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Many people, often erroneously, believe that marketing only consists of advertising and selling products and services. However, these two elements are only part of what marketing really entails. Marketing may be in fact defined as the entire management process of getting the right goods or services to the right people (consumers) at the right place, time and price, by using the right promotion techniques and the right people to provide the appropriate customer services.

Unfortunately, far too many SMEs, often due to lack of awareness or limited resources, still operate without a well-crafted marketing strategy. Here are some key principles for an effective marketing strategy. These are described in the short explanation of Jerome McCarthy’s famous “5Ps of Marketing” below. These straightforward principles will undoubtedly help you start reflecting upon and conceiving your new marketing strategy:


In short, SME owners in ASEAN countries have to recognise the importance of marketing, and of having a well-crafted marketing strategy in place. There are ways to make the 5Ps of Marketing work for you, even with limited resources.

  • You should consider starting with sound and reliable market research, which will determine the identification of the right product, which in turn will satisfy the needs of the targeted consumers.
  • The right product should be offered at the right price (i.e. one which the consumers are willing and able to pay), and available at the right place for the consumers (both in terms of countries and distribution channels).
  • You should promote your (right) product, at the right price and place, using the most adequate marketing and promotion techniques.
  • Any marketing strategy or plan ought to be flexible and should be readily adjusted depending on the ever-changing needs and wishes of the consumers.
  • Please refer also to Section below on Packaging, as it plays a fundamental role in the success of your marketing strategy.

For a more detailed explanation of the “5Ps model” please refer to the Handbook on IP Commercialisation, Section F.2.


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