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Communications Toolkit--Telling Your Weed & Seed Story Office of Justice Programs Seal Community Capacity Development Office Office of Justice Programs
Design a Marketing Strategy
Think Like a Marketer—Use the 4 Ps

Principle 4. Use the four Ps of marketing: product, price, placement, and promotion.

When designing a marketing strategy, marketers often refer to four simple words to help keep efforts on target and guide decisions about using tactics such as television spots or news events.

A product is what you are offering to the target audience. In social marketing, products can include a cleaner neighborhood, a sense of security, more after-school activities, or an improved local economy. Make sure you know the product you are selling and connect your promotion strategy to the real attributes of that product.

The price is what the audience must give up or overcome to receive the product's benefits. The most basic price is monetary, but others can include time, habits, and social standing. You should attempt to lower the price that your audience faces in return for adopting the action.

Placement refers to the channels and locations for distributing your product, related information, and support services. Where will your neighbors find out about the next meeting? When is the best time to tell them about an effort to convince the city council to put in a new playground? To determine placement, you will need to identify places that offer maximum reach and greatest audience receptivity.

Promotion includes the efforts you take to persuade the target audience to try or adopt the product being offered. The promotional strategy includes not only the content of messages but also their tone and appeal, their timing, and the credible channels and spokespersons to deliver them.

Social Marketing
Five principles of social marketing:
  1. Know your audience.
  2. Remember the bottom line.
  3. Make it easy to act.
  4. Use the 4 Ps: product, price, placement, and promotion.
  5. Base decisions on evidence.

To begin using these principles in the real world, break down the behavior you want to change to understand what is behind it. Only then can you think about how you might change it.