The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.
Understanding marketing mix
While many understand marketing as “putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time”, few know how to implement this in practice.
Identifying the individual elements of a marketing mix and then creating robust plans for each allows a business to market accordingly. It also allows a business to market to its strengths while minimizing or eliminating its weaknesses.
This can include a tangible good or an intangible service. Businesses must understand their product or service in the context of the problem that it aims to solve. If the product does not seem to address any problem, then the potential profitability of the product should be re-analyzed. The target audience, or those who will buy the product, must also be identified.
Price has a direct impact on how well a product will sell and is linked to the perceived value of the product in the mind of a consumer. In other words, price is not related to what the business thinks the product is worth. Thus, it is important to know what the consumer values and price it accordingly. To a lesser extent, price may also be influenced by rival products and value chain costs.
Promotion includes all marketing communication strategies, such as advertising, sales promotions, and public relations. Irrespective of the channel, communication must be a good fit for the product, price, and the target audience.
Place describes the physical location in which a customer can use, access, or purchase the end product. Determining where buyers look for a product or service may seem simplistic, but it has implications for marketing and product development.
For example, place determines which distribution methods are most suitable. It also dictates whether a product needs a sales team or whether it should be taken to a trade fair to be sampled and advertised.
Other elements of an effective marketing mix
Conventional marketing mixes are product-centric, but services and other intangible goods are also commonplace for many businesses. People, process, and physical evidence are three more Ps that these businesses should implement.
People refers to the staff who are directly and indirectly involved in marketing the brand. Employing the best people for the job is crucial since people shape the direction of the brand and therefore the goals and values of the business.
Process covers the interface between business and consumer, otherwise known as customer service.
Process is important because customers often give feedback on their service, which enables a business to improve its systems across the board. Effective processes should make purchasing pleasing and simple while simultaneously increasing brand equity.
Physical evidence describes anything that consumers see when interacting with a brand. Physical evidence can take the form of packaging, branding, and even the physical layout and design of retail spaces and shop fronts.
Physical evidence also extends to how staff dress and interact with customers and the possible impact that this has on sales.
- Marketing mix refers to a suite of actions that a business uses to promote its products or services in the market.
- Marketing mix should as a minimum have strategies devised for product, price, promotion, and place.
- Service-oriented businesses should adopt a broader marketing mix, otherwise known as the seven Ps of marketing.