Marketing was and continues to be one of the most essential factors for the success of a company’s products/services.
But what comprises good marketing? What goes into it?
Good marketing is a practice through which you reach your potential customers, make them aware of your product/service and its advantages such that you hit a chord and stir a need inside them so that they feel compelled to take action.
Sounds simple enough right?
But truth be told, this is not easy. And since we are telling the truth, this was one area that was hard for me to grasp in my earlier years as a marketer.
You see good marketing, isn’t simply about good design, engaging content or highly optimized landing pages. Good marketing comes from proper research and planning.
This is where the marketing mix comes into the picture. A lot of people use the marketing mix and 4 Ps synonymously (marketing mix 4ps). But they do not necessarily mean the same thing. Let’s study this in some detail.
What is the Marketing Mix?
The marketing mix refers to the set of actions, or tactics, that a company uses to promote its brand or product in the market. In simpler terms, it can be understood as a set of tactical marketing tools designed by combining the brains of some of the best marketing experts which a company can use in order to derive desired results from their target market. It covers everything, every step that a company can take in order to influence the sale of their product.
Though the sale of services is not quite inclusive to the concept and/or strategy behind the marketing mix, there are some areas to consider when developing a marketing strategy for service-based businesses.
What is the Importance of Marketing Mix?
The experts developed the marketing mix in order to help the owners in making the best choices when it comes to producing and marketing their products. The main purpose that the marketing mix serves is to enhance the sale of a particular product such that it can satisfy the needs and demands of both the sellers and buyers.
The idea is simple, putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time. Simple right?!
Figure out an excellent strategy where you know your customers well and can develop a product that fits their needs, where you can produce your product at a price which sounds reasonable to them so that it can attract people, and finally where you can identify the best markets and can find a way to make your product available there so as to maximize your sales. And all this needs to be done at a crucial timing or everything fails. Now can you see the whole picture? Doesn’t seem simple now, does it?
Marketing Mix Example
How to Develop a Marketing Mix?
Step 1: Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USPs)
First and foremost, is to identify what sets your product/service apart from all others. Ask yourself why anyone should buy what you are selling. Focus on what it is that you are offering that others are not.
Step 2: Understand Your Market
Identify the market in which your product/service applies to. This may fall into more than one market, so don’t just simply stop once you identify one. Each market comes with its own set of consumers, so take the time to address the following questions. Who is the consumer? And what is their need? Understanding the consumer and their needs will help ensure that your product is aligned and relevant within your market.
Step 3: Study Your Competition
At this point study your competition. Who else is offering similar products/services like yours and at what price? Evaluate your subjective costs and the manufacturing rates and take into account the prices that others are offering in order to determine what your prices should be.
For those looking to sell online, via e-commerce, take into consideration shipping costs. We live in a world of free 2-day shipping and you can thank Amazon for this. How does this impact your pricing?
Step 4: Placement Options
Evaluate which placement options will suit your product the best and what will those channels add to your costs. Are you going to choose a multiple channel approach or a concentrated one?
Step 5: Work on a Promotion Strategy
Now that targeted customers, placement, and prices have been determined, it’s time to develop a promotion strategy. Understanding your targeted buyers, your competitive environment, and what meaningful differences you bring will help create what’s known as a positioning strategy statement. This statement should govern the message that you are sharing with your target market. Consistency is key, regardless of the marketing channel approach you decide on.
Step 6: Crosscheck
At last, take a step back and re-assess your strategy. Are all the parts in harmony? Do all decisions support each other? Or does anything need to be changed?
Marketing Mix Elements
How is the Marketing Mix Different From 4 P’s?
The 4 P’s are what I consider the marketing mix elements and they stand for Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Now where the marketing mix relates to all the choices an organization has to make in the whole process of developing and selling a product, the 4 P’s are merely one way of defining that marketing mix.
How Do You Use The 4 P’s of Marketing?
It answers queries of the marketing mix that relate to the product itself, like what is special about your product and why the customer should buy it? What are its benefits and features? And other information like variety, features, packaging, and brand name are also considered.
What should be the cost of your product? What should be the profit margins? Remember either too low or too high prices in terms of how the customers perceive your product can affect your sales. Other things like discounts, allowances, credit terms are also considered at this stage.
What is the most suitable manner for promoting your product? What will be your chosen communication aspect? What will you tell customers about your product so as to convince them that they need it? Other decisions relating to the advertisement, PR, sales promotion are also taken at this stage.
How will the product be provided to customers? The decisions pertaining to the distribution channel are made here.
So this is how the marketing mix and the 4 P’s influence your business. You can maximize the output of your marketing efforts by developing your grip on these concepts. So the next time you are planning your marketing strategy make sure that you have considered the marketing mix product, place, price, and promotion!