Marketing consists of four key elements. First, you must have a product to sell. Second, you must sell it at a price that people are willing to pay. Third, you must have a place to sell it, which could be a virtual or physical space. And finally, fourth, you must promote it.

Once you’ve found a product that people want, need, or desire, sell it at a price that they think if fair for the value they receive, and have a “shop” to sell it from, then most of your time, energy, and money will go toward promotions.

Choosing the best way to promote your product is your strategy. Strategies are broken up into doable tasks. If your strategy is to use promotional giveaways, then a task might be to pick out a promotional item, say a clothing item like a bella canvas 3001c unisex t-shirt. You would then print these with a marketing message and distribute them at a trade fair to people who visit your booth.

When it comes to your strategy, you can think in terms of three broad categories: online marketing, offline marketing, and integrated marketing. Deciding on the best strategy will depend on a wide number of factors like the product, the cost of running the business, the demographics and psychographics of your target audience, and so on.

3 ways to promote your product

Let’s take a closer look at how to go about promoting a product

To make it less abstract, let’s imagine that you’ve written a book on dog-training based on your extensive experience as a dog trainer and want to self-publish and distribute it yourself.

Here, then, are 3 ways you could market your product:

  1. Online marketing

This can consist of just three basic structures: a website, a blog, and a social media account.

Your website could be a mini-site. Your About Us page would describe your extensive experience as a dog trainer. Your sales page would detail your unique dog training techniques. Your unique selling proposition would be that your methods create faster, easier, and superior results than delivered by most common dog-training techniques. Your sales page will also have plenty of testimonials from people who have benefited immensely from your “dog whisperer” techniques, with some reporting how their obstreperous dogs are now well-behaved and no longer bark all night. You will also have a payment system for people to download your pdf file.

Your blog will have a variety of posts on dog training. You won’t be giving away all your secrets but just sharing enough information for people to recognize that you are an authority in this niche. Since a blog has fresh content, it will improve your search engine optimization (SEO), making it easier for people to find your blog via organic search.

Your social media account will help you promote your blog posts because you’ll share your blog links. It will also help you engage people who are interested in dog training, and you might even have your own dedicated group. Finally, your social media platform may also offer you a way to advertise your website, linking people directly to it.

  1. Offline marketing

You would either need a kiosk or store to sell your printed books, or you might partner with an independent bookstore who let you sell your book at their store.

You would promote your book through print advertising, magazine articles, public speaking engagements, and workshops. In fact, if your book is exceptional, you might even be invited by radio and television hosts to talk about it.

  1. Integrated marketing

You would combine the best of both worlds.

Your book might be available from your website as a pdf download but you could also dropship a physical copy for those who like hardcover books.

Your marketing, too, could be a combination of online and offline tactics. For instance, you could try content marketing online via blog posts and offline via magazine articles.

Putting it together

Many marketers bypass thinking deeply about the marketing mix of product, price, place, and promotion. Instead, they primarily focus on promotions.

Since they haven’t build a solid foundation with product, price, and place their marketing doesn’t go far. They discover that their product is not as popular as they had hoped, that they overcharge or undercharge, that they have chosen a venue that isn’t convenient for people to visit, and that their promotion is somewhat arbitrary.

Here is what the most successful companies who understand the power of the four key marketing elements do:

  • They do extensive research to find an unmet market need and then make a product to satisfy that need.
  • They test out various price points until they find a price that appears fair and reasonable to their target audience.
  • They choose a place that suits their customers. Usually, but not always, intangible products, like information products, sell better online while tangible products, like clothes, sell better offline. The place is also cost-effective.
  • They promote their product in the most efficient way possible so that they get a high return on investment.

In conclusion, when you’re thinking of marketing anything, first consider the four key elements in-depth and only then focus on exactly how you’ll get the word out.