Marketing 101: the 4 “p’s” 

If you learn nothing more today, learn the four “P”s and you’ll be well on your way to a marketing BA.  

  • Price – what are you going to charge for your product? 
  • Product – what product are you going bring to market? 
  • Promotion – how are you going to promote that product? 
  • Place – how are you going to deliver that product? 

There are strategies and methods around all of them, but today I want to focus on a couple short cases of doing the 4th “p” wrong. 

Case 1: the independent motorcycle shop 

Two points about me to make this case:  

  • I’m an avid motorcyclist who frequently finds himself in small towns in rural areas.  
  • I like to spend money with local businesses in these small towns.  

Now, the case, or frankly, cases. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed something from a motorcycle shop when I’ve been on the road, pulled up to my local independent shop, and found it closed on the weekend. More egregious is when the sign in the window indicates they’ve closed because they’ve gone riding or racing. Knowing your clientele is engaging in the same activity you are, why have you missed such a big window to sell and build relationships with them?  

Case 2: a small southwest Georgia town 

As mentioned in the prior case, I have an affinity for small towns in out-of-the-way areas, and recently spent the weekend in a beautiful Victorian hotel in rural southwest Georgia.  

After Sunday breakfast in said hotel, we went out to see the sights. We returned to the small town around lunchtime and started looking for somewhere to eat. If it wasn’t fast food, it was closed, including both hotel restaurants. We ended up buying food at the local grocery and eating on the terrace at the hotel. For dinner, we discovered there was one restaurant open down the street. They were packed.  

Conclusion: you need to be open when your customers are around 

In both of these cases there was significant lost opportunity. Motorcyclists in the US tend to be out riding on weekends because that’s when we’re off work. If you own a motorcycle shop, it behooves you to be open when motorcyclists are out riding. You can go ride on your days off. If you’re a racer, then hire some non-racers to run the store on the weekends.  

Yes, rural Georgia, we know you’re largely “church on Sunday” kind of folks. But if you’re dependent on foot traffic and tourism for your business, then find some people who aren’t church-goers to open your business on Sunday, or open after church. And to the hotelier who closed both restaurants in his hotel on Sunday, that’s inexcusable. You have a captive audience. Deliver your products to your customers where (and when) they’re around.  

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