I discussed in a previous article my view on the Marketing Mix known also as the 4Ps. In this article I will focus on the first P, known also as the Product. By introducing the 4Cs, the Product became known as the Commodity. From my perspective, any idea is a product. It is essential to know what you are offering.
Even if you just want to share a thought, you are sharing it because you want others to know about it. My understanding applies to all products, including a simple rant, a blog, or a comment. If your aim was to interest others in what you are offering, then you should know what you are talking about. After all, if you have no interest at all in what others will do when they are exposed to your product, why are you sharing it to start with?
Many new products are one form or another of already existing products. Using a plane, a car, a bike, a horse, or a donkey is about transportation. Searching the web, looking up a word in a dictionary or asking someone who knows about your subject of interest is about knowledge. Some products are more accessible while others are simpler to use. What does it take to let others believe in your product?
When you know your product you have a better chance to convince others. Even the weirdest ideas will have their supporters. Look at the various cults that had followers in one country or another. The cult leader had knowledge of the subject they are talking about. Their followers become fully committed. Some of these cults are so foolish that no one in their right state of mind would believe in, yet we all know they exist.
Let us take another example. I sell mobile services. The major service in the markets I operate within is voice calls. My company is not the first to offer these services, and I doubt it will be the last. By simply advertising that we have voice services, it is rather a guarantee of failure, as we are not the only ones to offer such a product. I need to present my product with a twist. It may be price related, gender oriented, time targeted, or any other means to attract potential subscribers.
If I didn’t know my product, I wouldn’t be able to offer any of those variations. I usually look into the flexibility of the charging software I have, and by knowing what I can offer I start tailoring the proposed products. I usually end up with several twists for one and the same product.
Knowing your product is not only about knowing its strength, as learning about its weaknesses will also help you using some more advanced Marketing tools. Although I am discussing the product in general, I aim at discussing successful marketing without relying on deception. Promoting a product using various means can lead into its success even if the product is not as it is portrayed by its promoter.
Just look for example at the amount of herbal products claiming to help you lose weight. They all mostly do what they promise, but the majority claim also to be safe, which they are not. Some illegal drugs are portrayed as stress relievers, aphrodisiacs and many other “instant” solutions. Their promoters never discuss their danger on human lives. These among other products find people who are ready to consume them still, even with all the warnings coming from Government agencies, various organizations, and individuals (I still smoke cigarettes with all the warnings found on the pack itself).
I will never promote or condone promoting what is known to be unethical, I am simply stating that even though your product may be something that is not accepted by ethics, laws, and regulations or refused by the society in general, you may still find people who will be interested in it. To develop your marketing strategy you will definitely have to go beyond your product itself. Knowing it is the first right step to do. By knowing your product, you are able to define it, and by defining it you are ready to share it with your targeted audience.