Models of Marketing Condensed: From Funnels to the Five Forces

Marketing and all of its offshoot disciplines are a highly dynamic and fast-moving force in modern economics. How you get a product from the company to a consumer is one of the defining areas of study in the modern world. There are many ways to model the world of marketing, and each one is varied in its approach. Some are very specific, others broad, and even more somewhere in between, so let’s go over some of the most popular ones that can illuminate the path towards business success for a modern company.

Models of Marketing Condensed

The Funnel

One of the best ways to accurately gauge a model in marketing specifically is by asking the question “how is this relevant to getting the product in the minds, and eventually hands, of the consumer?” Some models don’t address this, preferring instead to make the business environment itself succinct and therefore more digestible. But, a model like a funnel is an effective summary of the consumer process.

You start by planting the seeds of a purchase, gradually narrowing the options in a customer’s mind until they end up choosing whatever product you want to sell. That’s the shorthand, for sure, but if you want more sales funnel information it is readily available all over the internet. It is a highly effective model for the inner mind of a consumer, but also a point of reference for how marketers should strategize.

The 7P’s of Marketing

For those who are taking their first classes in this field, the 7P’s are likely to be front and center in the young minds of everyone during their first test. This is a highly productive and popular method of gauging how to meet specific marketing goals. They are highly nonspecific, essentially being a list of aspects that you should consider when devising strategies. The 7P’s are, in order: product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence.

These aspects of business are all universally understood to be important. Taking one out of the middle, people is all about who you pick to promote a particular product. Chances are if the product is meant to appeal to a certain group, a person of that group may be best suited to promote it to a wider audience. Taking another, though, and the shift of what to focus on changes, from people to maybe where your store is located, the price, etc. The 7P’s may be ubiquitous, but that doesn’t make them particularly specific.

The STP Model

The STP model is far more specific, going over how to select a certain demographic and advertise to them specifically. The letters stand for Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning, and all have fantastic applicability to modern-day marketing optimization. Segmentation has never been easier since machine learning algorithms can segment populations faster than any human has ever been able to before. These algorithms sometimes mess up, but this is a highly low-level activity and may not even be worth a human completing.

Targeting means more specific action towards a single group. While segmentation created the groups, now we pick which one we lean towards. Finally, and importantly, we figure out the best ways to position whatever product in the minds of that specific group. If you want to read more on the STP model, click this link for a great summary and in-depth analysis of the model.

Porter’s Five Forces

Though it may be tempting to focus entirely on the consumer at all times since, in essence, that is the purpose of a marketer’s career, it might be more worth it to analyze the industry. If you don’t know where you and your company stand in relation to the competition, it may be impossible to strategize against them. This is where these fundamental five forces come in, detailing all the different ways industry-leading companies interact and compete.

Porter’s five forces are also a ubiquitous source of strategy. Each individual aspect in this set of five is equally important and worth considering for your place in the space. Though they are broad, and easily summarized in a sentence, the nuances of each force are detailed and complex. So, instead of attempting to do it justice here, check to find a far better (and far longer) article concerning this common marketing model.

Ansoff Matrices

The Ansoff Matrix is a common method of laying out complex ideas in a simple and readable fashion. Much like a genetics grid, there are two axes in a 2x2 grid. The y-axis represents different markets, and the x-axis represents products. Going in one direction or the other means an increase or decrease in existence prior to release.

For instance, new or old products can exist in new or old markets. Markets change, and new markets arise (looking at you, internet), but also new products for those specific segments are developed all the time. If you move closer to the “new” on either axis you create more risk but more opportunity. This is an easily digestible measure of risk, and this 2 axis system is easily one of the best means of laying out complex, but interconnected, ideas.

Conclusions for the Professional

Which one of these models is best? Well, it depends entirely on your situation as well as the goal of the model. If you are looking for the best way to convey a complex idea, you could theoretically use any of these, though some may require some serious reconsidering to make them more visual and thus more useful. Most people to who you would be displaying this kind of model to will find them simply better for actual use if you can place them on a PowerPoint, and though this may not be doing some models justice, it is, unfortunately, truth regardless.

Since marketers don’t exist in a void, we must take care to make our models simple. Models are only as good as the markets that use them. Since their inception, marketers have honed their skills, but at their core, they are doing the same exact things as they did 20 years ago, and using models is a great way to prove that.

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