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Why advisers should obey the ‘five Ps’ of marketing

Success comes from communicating the right message, to the right people, at the right time.

Glassagh Consulting founder John Joe McGinley Owners of small and medium-sized businesses are required to wear many hats, one of which is the responsibility for marketing.

This can scare people. There is a widespread belief that marketing is a dark art of spin and promotion when, in fact, it is a skill every successful business owner has in their DNA. Many undertake marketing every day without even noticing.

Business owners must harness this unconscious competency and ensure it is understood and embedded by everyone involved in manufacturing, promoting and administrating the service provided.

So, what is marketing? It is about communicating the right message, to the right people, at the right time. The secret is understanding how to achieve it as part of a profitable and repeatable process.

Effective marketing can be an extremely powerful tool for all businesses, regardless of their size. There are not many in the UK advisory market aware of the five Ps of marketing but if any business is to be successful in its marketing strategy, then the best place to start is to fully understand their power.

1. Product

This is what you sell – be it widgets, solutions, ideas, service or advice. For many, your main product will be yourself. It is important to be clear what your product is, to believe in it and to sell this as creatively and passionately as you can.

Always remember that the design of the product or service you offer should be guided by an analysis and understanding of what your clients want, need and are willing to pay for. This is done through research.

2. Price

Price should be whatever it costs you to produce your identified product or service, with profit and risk built in. Too many businesses ignore profit and risk, which leads to long-term problems.

Be clear about your worth and make this part of your marketing and sales pitch. That said, remember there is nothing wrong with offering short-term discounts to attract clients who will be profitable in the future.

3. Place

This is where you present your product or service to clients: be it face to face, over the web, using social media or the telephone. Use whatever placement chosen to maximum efficiency.

Few companies use a single place for transacting business. Most have an array of marketing channels through which they meet clients. The more numerous and effective these channels are, the greater the opportunities to make sales.

Always consider whether your product or service can be communicated and sold more profitably using a different medium.

4. Promotion

Promotion describes all the possible communication activities used to ensure your clients and potential clients are aware of your proposition.

Essentially, it is the method and messages you use. The goal of any promotional activity is to stimulate clients to buy and retain the product or service.

Promotions should be the face of your marketing effort and must provide an appealing message about you and your business.

5. People

This point is about the right clients for your proposition, products and services. Doing well here is best achieved by a segmentation exercise supported by a robust and up-to-date client database.

The best way to understand the five Ps is to start using them every day. Consider these questions, too. What could you do to make your:

  • Proposition more accessible to clients?
  • Prices more attractive for clients?
  • Promotions more impactful and persuasive?
  • Message reach more people?

As marketing expert Bryan Eisenberg says: “Our jobs as marketers are to understand how the customer wants to buy and help them do so.”

If we can do this, then success awaits. And remember, marketing is fun.

John Joe McGinley is founder of Glassagh Consulting



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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Great article and definitely something that firms/advisers should be aware of when promoting their business. I would however, also caveat that with ensuring that they fully understand and adhere to the FCA Financial Promotions rules too, ensuring that their content is clear, fair and not misleading and that they fulfil the ongoing auditing requirements which are also par for the course in this industry.

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