Steve Slais

Applying the “Four Ms” of Marketing

The Four Ms can help you set a productive course for marketing success with plenty of checkpoints along the way.

As a small business professional, you’re no doubt familiar with the “Four Ps” of sales: product, price, place, and promotion. These elements can help you to establish guidelines and practices that will see you through varying market and economic conditions. Think of them as a roadmap that can keep you on course toward both short- and long-term destinations.

The last of these four, “promotion,” leads me to think about a few parameters we typically apply on the marketing side of things, as well. We like to call them the “Four Ms.” Through years of experience working with business clients, I’ve put my own spin on these to include: market definition, messaging framework, marketing campaigns, and measuring analytics. Let’s take a closer look.

Market definition.

Developing a clear understanding of the market for your products and services is critical to your success. Ask yourself: who are you serving? What is their motivation for purchase? How will your brand ease their pain and solve their challenges? Why will they continue to be loyal to your brand? These questions are a starting point for identifying your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Once you do this, you can more effectively communicate with your audience. Which brings us to our next “M.”

Messaging framework.

This is where your marketing message takes shape and will lay the foundation of all of your messaging moving forward – from your website to support materials and sales messages for key personas and verticals. Your messaging framework should include your brand’s single most important benefit, brand promise and voice, brand pillars and supporting details, an umbrella theme, and persona pains and your brand's response to them. Once you’ve established these elements you are ready to put your messaging in motion.

Marketing campaigns.  

Utilizing your messaging framework, you’ve developed a compelling website that accurately and enticingly tells your brand story. Now it’s time to reach out to your customers with campaigns that give your prospects everything they need to make a purchase decision during every phase of their buyer journey. Your campaign may include blogs, emails, social posts, infographics, eBooks, and white papers. This allows you to convey your core brand message in multiple channels – and gives your customers many reasons to become a loyal brand follower.

Measuring analytics.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you track and measure the progress of your marketing goals. When you pair your KPIs with metrics (such as those available through Google Analytics and HubSpot), you can determine how well your campaigns are connecting with your audience. If these engagement numbers are lower than expected, you can adjust your campaigns accordingly to help ensure you are reaching as many of your ideal customers as possible. And in a way that has a positive impact on your revenue.

The Four Ms can help you set a productive course for marketing success with plenty of checkpoints along the way. I wish you well in your marketing efforts and feel free to reach out with any questions.

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Steve Slais


Steve doesn’t just have a great aesthetic; he’s smart enough to spell aesthetic right the first time (no spellcheck required, thank you). A lot of creatives can come up with the ‘crazy cool’ idea; Steve can turn it into reality. He gets in the weeds on every account and questions everything (even when he knows the answer). If you spend some time in the office, you’ll realize that he’s not interested in being the hero; he’s passionate about making everyone on the team better and keeping clients thrilled. And it shows.

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