When you are designing and delivering a product, the ultimate goal is to be able to sell it. How are you going to do that? Much of what is sold is sold through good marketing, especially for consumer-focused goods. However, even when you are selling business-focused goods, marketing is still responsible for educating the consumer (and the sales team) on why they should buy the product.
As you are designing and preparing to deliver the product to market, it is important to understand the principals of marketing. If you keep marketing in mind through the design and delivery process it will make the product much easier to sell. There are many different schools of thought surrounding the principals of marketing. This guide will apply what is commonly referred to as the Four Ps.
What are the Four Ps?
This guide will use the example of a camera as a consumer-focused good.
In marketing the reason for the product is often called the value proposition, which is defined as “an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.”
There is a list of questions you need to ask yourself as you go through the product phase that will help your marketing team develop their plan as they bring the product to market. Why did I build this product? What are the advantages over the competition? What problem does this solve for customers?
For example: This camera was built to offer the amateur photographer an affordable alternative to professional cameras. Some of the key features are:
Defining the value proposition will help you determine the other three Ps as well.
The price is simply that: what are you going to charge for the product? Consider what it costs to build the product and take that into account as you think about the price. Looking at your competition for price is very important as it’s often a huge factor for consumer decision making. For this example, the profit margins for cameras is small at about 10-15%
You will need to consider that you will have to upcharge that amount from your cost to build.
For example, if you want to charge $100 for the camera, the absolute maximum that it can cost you to build the actual camera is $90. It is also important to remember that there are other costs for the product beyond just the cost to produce it such as:
Price is important during the development phase because without an appropriate price point for a product, it will not be successful in the market.
The place is where you are going to sell the product. There are many variations for place and many of them vary based on what you are selling. The example in this guide involves a physical good that is sold to a consumer that the consumer might see in store. That means you will need to take into account warehousing, inventory, and physical shelf space. What does the camera look like on the shelf? How much space will it take up? Is it easy to display?
If you were selling a good to a business consumer, you probably wouldn’t need to display it on a shelf but may need more warehouse space as many might be requested at once. Or if you sell a software product, you would not need any warehouse or shelf space at all.
The promotion of the good is going to differ depending on who your target audience is. The promotion refers to how the product is marketed and brought to market. As you are creating the product, you are going to need to understand how it will be promoted so you can build it into the design. For example, if your product is going to sit on a shelf in a store then you need to think about size more than if you are simply showing on a website, where the size doesn’t matter as much because it’s just a picture and description.
If you are selling a business good, you might focus more on a sales force and contacting the customer directly with a much more custom sales experience. These channels for promotion vary greatly depending on what the product is, but it is important that you understand the options available.
Some of the channels for place might be:
If you are selling a consumer good, like the camera in this example, some of the places you might sell and promote your product is through:
In this example you would focus on the second list, which includes the places of promotion that would target the end user for a consumer good.
The principals of marketing need to be taken into account as you work on your product design and delivery. Getting a product to marketing and sold is going to be much harder and a much longer process if you don’t take these into account. You may even need to go back and do a redesign if the marketing isn’t able to be launched because one of the Ps doesn’t align.
You need to make sure that what you design is sellable. These are four great questions to ask yourself and research as you go through product design:
Understanding these principles will help ensure your product is a success from design to launch. You don’t want to design a product that is challenging to bring to market and sell.