A Solid Business Footing: The 7Ps – That’s Right, Seven! (Part II of IX)

From last week…

“Let’s be serious, Zoot,” Marka said. “We have to pinpoint what products and services FEI offers to the marketplace. Our future market research, promotional and branding activities depend on this.”

Now, on to part two of this nine-part series. Remember, fire = print.

“But we are selling fire,” Numo said seriously, lowering his bifocals and aiming his coal black eyes directly at Marka. “Right?”

“Yes, we’re selling fire,” Marka responded. “But that doesn’t mean much to marketers like yours truly. Fire is a broad category—it’s not segmented. We don’t own any product categories by saying we sell fire.

“We sell fire lighting services,” Zoot offered, raising his thick eyebrows.

“Be more specific,” Marka prodded.

“Our runners carry torches and light new hearth fires,” Zoot said.

“What else?”

“We relight extinguished hearths,” Numo said.

“Excellent!” Marka said.

“These are both basic functions of fire, yet they’re different services with different target markets!” Org blurted.

Marka smiled. Org’s excitement was all the approval she needed.

“How about selling new ways to light fire? Flints are outdated.” Lucy suggested. Lucy, a recent grad from Olympus U summa cum laude, had only been with FEI two months, but Zoot and Marka had already noticed her innovative ideas and advanced her from sales runner to product development manager.

“Yes!” Marka agreed. “Lucy is working on self-starting fire sticks that will revolutionize the fire industry. But more on that later.”

Zoot stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Fire as entertainment? Fire can be pretty, with all the reds and oranges and blues. If only there was a way we could make fire ‘work’ as entertainment.”

“Great idea, Zoot.” Marka said. “Lucy, let’s work on that one.”

The newly-energized tribe discussed fire for cooking, fire for heat, fire products, fire as decoration, fire for medical products and even fire safety and fire management training.

“All of these represent potential market segments and different revenue opportunities,” Marka said. “Now do we all understand the importance of breaking up FEI’s product and service offerings this way?”

“I’m on board,” Zoot said. “It sounds like FEI’s product offering always has been—and should continue to be—more than bringing torches to hearths.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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