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Ben Garside: Mind your Ps in order to help attract those queues

Time 10:30 am, August 31, 2017

GOOD products sell themselves, don’t they? What a statement that is!

As a marketer who has worked in many different markets and professions, I know the above statement is far from the truth.

I regularly look at First Response from an outside-in approach to see how we are doing and what we need to work on.

I look primarily at the marketing mix, which is an extremely useful marketing tool. Formulated in 1960 by marketing professor E Jerome McCarthy, it blends various factors so that a brand can be solidified and strengthened in order to assist with selling its service or product.

These elements are otherwise known as the 4 Ps: Product, Price, Promotion and Place. (Incidentally, there’s also the extended marketing mix, which is known as the 7 Ps, adding People, Process and Physical Evidence – these extras are for service companies.)

Within each one of these areas there’s a lot to talk about.

Let’s start with ‘Product’. Whether you’re selling budget used vehicles or top-of-the-range luxury used vehicles, it’s vital that you have a clear focus on what exactly your product range is before you can successfully market it.

Obviously, most of you will have done this when starting up your dealership, but have you relooked at it and are you sticking to it? And if so, is the work you’re doing sticking to your original plans?


If we take a look at ‘Price’, this should all be falling in line with your product range.

For instance, if you are a high-end luxury vehicle sales company but are selling based on ‘Best Price’ then how will you do this?

Pricing will affect your profit margins, supply and marketing strategy. This is all about positioning based on price, so don’t forget your competitors when you figure out your pricing strategy.

Now it’s on to Promotion. This is the one key area for me, and is where your sales team and your marketing output need to come together and be consistent.

By this, I mean that you can’t have a brand experience that is luxurious and affluent and a sales experience that 
is quick and full of cheap offers, or vice versa – it would make no sense.

Some areas to think about, for instance, are branding, customer experience, sales process, aftersales, competitors, demographics, seasonality, reviews, service levels and additional services, etc.

This list can go on and on, but based on your Product and Price you’ll know which ones to focus on when entering Promotion (promoting and selling).

The final P stands for ‘Place’ or ‘placement’. This has to do with how the product will be provided to the customer. For example, where do your buyers find your product? Do they find it on your website, via other digital areas, or by visiting your pitch?

This is a really important part of the jigsaw puzzle, as this is where everything comes together. Your pitch and website need to look and sound just like your adverts – it all needs to interlink and encompass all of your branding.

A product won’t sell itself. To really sell the product, you need to put the right product in the right place at the right price and at the right time.

Who is Ben Garside? Ben is marketing manager for First Response. Call him on 07817 518739 or email [email protected]

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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