Successful marketing depends upon addressing a number of key issues. These include what a company is going to produce, how much it’s going to charge, how it is going to deliver its product or services to the customer and how it’s going to tell its customers about its products or services. These are known as the 7 Ps of marketing, which is also referred to as the marketing mix.
These are known as the 7 Ps of marketing, which is also referred to as the marketing mix.
A perfect product (service) must provide value for the customer. Give them what they want not what you think they want. Ask yourself if you’ve got a system in place to regularly check what customers think of your product. What’s your Unique Selling Point (USP)? Beware of going too far. Don’t try to sell a Rolls Royce when all they want is a Micra. Quality may be too expensive for the amount you are charging. Parents may also want just 1 session on a Monday. Can you afford to block a fulltime place?
Where your setting is. Is it a purpose built nursery / Church or village hall? it must be appropriate and convenient for your customers. Is it in a one-mile radius! / near a school or on a route to work?
The price needs to be competitive but this doesn’t mean the cheapest. You need to know how many children you need to break even. Existing customers are less sensitive about price than new customers. Price positions you in the market place. The more you charge the more value or quality customers will expect. If you charge a higher price, customers will assume a higher quality service and anything that can be seen by the customer must be consistent with these higher expectations including promotional materials/prospectus/ layout of setting/equipment/ meals, etc.
Is the way you communicate what you do and what you offer Promotion must
Tell a consistent message
Give the customer a reason to choose you
Promotion should communicate the benefits, not just the features Whatever type of promotion method used it should grab the attention of your customers, be easy to read and ensure the customer buys your service. Promotion is deciding what channels you will use, how you will generate positive PR and what discounts or special offers to implement Promotion is not just for customers. You need to communicate with your staff the values and attributes of your provision so they can be knowledgeable and share expertise with customers.
Anyone that comes into contact with your customers will make an impression good or bad! Ensure that all staff who come into contact with your customers are trained and are the right people for the job. The level of support after a child is in your setting can give you a competitive advantage over your competitors. Look regularly at the customers who are using the most places. Are you ensuring they are happy with the service? Could you enhance your support at little or no cost?
The process of giving service and the behavior of staff are crucial to customer satisfaction. Issues such as waiting times, the information is given to customers and the helpfulness of staff are vital to keeping customers happy. How do you keep parents informed, how often and in what format? You could have the best setting in the country but if potential customers are trying to reach your company by phone and no one answers or they get an answer phone message you could lose that vital source of income.
For a parent, choosing a nursery/playgroup is a risky business. So a setting has to reduce that perceived risk. The uncertainty can be reduced by helping potential customers ‘SEE’ what they are buying. Case studies and testimonials provide evidence. Facilities such as a clean, tidy well-decorated reception area can also reassure. The physical evidence must confirm the assumption of the customer. A setting should be welcoming, happy, safe and secure.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest
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