops (such as Apple) or on every corner (such as Budweiser)? On the internet or in stores? Or both? Advertising: That is, how do you communicate to your customers that your product exists? Via which channels? How often? With what message? With what tone?
In English, these four parameters start with the letter "P". This is why the combination of the tools is called “Marketing Mix” or “4P model”.
From product to service
In the 1970s and 1980s, other scientists began to limit McCarthy's model. For example: If the 4Ps worked for the industrial world, were they still valid in a world where value was generated in the service sector? Or even more: Would it still be valid for electronic business transactions? The answer was no. Or not.
In 1981 the (then) young professors Mary Jo Bitner and Bernard H. Booms announced a new perspective to the American Marketing Association: McCarthy's model had to be expanded by at least 3 more "Ps", which read as follows:
People (or “human factor”) who are crucial in marketing services. For example: when deciding which hairdresser to go to, do you prefer a rude and impolite hairdresser or a kind and attentive person? And when you have to go to a store, do you prefer someone with little or no knowledge of the catalog or someone knowledgeable? Processes, i.e. the way the company organizes its work. If one day you need the services of lawyers or architects, you will surely choose those who give you the best guarantee of punctuality, accuracy, precision, professional rigor, communication and continuous attention. Or do you prefer them to be messy and unpredictable? Physical evidence. This means that, unlike the purchase of a product, services are usually immaterial and cannot always be standardized. If you want to know what you're buying before you pay for it, you want to get a sample (or as realistic a representation as possible) so you can understand what you're buying. If you visit a website or travel agency to do tourism, you will surely want to see photos of the hotel you are staying at so as not to experience any surprises.
“People”, “Processes” and “Physical Evidence” are three terms that also begin with “P”, so that the “Improved Marketing Mix” model has been referred to as “7P” since 1981.
That is still valid
Perhaps in a few years other scientists will pop up to propose new "pes", but for now the marketing mix of the 7Ps continues to work well.
Think of the e-business (or face-to-face) you want and see brands strive to excel (or not) in each of these levers. Organizations like Netflix, M & M & # 39; s or one of the most popular brands in the world last year are distinguished by the fact that they offer products (or services) that adapt to people's needs and wants, at prices that are suitable for the respective goal. that are advertised in many ways (in person, online, viral …) and that are disseminated through all kinds of modalities, be it electronically or physically.
In addition, these organizations maintain a reputation for excellence in all of their processes, try to provide excellent treatment and service to customers (people), and generally manage to provide sufficient physical evidence, either through, to their prospective customers Showrooms. , Demos, workshops or even the recommendation and testimonial of other users.
Seven types of stories
I make a point. A few years ago I made sure that there are seven great types of narratives that all (good) companies consciously or unconsciously use and combine. I have commonly referred to them as "deposits" because they are buried in the foundations of all organizations and sometimes go unnoticed.
I promise I'll describe them better in my next post, but now think of these seven types of stories:
Company or brand Product or service Prominent people within the organization (e.g. the founders) Employees Customers Other stakeholders The case studies
Stories can be told about all of them. In fact, the best companies do it every day. For example, Google.com runs campaigns with its employees. For its part, Nike has always told stories that were led by its customers (and sports stars too). Mercedes Benz takes inspiration from Bertha Benz (19th century) to strengthen its brand, and Vodafone tells real case studies in a way that is interesting and vivid for new customers.
If you look carefully and combine the 7Ps of the marketing mix with the seven types of narratives I just touched on, you can get up to 49 different combinations that can, for example, provide 49 weeks of content on your social networks. I'll show you in the following matrix:
For example, according to the matrix, you could:
Create stories of each type (or column) to help explain why your product is priced high or low (Tables 8-14 of the matrix). Take a look at this video from VOSS Mineralwasser, for example, which explains the properties of the product and justifies a price difference of sometimes 4000% compared to a liter of ordinary water. Promote your product on any platform, as in the case of British Airways (Tables 22-28 of the matrix). Talk about the people who are part of your business and the excellent treatment your employees are giving the customer, as in the case of Balay Appliances (Table 32 of the matrix). Share the quality processes your organization uses to stand out from the crowd (for example, this Chipotle video is masterful and would be found in Table 36 of the Matrix). Provide physical evidence of your offering through testimony from employees, customers, or the description of the product. An example of this is the Niikiis employee management platform, which explains a story that would fit neatly in boxes 44, 46, and 47, for example. Through narration, explain why your product or service is as it is and comes in specific sizes or functions (Boxes 1 through 7). For example the IPhone 12 and this funny story about the chef who mistreated it. Explain why you distribute it in certain places and not in others, for example when Apple explains how to use the Apple Card (boxes 15 to 21).
In summary …
Don't confuse marketing with advertising, as other factors (price, people, product, location, processes, and physical evidence) are also part of your marketing strategy.
Do not confuse storytelling with marketing, because stories tell a lot more besides the advantages and characteristics of the products and services.
Finally organize your knowledge in marketing and systematically combine it with your narrative ideas. You will see how you increase your reach in every way.