How To Compete With Black Friday

Dear M & M: How do I compete with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the big box store color ads and promotions? – Tom

Dear Tom:

It’s called the marketing mix. I like to think of it more like how to stand out from the crowd using the marketing mix. The marketing mix is more commonly called the 4 P’s (Product, Pricing, Promotion and Place). I like to add 2 more (Processes and People). Digging deeper this is seen by the consumer as your corporate culture. Every business has a perceived notion in the consumers mind on how you conduct business.

This isn’t a gimmick that you slip in for a promotional event or a short one or two day marketing scheme. Marketing is simple putting the right product in the right place in front of buyers ready, willing and able to buy.  Easy to say hard to do. I believe it starts with selling people something they really want. Of course the price has to be right.

There are more than 50 pricing strategies all dependent on your costs, competition, margins you need to make a profit and scarcity.  As you can see this isn’t a shoot from the hip solution. Take some time, start planning what you are going to do going forward to keep the customer coming back all year long. Take a serious look at what you are selling.

Who is your competition, what are the substitutes? Remember this is called the marketing mix not the solo ingredient or silver bullet to success. How about place? Can people find you, how is the parking, is it clean, do all the lights turn on, what does the sign look like? Once again what does your competitors place look like? Is it conveniently located or hard to find? Let’s take a good look at people.

Is the staff friendly, are they dressed appropriately, do they greet customers, are they wearing a name tag, can the shopper tell the employees apart from the other customers? Spending some time on promotion one should cover two key concepts, (return on investment, reaching your consumers in channels they are listening to). Remember this is a marketing mix not a one trick show.

-M&M

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