What Is The Marketing Mix?

What is the marketing mix? Well, the goal is simple:  delivering the right product to the right customer at the right time (and at the right price).  Making that happen is where the marketing mix becomes a keystone for your business.

For example: the best products can sit on the shelves without the right promotion, the best offer won’t work if the product or price is mismatched with customer needs and bad customer service can drive people away from places they love. 

Conversely, when the marketing mix is aligned, amazing things can happen!

How? Read on…


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What Are The Elements Of The Marketing Mix?

Marketing experts point to the model developed by E. Jerome McCarthy in his book “Basic Marketing:  A Managerial Approach.”  McCarthy outlines the ‘7 P’s of Marketing’ which companies as diverse as Toyota, Levi’s, Apple, Samsung and others have adopted.

The 7 P’s of Marketing

  1. PRODUCT:  The design, benefits, and value of the product
  2. PRICE:  The pricing strategy for the product
  3. PLACE:  How the product is distributed to the customer
  4. PROMOTION:  Targeting the customer and persuading them to buy
  5. PEOPLE:  The people who interface with customers
  6. PROCESS:  The systems and processes to create and deliver the product
  7. PHYSICAL:  The physical environment the customer experiences

What Is The Marketing Mix? 1, Product

Everything  begins and ends with the product.  If you don’t have underlying product right, nothing else really matters.

The most successful products have always filled a need: even if consumers didn’t know they had a need!  Think about how bottled water has become a staple for so many when for more than a century what came out of the tap worked just fine.

What Is The Marketing Mix? 2, Price

Pricing obviously plays a critical role in a product’s success.  Price too high and you may miss the market; price too low and you leave money on the table.  In addition, pricing shapes perception.  You’d expect something that cost £1,000 to be better than something that costs £500.

The sweet spot is finding a price point that creates a reasonable ROI (return on investment) while delivering the perceived value for the customer.

What Is The Marketing Mix? 3, Place

Where and how you distribute your product is the next step.  By understanding your target market, you can properly position your product for success.

Does it need to be available online and, if so, is your website able to handle today’s mobile shoppers?  Do you need to have product in the Amazon store?  Do you need retail distribution?  Do people want instant delivery or will they come to you and pick it up. Will it sell itself with advertising or do you need a sales force to go get the business (or both)?

What Is The Marketing Mix? 4, Promotion

Within the Promotion area, there are several examples of marketing mix:

  • Traditional Advertising (TV, Cable, Print, Radio, Direct Mail, Billboards, etc.)
  • Digital & Social Advertising (Email, Search, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
  • Content Marketing (SEO, Native Advertising, Press Releases, etc.)
  • Public Relations (Including Earned Media, Customer Outreach, etc.)

Experts suggest that a mix of all of these strategies work best.  Studies show that a combination of traditional and digital yield the best results because the efforts complement and magnify the strengths of each medium.

What Is The Marketing Mix? 5, People

Think of this in two ways: first, you need to know there are enough people in your target market category to create demand to meet your sales goals.  Secondly, knowing what the customer expects and being able to deliver it means having enough staff, and the right people, to meet consumer demand and service after the sale.

With pricing for most items fairly transparent online, it’s often a company’s culture and the way they deal with people that can make a difference in purchase decisions.

In recognizing the importance of marketing mix, It helps to truly understand your target customer intimately.

What Is The Marketing Mix? 6, Process

Systems and processes drive the whole ecosystem.  Quite simply, efficient systems will drive ROI.

In evolving companies, you have to make sure you have the processes in place to create the products and meet demand.  The larger a company becomes, the more difficult it can be as the number of people that touch a product – from creation to end user – grows.

What Is The Marketing Mix? 7, Physical

When you hear the word “Physical,” your first instinct may be to think about the physical place of business.  Is it attractive and inviting to customers?  In reality, though, that’s just part of the mix.  Maybe you don’t even have a physical office to visit.

It’s really about the brand identity you create.  It may help to think of this more as “Positioning” than Physical.  It’s where you create a connection with a potential customer so that they recognize your brand and place a high value on it.  It’s everything from the packaging your product comes in, the way your employees answer the phones or greet people coming into your store, the design of your website, the tone of your social posts, and the advertising you buy.  All of it adds up to your marketing positioning, or physical identity known as your brand.

What Is The Purpose Of The Marketing Mix?

The purpose is to make sure you hit those goals:  The right product in front of the right person at the right time and at the right price.

If you’ve creating the right marketing mix, these things will happen.

Summary: Assess And Re-Assess And Repeat!

Products and companies have a natural cycle of evolution:  Growth, Maturity, and Decline.  You may need to adjust the marketing mix as each product line evolves.

Making smart decisions at the right time can reinvigorate a category or create a spin-off product that can start the cycle anew.

The best companies continually examine and re-examine their marketing mix. After all, we don’t live in a stationary world.  Things are constantly changing and evolving.  What worked yesterday may not work today.  New competitors, innovations, and products hit the market regularly.

Top marketers are continuously examining their market mix to make sure it remains relevant. Maintain a critical eye on yours and, by treating the marketing mix as a constantly evolving strategy, the benefits are there for the taking.

Good luck!


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What is the Marketing Mix?

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