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People as a component of the marketing mix

Continuing our discussion around the 12Ps of the marketing mix, this week we will focus on the people element.

Who are the people of the marketing mix?

These are the people with whom an organisation wishes to do business. There are the customers or prospects who have a need that is currently unmet or underserved and which a business uniquely addresses.

While it is fantastic to target "everyone" (and yes, certain products or services are designed for everyone), a company must focus on the customers who are most likely to buy their products or services. This is achieved by researching the geographic (where they live), demographic (who they are), psychographic (what they think), and behavioural (how they behave) aspects of your target audience.

Employees also play a vital role in marketing since they provide the service to customers. Whether they manage a helpdesk, provide customer care, are copywriters, programmers, or marketers, it is crucial to employ, and train, the right people to provide exceptional service to clients. Finding people who sincerely believe in the goods or services that a certain company offers is vital as they will be enticed to perform at their highest possible level. In addition, the company should welcome their employees' candid assessments and criticism of the business and encourage them to contribute their own ideas and interests that will help the company expand and thrive.

Marketing decisions made about people

While a company’s workforce plays a critical role in marketing, central to all decisions is knowing who your target market or customers are.

Indeed, a company needs to think about who stands to gain the most from using their goods or services, i.e. the best person to use your product or service. If you are knowledgeable about your target market, you can develop a marketing strategy or campaign targeted at them.

Questions usually asked when making the decisions are:

  • What is the age range of the intended audience?

  • What is the gender of the intended audience?

  • What is the ethnic background of the intended audience?

  • Where do the intended audience live?

  • What is the average income level of the intended audience?

  • Do they most likely have extra money? Where do they spend it if so?

  • What is the average education level of the intended audience?

  • What does the intended audience value?

  • What are some of the typical problems or challenges the intended audience run into?

  • What advantages or benefits does the company’s products or services provide for the intended audience?

It doesn't matter how well you understand the other elements that make up the marketing mix, if a company’s workforce is rude, or its customer service processes are poor, customers will choose companies that are knowledgeable, helpful, and responsive as they have a choice in who they do business with. If a company does not target the right customers, their efforts will be in vain.

In summary, to get the most out of the time, money, and effort put into marketing, you should focus on your audience, that is the people who are most likely to engage with your products or services and make a purchase from your company. The "people" in this category also includes the company’s workforce, so staff recruitment and training with respect to interactions between employees and customers is very important. The knowledge and quality of customer service that they offer may be leveraged to differentiate the company from its rivals.

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