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Consumer’s lifestyles, buying, and social habits have dramatically changed in recent years. This evolution amplifies the importance of making sure that you effectively manage the 5 P’s.  Every decision that you make needs to speak to the heart and mind of your core customer.  To demonstrate how to effectively manage the 5 P’s, I will evaluate Sport Clips as they do an amazing job managing their 5 P’s.

Sport Clips 1 Trade Secrets to Managing the 5 P’s of Marketing

Intimately Define Your Core Customer

Savvy marketers of 2013 have an intimate understanding of their customers.

Here is an example:

Let’s give our core customer a name, David is a guy’s guy. He loves football, motorsports, technology, and prides himself on his health and appearance. David appreciates a compliment and likes to have his ego stroked, but only if it is sincere.  Occasionally, David will splurge on a gourmet bacon cheese burger, while watching a game at the sports bar with friends. David is witty and appreciates a good joke. David prefers premium experiences and products. David’s smartphone is always within reach and he is active on social media. David has a college degree and is always looking to advance his career.

Okay, now we know our core customer intimately. These in-depth customer insights are your compass to keep you on course to effectively managing the 5 P’s and are your ticket to success.

Sport Clips 2 Trade Secrets to Managing the 5 P’s of Marketing


Based on what we know about David, he is willing to spend a little extra to treat himself right. It makes sense that Sport Clips offers premium services such as a massaging shampoo, hot steamed towels, and relaxing massages. This is what sets Sport Clips apart from their competition. Do you think that a barber offers these services? No way! Look at how Sport Clips cleverly positions the up-sell treatments as “The MVP Experience.” Now what guy doesn’t want to be the MVP?  It is only fitting that Sport Clips also offers high-end grooming products.


I would bet when Sport Clips is determining where to open a new location, they look for plaza’s where their ideal neighbors would be; a large health club, sports bar and grill, and for good measure maybe an Auto Zone.  The Sport Clips closest to my home is sandwiched between a sports bar and a gym, which makes perfect sense for David.

Sport Clips 3 Trade Secrets to Managing the 5 P’s of Marketing

Remember, David is also active on social media, so when considering “Place” we need to think about where David spends his time online and how Sport Clips can bring David closer to their brand. Sport Clips’ Twitter feed, Facebook page, and YouTube channel are filled with content that reflects David’s personality and interests. These social media outlets also provide David an opportunity to interact with the brand and share the brand with his community.


Remember how David is willing to shell out a few extra bucks to receive superior products and services? Because of this, Sport Clips needs to establish price points that are moderately higher than a boring barber shop and slightly less than a high-end salon.  Those additional premium services are provided à la carte, so they need to be priced to increase David’s average ticket value, while making sure he leaves happy with his investment in the additional services.

Sport Clips 4 Trade Secrets to Managing the 5 P’s of Marketing


Sport Clips’ E-Club appeals to David’s sense of humor and his desire to be a VIP. Sport Clips proudly sponsors NASCAR racing, which is in-line with David’s interests.  These promotions will definitely bring David closer to their brand and keep him interested.

Sport Clips 5 Trade Secrets to Managing the 5 P’s of Marketing


When considering a new hire at Sport Clips, I wonder if some of the interview questions might include: What is your favorite sport? What is your favorite football team? Tell me about how you keep customers coming back to you? Do you consider yourself friendly? Can you tell me a funny joke?

Successful retailers like Sport Clips hire people that speak the same language as their customers and share the same interests. If your core customer is David, then you better make sure you are hiring friendly people who like sports and good conversation.

Obstacles & Challenges

This example from Sports Clips is so straight forward and on target, that it looks easy. I understand that large chains have complex layers, and that human resources and marketing tend to operate in silos.  Now is the time to tear down those silos and work with a unified vision and towards the same goal.

Knowing and understanding the 5 P’s is right where you need to begin. To attain the success that Sport Clips has had, make sure you aren’t jumping into business without identifying the basics beforehand.  If you have already taken the plunge, make sure to revisit these basics and get to know your customer on an intimate level in order to know how to appeal to them and create a successful marketing strategy.

Gut Check

Do you intimately understand your customer?

Do all of the products and services that you offer match the interests of your core customer?

Consider your core customer – Are you offering a good mix of products/services at various price points?

Are your promotions mirroring your core customer’s interests and are they exciting?

Does your hiring process match employees with the interests and personalities of your core customer?

Is your organization working across channels to ensure that the 5 P’s are effectively managed?


About Heather Reid

Just like Beyoncé, I also have an alter ego. I’m known in business circles as the Marketing Maven. As the Maven, I’m passionate about in-store marketing execution. I am constantly researching processes and strategies to improve retailer’s in-store marketing programs. As a networker at heart, you will find me collaborating on Google+ Hangouts and Linkedin. I am the proud founder and co-facilitator of the C-Suite Breakfast Club, an elite Linkedin group. I’m often described by my clients and peers as a profound thought leader, published writer, notorious silo-destroyer, and a self-proclaimed tweet-aholic. I love spending time with my two freakishly athletic kids and husband. According to them I’m the “cool” mom, but I’m frequently reminded not to sing in the car.


One thought on “Trade Secrets to Managing the 5 P’s of Marketing

  1. Heather, this is a fantastic analysis of Sport Clips and how well they understand their market. I’ve been to Sport Clips and can attest that they have a really sound understanding of their customers and tailor the experience to them. A brilliant example of a business to aspire to for the future! Great piece!

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