Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses.
Marketing can be broken up into seven key stages known as the ‘Marketing Mix’:
Product (or Service)
Product refers to an item or practice the business plans to offer to customers. The product should seek to fulfill an absence in the market, or fulfill consumer demand for a greater amount of a product/service already available. This is where ‘finding your niche‘ is valuable, as this will inform many other aspects of how and where you are marketing, and to whom.
In a creative context, this could be your photos, music, tickets or merchandise.
Price refers to how much the company will sell the product for. When establishing a price, companies must consider the unit cost price, marketing costs, and distribution expenses.
When assigning price to creative products and services, consider the time and effort put into your work, subscription services and transaction fees/charges to ensure you are not working at a loss – more on profit/loss on our Budgeting page.
Place refers to the distribution of the product. Key considerations include whether the company will sell the product through a physical storefront, online, or through both distribution channels.
Ensure your ‘place’ is clearly defined – if you’re an online store, ensure your links to digital storefront are accessible. For example: if you’re only selling tickets online for an event, all promotion should point to ticket sales links and outline no tickets will be sold at the door, or vice versa.
Promotion is the communication of your product/service to your target audience; this can be done in physical mediums and in the digital landscape. Some examples in these areas include:
Physical & Direct Promotion: business cards, posters/flyers (great for noticeboards), letter drops, cold calling, hosting a stall.
Digital Promotion: social media, website, LinkedIn, newsletters and Electronic Direct Mail (EDMs).
The options are endless, and it’s best to research your specific audience habits, behaviours and preferences. Promotion is also a term synonymous with “deals” or “sales” – making a special or valuable offer to entice your audience.
There are other services that creatives can utilise to support their promotion practices, such as enlisting support of a publicist, Public Relations agency or record label/management teams.
Business Queensland defines People in this context as “the individuals who work for your business, including yourself. It’s the people who deal with your customers, either directly or indirectly.” It is important to ensure you are supporting the people in the business first, as the business will struggle to thrive if the people involved in it’s success don’t feel valued and appropriately supported.
When starting in business it is usually on your own, and business responsibilities can feel like top priority. It’s important you put your needs and well-being first to reduce the likelihood of feeling burnt out.
Referring to internal and external systems, process relates to how you get from an enquiry to a delivered, paid product/service. Ensuring your process is clear, centralised and communicated will lead to reduced barriers for staff and for customers. Question to ask yourself to ensure your business process is clear could include:
External Process: how to people enquire about your serivce or find your products? Is this communicated clearly? Do you have a dispute management system/process?
Internal Process: who is responsible for reviewing/fulfilling product or service requests? Are people’s responsibilities clearly defined? What will you do in the event of a dispute?
Having an unclear and fragmented process can be a barrier to your goals, such as generating income, finding new customers/clients, or retaining customers/clients (known as ‘repeat customers’)
Physical evidence encompasses physical and digital environments, and represents the proof of the businesses existence that potential customers can find – this could be a storefront, website, marketing collateral (eg: business cards), etc. It gives credibility to the business and establishes/builds trust within customers or clients to engage with you. Having the physical evidence is only one important element – having consistent branding (eg: colours, logos, information) is key to customers knowing all the physical evidence is associated with one brand/business.
Other marketing stages can be integrated into your planning.
- Find out who and where your customers are – define your ‘target audience’
- Audience engagement & soft promotion strategies
- Social media marketing strategies – organic vs sponsored
- Focus on creating compelling non-musical or product content
- Send your music or product to blogs, YouTubers, reviews, playlists and press outlets
- Create and monetise your own artist website