The 4P's of Marketing - The Marketing Mix
So…marketing mix…or mix of marketing…or mixed up marketing. It can be confusing. Where does one even start?
Well, that’s what we’re here to answer today!
A “Marketing Mix” is a foundational model in marketing…meaning that it’s the set of tools that help set the direction of bringing awareness of the company to the masses.
To put it more simply…it’s sort of - the paint-by-numbers, this is where you start way - to START marketing!
Let's dive in and explain what a marketing mix is and how you can apply it to your company.
A product refers to an item that satisfies the consumer's needs or wants. Products can be tangible (such as goods) or intangible (such as services, ideas, or experiences) Some of the aspects of a product to consider are:
✅ Product Design
✅ Product Assortment
✅ Packaging and Labeling
✅ Service Considerations
✅ Guarantees and Warranties
✅ Lifecycle Management
Knowing this information is really the FIRST step into starting your business. You have to know what you want to do, how you stand out from your competition, and where your weak points might be. A lot of this information can be discovered in an exercise called a SWOT Analysis. You can watch a video we did on the SWOT Analysis here!
Price refers to the amount that a customer will pay for a product at its most basic definition, however, it goes farther than that in practice. It also refers to the sacrifice that a consumer is prepared to make in order to acquire a product. The price that you set is in direct correlation in consideration of the customer's perceived value.
Let's give you an example...
Apple puts out the iPhone EVERY year. By all accounts and purpose, it's a fantastic product. It's changed the world and the sales support that. The perceived value of the iPhone continues to grow. So people will not only pay more than 1000 dollars for it, but they'll invest time and effort to obtain it. They'll sit in line for days to be the first to have it. Some of the typical marketing decisions that go with the price category are:
✅ Pricing Strategy
✅ Pricing Tactics
✅ Allowances - such as rebates for distributors
✅ Payment Terms - credit card payments or other ways to accept payment
Place refers to providing customers access or the considerations for providing convenience for consumers. Place is also a reference in the channels in which you choose to market. This includes geographical distribution, territorial coverage, retail outlets, market locations, etc. It also covers the physical location of a business and the distribution channels used to reach new markets. Considerations for place are:
✅ Strategy - Intensive Selection vs. Exclusive Distribution
✅ Franchise Opportunities
✅ Market Coverage
✅ Channel Member Selection or Relations
Promotion is the final piece of this four-way marketing mix puzzle. Promotion refers to marketing communications. This comprises of elements such as: advertising, public relations, direct marketing, and sales promotions.
It's the marketing communication arm of this platform. It's where you'll end up taking the biggest risk with your money, but it's also the MOST IMPORTANT to see considerable GROWTH. Now considerations for promotion include:
✅ Promotion Mix
✅ Message Strategy
✅ Channel Strategy
✅ Message Frequency
The 7p's of Marketing
The newest "P-Models" have been expanded in recent years to include 3 new categories.
People are absolutely vital to making any marketing plan work. It's important to start considering all people outside of just the marketing team. It requires sales, customer service, human resources. All of these touchpoints become integral points in how a prospect or customer feels about your company, the experience they have, and if they're going to become a brand ambassador who spreads your message to the masses.
Remember that every decision that is made by a company has to be carried out by someone. And customer relationship management goes a long way into building Lifetime Value, referrals, and the overall brand of the company. Here are some aspects where people add value to the experience of the brand promise as part of the marketing mix:
✅ Personal Selling
✅ Customer Service
Process is part of the extended P's of the marketing mix and it simply refers to the flow of activities or mechanisms that take place when there is an interaction between customers and the business.
It doesn't just refer to customer service...it's the path of the customer from when they decide to buy to the point where they've had their service fulfilled and post-service follow-up.
The best companies think of the customer journey during every step and optimize each process involved in the overall path to ensure a great experience.
Here's an extra little helpful hint...once the process has been mapped...write it down! These become your Standard Operating Procedures and it's how you begin to scale your organization.
The last "P" of the extended 7p's is Physical Evidence, which refers to the process involved in delivering your products and services to customers. This is everything physical from the location of the store, to the way your customer service reps dress and act. Everything is done to deliver the brand promise of what the marketing message is trying to convey. Some other aspects of physical evidence include:
✅ Physical Environment of WHERE the Product is Delivered
✅ The Layout or Interior Design
✅ The Packaging
✅ The Branding
Everything psychologically impacts a customer and the way they make decisions. Even the colors used have a significant influence on the way people behave.
The 8p's of Marketing
The final piece of the 8p-puzzle is productivity. This is sometimes referred to as performance and quality. The productivity P examines how well a company's services compete in the marketplace.
This is less about you as a business improving your own productivity for cost management, and more about how your company passes this onto its customers.
This may include how consistent the service is and how well its features translate into benefits as it is being delivered.
Wrapping Up The 4p's of Marketing
If you can master the basics of the marketing mix, your odds of having a successful campaign and company skyrocket. After all, the basics of how to grow a business are that the more people who know about you, the more people you have the ability to sell.
In fact, marketing is the ONLY way to grow the business. So get your marketing mix worked out and get ready to grow!