Marketing is broken into these seven component parts - known as the 7Ps - that combine to help an organisation achieve its marketing needs and those of its target audience:
What are you offering, what features does it have and what benefits does it deliver to the audience? In the case of support organisations and many charities, your 'product' is effectively a service – but the same rules apply. What value does it actually bring?
What does it cost the audience? You can quantify this in terms of money, but for the third sector – especially for 2nd tier organisations - it could just as well be time or resources.
Where can people ‘buy’ what you offer? Where is it delivered and by what method (otherwise known as channel)? How can you get it to your audience as efficiently as possible? Where would they expect to find it? In the case of the third sector, this could range from face-to-face, to the internet, to the old-fashioned postal system.
How will you make people aware of your offering? This is where advertising, public relations, the internet, direct mail, and all the other routes to market come into play.
They are your greatest asset, as the cliché goes. Many frontline organisations may have only one member of staff and a couple of volunteers, but those people are very important. Training and marketing qualifications are a fantastic way of improving marketing performance without spending much money. Also, remember that people are your 'brand' as much as any web site or advertisement. How they look, talk, dress and behave is an integral part what you offer.
How easy are you to do business with? How efficiently does your marketing operation work? How well is the marketing linked to other parts of your operation like billing or operations? What processes would help you find, service and retain customers better? What processes can help you better measure marketing performance?
What tangible reminder or marker can you give to your customers to remind them of the service you’ve provided? How does it manifest itself physically? For example, when Amnesty re-branded recently, it decided to view itself as a product. For second tier organisations, a physical reminder could be something as simple as a branded calendar with useful dates and information.
Do it yourself?
Even if you’ve never done any marketing in your life, the person best qualified to answer many of the questions about the 7Ps in your organisation is… you. It’s a case of finding the time to look at the elements of your organisation, talk to the relevant people involved, and feed this information into your marketing plans. When you scratch beneath the surface you may surprise yourself with some of the answers you find.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing offers an excellent factfile explaining the 7Ps in more detail.