Helping Philippine SMEs Redefine Marketing For The Digital Age
A top Filipino marketing expert shares how to rethink the traditional 4Ps of marketing to fit the digital age.
In a recent episode of the FedEx-hosted Biz Breakfast, a series of virtual learning sessions on business insights, we spoke to Faith Abano, President of the Philippine Marketing Association and General Manager of Celestial Media Services. FedEx Biz Breakfast is designed to help educate and train owners and decision-makers in small and medium enterprises across the Philippines and throughout the region.
As one of the country’s top marketing specialists, Abano addressed how to redefine the basic 4Ps of marketing to fit the fast-paced digital world of today. She outlined an updated marketing framework that is adaptive to change - SAVE - which stands for solution, access, value, and education.
Product, the first P in the 4Ps of marketing, was originally defined among marketing and media professionals as the significance of product features and advantages in comparison with competitors. It’s given a fresh overhaul in Albano’s talk.
“In truth, when we purchase a product, we do it not because we need it but because it solves a problem. Take for example a car. We don’t just buy a car, we buy something more - mobility and convenience for our family.” She believes it’s time to take the idea of product a notch higher and shed light on offering solutions to customers instead. In this modern age, products should become solutions for what matters to people most.
Access takes over Place
Customer reach is no longer determined by foot traffic. Instead of thinking about a place where customers can go, think about how customers can access you. The continuous rise of e-commerce platforms, social media-based shops, and business websites widens the accessibility of various products and services.
Access is not merely about sales alone; it covers multiple facets of a customer’s journey from pre-sales to after-sales customer service. Access also means opening communications channels where you can be reached. Ask for customer feedback, a review or recommendation. To flourish in the digital age, the only way to build a strong relationship with customers is to ensure accessibility across all your platforms whether online or offline.
According to Abano, looking at price alone only offers a one-sided perspective. What truly matters today is what your product can offer to make the life of your customers better - this is where value comes in. Abano explained: “Pricing is subjective. Your offer has to lie in your product’s value. Ask how your product or service enriches your customer’s life. Get into a value war. Pricing is often the reflection of the brand's perception of value.”
Education is greater than Promotion
Today, consistent interaction with your customers and letting them know how you can solve their problem is the most important way of getting their attention. Abano adds, “Instead of talking about a one-way promotion of the product, educate your consumers about your offering. Education implies a long-term relationship where you give information, answer questions, receive feedback and listen to needs.”
Business owners must continuously embody the principles carried out by their brand. Be an ambassador of your own brand. Abano shared: “There’s so much that you can do right now. You’re just not building your business brand and product, but an extension of your personal branding too.”
Companies must innovate their marketing efforts and initiatives and adapt to the changing business landscape. Being able to reimagine the basics of marketing and ensuring that it serves customers illustrates how businesses and organizations can stay relevant and increase their competitiveness.
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