Though added later to the marketing mix, People are one of the most important elements ever of the marketing mix today. This is mainly because of the phenomenal rise of the services industry. Even products are being sold through retail outlets today.
And if the retail outlets are not handled with the right people, the product will not be sold. Thus, the right people are important in product as well as service marketing mix in the current marketing scenario.
There are many examples of total industries altogether relying on the expertise of the people hired by them. Who do you think MBA’s from Harvard or Kelloggs are so highly paid? This is because they are the right people to be given the correct responsibilities.
The salary of such people is directly proportional to the weight of the organization that they can carry on their shoulders. Thus, this old saying about society in general is absolutely correct in todays business environment.
The right person in the right place can make all the difference in the world – Anonymous
Importance of People in the marketing mix
As per this article on Forbes, the most successful companies put the right people in the right job. But now, instead of companies which hire thousands of employees, let us think of small businesses. The lesser the people, the more their importance rises.
For example, in the airline industry, a very high attention is paid to the attire and the presentation of Air hostesses. So much so that there are now training institutes for Air hostesses. Similarly, at a barber shop, if your hair cut is not proper even once, you might never enter the shop again. Thus, you can see how important people becoming to the marketing mix especially if its a small sized or a micro sized business.
The restriction of right people is not just for the front liners. Even marketing managers and sales managers are important as people in the marketing mix. For example – if the marketing manager does not understand the brand correctly, and implements the wrong marketing strategy, then the brand is sure to get affected.
Similarly all technical companies, time and time again advertise for “Sales engineers” and not sales executives. This is because if they hire a smart talk, they will lose their technical clients who want more of technical information and not some guy who talks without the proper background.
People as differentiating factors.
Large IT companies like Accenture and Infosys differentiate themselves with the quality of manpower that they have. These companies always make the statement that they have “highly skilled manpower”. Thus, people over here become a major differentiating factor.
Similarly in restaurants, the better the cook, the more is the success of the hotel. Besides the cook, the way the waiter handles you, the Spa’s that make you feel great, the way they serve you food, are all contributions by people who work in that industry.
Industries nowadays know the importance of holistic marketing – and how a single person who is in touch with the end customer, can make or break the relation with the end customer. Thus, most companies nowadays target the right people who match the companies requirement.
People in customer service
As per the point made here by marketing teacher, with the rise in the services industry, people have the most important and the most critical job in the world – Customer service. It was as if this P in the marketing mix was made for the proper service to the customer.
Customers come to the service department when they are irritated and frustrated with the product, or when they want prompt service. The service department of companies like Vodafone and Airtel are the reason these companies have been able to maintain the top position. Similarly, ICICI and HDFC are examples of banks which are at the top because of customer service.
Maintaining your cool, handling customer complaints properly, are some pre requisites required from people in the services industry. These qualities are in built in some people whereas other people need to be taught the same. Thus, many top companies have training departments and they have a strict training schedule as well as incentive provisions to motivate their employees to serve customers better.
People are so much under observation that even sales departments are audited for the number of complaints escalated in a single year. Most companies have got the clear message that the right hierarchy makes a different to how the company is presented to the end customer.
So the bottom line – If you are a company who has the right product marketing mix, then you better start thinking of the people who will play a major role in the success or failure of your organization.