Price, the Only consideration?

I remember when I was studying for my marketing examination, many years ago, I learnt that there are 4-Ps in marketing ie Product, Price, Promotion and Place (location/placement) otherwise also known as the "Marketing mix". I would add an additional, P for "People".

This "4+1 Ps" is relevant whether it is for a corporate marketing programme or for "in-store" retailing. I was quite astounded from a meeting which I attended when an individual vehemently believed that price was the only major consideration in a retail outlet! How myopic this view can be.

Focussing on the retail outlet, it is important that merchandising of the product in the retail store is important. Merchandising involves the location and height of display of the product, the width and depth of the display, the product hygiene etc. The next consideration is the quality service level delivered by the Manger or the professional or floor personnel which include product knowledge, counselling and advisory skill. The ambience of the environment of the store must be pleasant, personnel well attired and friendly. Product shelves must be orderly arranged with good flow for shopping convenience ...

Today's consumers are well educated and sophisticated. They too shop around for the best deal in town, for "cheap and good deals". In the same breath, undeniably, the same consumers are also willing to buy if they perceive good value for the product, though the price of the product is higher than the shop next door, if they experience good connectivity between the retailer and themselves. The comfortable, clean, practical retail layout and displays coupled with friendly ambience would definitely helped to lower resistance in the "buy-sell transaction".

Thus the "1 extra P" in addition to the classical 4Ps is important as it is this P (ie people) that will understand the simplicity of retailing by using and combining the other 4Ps in the retail outlet. People drives business. People creates and innovates. People must learn to understand branding and differentiation. People connects with people. People delivers quality service. People will decide and  buy on perception and perceived value of the products in a total wholesome shopping experience.

In summary, price is not the only major factor that determines success or failure. It is the "4+1Ps". There is a need to "harmonise and prioritise "the 4+1Ps" in any sales and promotional programmes otherwise "low pricing" always take centre stage and the other "Ps" lose focus and become irrelevant which would be disaster unless "low pricing" is the key objective of the sales and  promotional campaigns or businesses.

Wake up, start focussing and move forward!

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