Having the products in the right place, at the time, for the right price is key to a successful business. Product, placement, price, and promotion make up the 4 Ps to any marketing place. When they are integrated successfully, they work in alignment towards the same goals, sharing the same message.
The role of marketing is to own all aspects of customer acquisition, such as driving brand awareness, customer loyalty and retention, and increasing traffic (and engagement) to online platforms. On the other hand, merchandising handles the product strategy, such as category and brand-level planning, managing seasonal pricing and promotions, and cross-channel inventories.
For businesses to make informed and aligned strategic decisions and integrate workflows effectively, marketing, and merchandising need to be in sync. An under performing business is often the result of poor communication between marketing and merchandising which leads to misaligned product and advertisement strategies. However, when effectively integrated, businesses can drive higher revenues and margins, improve conversions and drive-up customer loyalty.
An Assortment of Products
The perfect product mix boils down to meeting customer demands. Therefore, it’s important to understand the needs of your audience. Get this right, and you’ll be well on your way to maximising market shares and profits. It’s key to keep assessing your product assortment so you can find gaps across your product categories and fulfil unmet demands. For example, embroidered patches may be a gap to fill for those who want to sell business merch.
You can use competitive intelligence to identify these gaps across product categories which will help you stay on top of trending categories to better predict demand. You can combine this knowledge with your own history of data to generate a powerful merchandise forecast. All this work means you can drive effective marketing by focusing on the right products.
The Sweet Spot of Pricing
To achieve paying customers, you need to ensure that your pricing is on point, while providing value and upholding your brand’s ethos. Acquiring the optimal price point will create compelling value against your competition.
Again, competitive analysis is important here as it allows you to identify trends early. You can even use pricing intelligence to identify competitive pricing trends. Taking time to collect, analyse and act on pricing data allows you to identify gaps and find the sweet spots for product pricing.
Attractive Discounts and Promotions
It is crucial to ensure that both marketing and merchandising are in sync when it comes to product discounts and promotions. You need to choose optimal times for particular markdowns or promotions that won’t kill profits.
When done correctly, successful promotions will lead to happier customers and increase the likelihood of them returning. However, there is also potential to increase the brand awareness and increase customer traffic.
Again, it’s helpful to look at the market and analyse where competitors are focusing their discounts and markdowns as this can help inform your promotional strategy. Look at what has worked in the past to see where you maximise return on investment.
To conclude, a successful business integrates the strategies across product, placement, price and promotion, and they do it well.