Have you ever tried to bake a cake that ended up being a complete disaster? (You don’t have to lie, we’ve all been there). Maybe you didn’t get your proportions right or you missed an ingredient, but whatever it was, the end result wasn’t what you hoped for.
A business is just like that! How? Every business has a set of elements that help make it a successful business. If you miss out one element or don’t give it the importance it requires, that’s going to affect your entire business.
That’s why you need to have the right combination or mix of these marketing elements for your business to succeed. So, what are these elements, you ask?
Let us introduce you to something called marketing mix and the different Ps that define its essence.
Curious to know more about it? Well, you are in the right place, my friend, because this blog will take you on a ride through everything you need to know about marketing mix and how to create an effective one!
So buckle up and jump right in!
What is Marketing Mix and What are the 4 Ps of Marketing?
Marketing mix is the combination of all the marketing tools used to achieve a company’s marketing objective. This could be a set of actions, tactics, materials, etc. that a company uses to promote its brand or product in the market.
The 4Ps of marketing are product, price, promotion, and place. These typically make up a marketing mix or are commonly used to execute a marketing mix. To understand them better, let’s take a closer look at the 4Ps of marketing:
A product is a tangible good or an intangible service that is offered or sold to the consumers to satisfy their needs and wants. So, it can be anything from the drink in your hands to the haircut you got last week. The factors that make up your product depend on its design, features, quality, variety, brand name, etc.
Marketers must know how to make their product or service stand out and differentiate from their competitors. For this, you need to understand and study the product life cycle, its unique selling proposition, its target audience, etc.
Here are some questions you must ask yourself before putting your product into the market:
- What does the customer want?
- Does your product fit their needs and wants?
- How and where will they use your products?
- What can you do to make sure that your product satisfies the customers?
Example: Let’s say that your product is a T-shirt. Ask yourself what’s going to make it stand out. Consider the type of material that’s going to be used, the design and prints, the sizes, colors, etc.
Price refers to the value of the product. It is the actual amount a customer is expected to pay for it. The price of a product depends on multiple factors such as cost of production, demand and supply laws, competitor’s price, and other direct and indirect factors.
How your product is priced will affect its sales, so it is imperative that you price it according to its perceived value. If your product is priced too high or too low, then that might affect your sales badly. For example, if you charge $10 for a tissue, then no one is going to buy it. It’s also important your pricing strategy aligns with the overall goal of your organization.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before putting a price on your product:
- What is the value of your product to a customer?
- How will your price compare with your competitors
- Are your customers’ price sensitive?
- Will a small increase in price result in loss or will a small decrease in price result in gains?
Example: Let’s say you want to price your T-shirt between $15 – $20. Consider these factors before planning price – market prices for T-shirts, cost of fabrics used, production costs, and competitor’s price points.
All the activities involved in making your product or service known to the public are referred to as a promotion. It aims to inform potential customers about your product and get them excited or persuade them to buy your product!
Promotion includes various communication channels such as advertisements, content marketing, social media marketing, sales promotions, word of mouth, contests and so many more. The best way to promote your product or brand is to identify your target audience and define what message you want to get across.
Here are some questions to keep in mind before coming up with a promotion strategy for your product:
- Which is the best method to reach your target audience? Is it social media or billboards or television?
- What is the best time to promote your product? Is it seasonal? Or does it depend on other factors?
- How do your competitors use promotion? Does that have an influence on your choices?
Example: You can promote your T-shirt through advertisements, social media, and influencers. You will have to base those on your market demographics and budget.
Plain and simple, the place refers to point of sale of your product. It decides where or how your product or service will be sold. Distribution is the key element of placement strategy. So you need to evaluate what the ideal locations are to convert potential clients into actual customers.
This means that your product could be sold at physical locations such as your own stores or through a retailer or you could opt for a digital approach such as online web stores, television shows, etc. The place will determine what type of audience and how many of them your product will attract.
Here are some questions you should keep in mind while considering a location or place for your product:
- Where are your target customers shopping for products?
- Do they depend on technology and the internet for shopping?
- Where are they most engaged online?
- What are your competitors doing?
Example: You can sell your T-shirts in traditional retail shops or make them available on your online website, or sell them on social marketplaces like Instagram or Snapchat.
Once you try to club this all together, we could say that marketing mix is all about promoting the right product with the right price at the right place and on the right time!
You are now familiar with the 4Ps in marketing, but did you know there are 3 more Ps in marketing? Want to get to know them? Then, keep scrolling down!
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The Other 3Ps
The marketing scene is influenced by many varying factors such as the rise in technology, prominence of social media, changes in the environment, etc.
And because it is constantly evolving, it has resulted in the expansion of the 4Ps to include a total of 7Ps. So, what are the 3 additional Ps? They are people, processes, and physical evidence.
People refer to all the individuals or persons involved with your product. They generally include employees who directly interact with customers, such as customer service executives, salespersons, delivery personnel, etc. This element of the marketing mix looks at how well these people perform their jobs and provide fair training to them.
You can distribute a social media policy, pay attention to the communication skills of your customer-facing staff during the hiring process, provide training on good communication, and impose disciplinary measures or guidelines to prevent any misbehavior. This is an important step because the right set of people are essential for your company’s short-term and long-term success.
Example: The people selling your T-shirt will be the salespersons in your retail shops. In the case of online shopping, customers will come in contact with delivery personnel.
Process is basically a roadmap of your company’s operations. It involves anything within the business that impacts or affects how the product is handled from the beginning till the end. This means all the ways your company and your customers can engage in order to facilitate your products to reach the final consumer.
Process includes assessing many things such as the sales funnel, your payment systems, distribution procedures, and customer relationships. You must ensure that the processes involved must aim to minimize any costs from your side while maximizing benefits and values for your customer.
Example: The in-store waiting time while purchasing your T-shirt, the website load time or the delivery time for it are examples of the processes involved.
Read more: Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Businesses
7. Physical Evidence
Physical evidence is anything tangible that is related to your product or brand. It is the material aspect that familiarizes your customers with your products and contributes to the purchasing decisions. It includes packaging, business cards, brochures, company branding, company website, physical stores, etc.
These shreds of evidence reinforce your product’s or brand’s credibility as a legitimate business. So, you must ensure that all the components related to your product exhibits qualities that customers expect from your brand, follows the updated industry standards, and adheres to your brand values.
Example: Your company logo on the T-shirt or distinct packaging style are examples of the physical evidence that exhibits your brand quality.
Okay! So, we have briefly covered all the 7Ps of marketing included in the marketing mix. Now, let’s try to understand the importance of marketing mix in your business. Dive in, folks!
Importance of Marketing Mix
1. Helps in Product Development
Designing a marketing mix requires you to do a lot of market research. Through this you study about your target audience, learn about competitor’s strategies, and come up with pricing and promotion strategies that improve your product. This helps you in the process of product development as well as coming up with new ideas for products.
2. Guides Your Business
Every P is an important one in the marketing mix and they are all linked to each other. They guide you forward in your business. Every time you need to bring in changes, these Ps will give you a complete picture and by doing so, help you create the perfect product.
3. Boosts Your Business
With the perfect marketing mix at the center of your business strategy, you can thoroughly analyze and study your product in relation to all the other factors that affect it. It will help you understand where your product needs improvement and which elements can make it stand out from your competitors. This will allow you to deliver a better customer experience, thus bringing in more sales and boosting your business.
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4. Helps Study Competitors
The great thing about marketing mix is that every company follows it. This means that you can easily analyze your competitor’s marketing mix to learn about their promotion methods and pricing strategies. You can come up with multiple ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors by creating better marketing strategies. Studying your competitor’s marketing mix gives you a competitive advantage in the market!
5. Keeps Your Business Prepared
A marketing mix helps you understand and be informed about its product, pricing, promotion, and all other Ps in a better way. This helps your business be prepared when a disaster or unforeseen event occurs.
With a clear comprehension of every single aspect of your marketing, you will be in a position to respond appropriately to any unwanted incident and will always be proactive in the face of risks.
That pretty much sums up all the different ways that a marketing mix proves itself to be important to a business. And, now that you are aware of its importance, we are quite sure you are looking for ways to create an effective one for your business.
You’re in luck because the next section deals with just that! Let’s take a look, shall we?
Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Mix
All the elements of the marketing mix influence each other. So, if they are managed properly, then you will be able to reap the best benefits.
Now if you are wondering how to create an effective marketing mix for your business, then don’t worry, just follow the steps given below:
1. Define Your Goals and Objectives
The first thing you need to do to create an effective marketing mix is to make sure that you have a clear understanding of what you wish to achieve in the end. Every business has its own marketing goals, so you need to identify your own goals and objectives as well.
Define whether you want to increase brand awareness, attract more customers or improve sales, so that you have a clear path to work towards. You must also make sure that you set a specific time frame to achieve your main goals.
2. Create a Budget
With a clear goal and objective in mind, the next step is to define how much money you are actually willing to spend. Create a budget, then break down how much you plan to spend it on each element and the steps involved in the marketing mix. This helps you have a clear idea of where you are heading with your plan.
3. Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is extremely crucial for effective communication. You need to create a detailed profile of your ideal customer by identifying who they are, what their expectations and preferences are and how they wish to communicated with. You can then align your goals and budget with their needs and demands.
4. Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
You are living in a highly competitive world, so it’s extremely important that your product stands out from the rest. Since your unique selling proposition is what makes your brand special or superior to the others, make sure that you clearly identify it.
Determine what benefits people will receive by using your product and what unique problem you are going to solve better than your competitors. You can find this through customer surveys, interviews, social listening, etc.
5. Get Customer Advice
Getting your customers involved in your marketing journey is a great way to create an effective marketing mix. You can collect information by asking your customers for their feedback of your product and get advice and suggestions from them as well. You can use that information to improve your product or service and appear more relatable to your customers.
6. Describe Your Product in Detail
You need to have a clear understanding of your products or services in order to plan a perfect marketing mix. So be sure to spend time on describing your product, its special or unique qualities and its value. This will help you highlight the worth of your product and will therefore help you build an effective marketing mix!
7. Choose Your Distribution Channels
The ‘place’ in your marketing mix tells you where your product will be sold and how that will affect your business. It is always best to identify which distribution channels you are going to use because your choice will heavily influence your promotion methods and pricing strategies.
Determine whether your products will flourish in a physical store of your own, or a retailer’s store, or website or a combination of it all. If you’re thinking about the geographical location, then make sure the regional demands of the place meets your supply.
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8. Create a Pricing Strategy
If you want to develop an effective marketing mix, then you must ensure that your pricing strategy is one that aligns with the value of your product. This means that you take into consideration the costs involved in making your product and what your target audiences are willing to pay.
You can do this by conducting proper market research, speaking with customers, and by collaborating with sales team and finance team to develop a better pricing strategy than your competitors.
9. Select Your Promotional Methods
Choosing your promotional method is the most crucial element in your marketing mix and it is best to do this at the end because you need all the information about your product, price and place before setting it up.
A successful promotional method will include a strategy or tactic that will create a buzz or excite your target audience by informing them about your product or service.
Some of the various promotional methods you can use to create awareness about your products include direct marketing, public relations, advertising, word-of-mouth, social media marketing and countless other options. Choose the one that fits you best!
A well-developed marketing mix is everything your business needs.
Mix all your Ps together in the right amounts and you will always be one step closer to success.
We hope that we’ve done our part in this blog by covering everything you need to know about marketing mix and creating an effective one for your business.
Now it’s up to you to stir the marketing pot! Good luck!
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