Late Nights and the 4 Ps

Last night I went to the library at Bradley for the first time in a while. Perhaps since I was working on my first project for finance class. It was pretty full. The table I usually hid at was occupied and I had to find another slot.  Maybe time for midterms for the undergrads?  Seems early, but what do I know.  Perhaps I just haven’t hit the peak time on a peak evening before now.

I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around this marketing project.  We’re trying to come up with a comprehensive marketing strategy for Samaritan, so I kind of have to be the driver here, and I’m (off and on) terribly worried about letting my team down and being a drag on the grades.  I know I tend to be fairly negative at times, and so I know I need to push through and get over my insecurities.

Insecure or not, this project is baffling me on just getting started.  I’m sure once we have some momentum it’ll start to fall into place.  But momentum takes movement, so I’m pushing on.

Consider product (I wrote briefly about it here on Monday).  What is it, for Samaritan?  Here’s a portion of an email I wrote to a few co-workers asking for some input on it:

One of the things you should get your head around, for the purposes of helping me, is this:  product, in marketing class at least, is not the thing we sell.  Product is a comprehensive list of benefits the buyer (our member) gets from purchasing (joining).  The quote from class “people hire products to get jobs done.”

What is our core product?  Meaning, what are the benefits (jobs done) that a member receives from joining Samaritan?  (consider, if you can, multiple reasons someone joins and what their core product/benefit would be related to that reason)

What is our tangible product?  Tangible product is our service blueprint or delivery system for serving our members (customer).  It would include our brand (and anything associated with it), our name (I think I have that one down), the service experience, and tangibles that are associated with it.  (for example if we were Taylor guitars our Core product might be “creating a beautiful musical experience for musicians” and our tangible product would be “acoustic and acoustic electric guitars).  So what do you think?  Tangible product is:

What is our augmented product?  The augmented product is stuff that we do that’s “extra.”  It may cost extra (like Save to Share) or it may not.  What do we do over and above the tangible product to serve our members?

I’ve gotten four responses so far from the dozen or so folks I sent it to, some who work in marketing, some who are fairly new to the organization, and some who have been around forever and come at things from a systems standpoint.  I’m hoping today a few more will reply and I’ll get something to go into tonight’s team meeting (my EMBA team…the Fantastic Four) for us to dissect our “product” and move to the rest of the extensive project outline.  The topics (just questions and required features) take up seven single spaced pages alone, so this is going to be a substantial document (guessing 40-50 pages, single spaced) when we’re done.  Whew.

So there was a late night last night (still had to pay the bills when I got home from the library) and it appears there will be plenty more between now and April 5th when both this project and an individual assignment are due.  That’s not to mention the mid-term exam next month, the reading for Legal Issues (I’m not quite half done with the 155 pages due on the 7th), and two short, but full, trips during March.

I think I’m tired.

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