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. Bad customer service can drive people away from places they love.
Conversely, when the marketing mix is aligned, amazing things can happen!
As such, your goal is to bring all of these elements of your marketing strategy into line.
To kick things off, let’s take a look at the core elements which make up your marketing mix.
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What Is the Marketing Mix: Key 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.
Here are the 7 Ps of marketing:
- Product: The design, benefits, and value of the product,
- Price: The pricing strategy for the product,
- Place: How the product is distributed to the customer,
- Promotion: Targeting the customer and persuading them to buy,
- People: The people who interface with customers,
- Process: The systems and processes to create and deliver the product,
- Physical: The physical environment the customer experiences.
This framework allows you to create an overview of all of the elements which make up your marketing mix, without having to drill down into more specific strategies. It just gives you an overview of ‘what is the marketing mix’.
Let’s take a look at each of the seven Ps in turn.
What Is the Marketing Mix: Product
Everything begins and ends with the product. If you don’t have the underlying product right, nothing else really matters. Here, it’s important to understand new product development.
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.
In other words, your product either has to meet consumer demand or create this demand from scratch.
What Is the Marketing Mix: Price
Pricing obviously plays a critical role in a product’s success. If your price is too high, you may miss the market. Charge too little, and you leave money on the table. In addition, pricing shapes perception.
You’d expect something that costs £1,000 to be better than something that costs £500. But this isn’t always true. In other words, your price has to reflect the quality of your product in terms of the value it provides for customers.
The sweet spot is finding a price point that creates a reasonable return on investment while delivering the perceived value for the customer.
What Is the Marketing Mix: 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. These days, this can mean a physical or a digital presence.
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 a 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?
What Is the Marketing Mix: Promotion
As the name suggests, this is all about how you promote your product to target customers. Within the Promotion area, there are several examples of marketing mix:
- Traditional Advertising – TV, 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.
Of course, the exact mix of promotion strategies will depend on your business. Specifically, you’ll need to take into account:
- Your target customers,
- Your budget,
- Your staffing and expertise,
- Your marketing goals.
What Is the Marketing Mix: People
In terms of your marketing mix, you’ll need to factor in the demand from customers and your human resources to meet this demand. In other words, you need enough people to create your product and enough people to buy it. Partnering with a digital marketing agency in Dubai, equipped with marketing AI tools, can help you effectively bridge this gap by leveraging their expertise in understanding market demands and reaching the right audience to drive sales.
Think of it like this:
- 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. This can extend to your company’s values and branding.
Recognising the importance of marketing mix It helps to truly understand your target customer intimately.
What Is the Marketing Mix: Process
Systems and processes drive the whole ecosystem. Quite simply, efficient systems will drive ROI. Processes here can refer to:
- How you create your product,
- The logistics behind product creation and bringing this to market,
- How you promote or market your product,
- Internal operations and project management.
The smoother and more cost-effective all of these processes are, the more profitable your business will be. This is because you’ll reduce the overall cost associated with each sale.
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: 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? If you run a retail business, do you have a pleasant in-store customer experience?
However, 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 customers so that they recognise your brand and place a high value on it.
Here, branding means:
- Your visual identity,
- The language you use in your promotional materials,
- Your company values,
- Your customer relationships.
In other words, branding is everything from the packaging your product comes in, how 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 the physical identity which contributes to your brand.
What Is the Marketing Mix: The Purpose Of The Marketing Mix?
The purpose is to make sure you hit your core marketing goals: The right product in front of the right person at the right time and at the right price. You can think of this a little bit like a table.
If one leg is the wrong length, the whole thing will end up wobbly.
Similarly, if one element of your marketing mix is off, the whole thing will suffer. If there is a minor problem with one element of your marketing mix, the overall impact may be relatively small.
However, large problems can tank your entire marketing strategy. For example, if you get everything else right but charge too much for your product, you won’t make any sales at all.
If you’ve created the right marketing mix, it’ll be plain sailing from then on.
What Is the Marketing Mix: The Garden Analogy for Small and Medium Sized Businesses
Working on the 7 Ps of the marketing mix for a small or medium-sized business is like tending to a garden. Just as a gardener must carefully consider various elements to nurture their garden, a business must attentively cultivate each aspect of its marketing mix.
- Product is like the seeds you choose; they must be of high quality and suitable for the environment where they will grow. In business, this means offering products or services that meet the needs and preferences of your target market.
- Price is akin to the amount of water and nutrients you provide. Just as too much or too little can hinder growth, incorrect pricing can either drive customers away or fail to cover costs.
- Place is like the garden’s location. You need a spot that’s accessible and favorable for the plants’ growth. Similarly, a business must choose the right channels and locations to reach its customers effectively.
- Promotion is comparable to sunlight; it’s essential for visibility. Effective promotion strategies ensure that customers know about your products or services, just as sunlight ensures a plant is visible and can grow.
- People are like the gardeners, the ones who nurture and grow the garden. In business, having the right team ensures that every aspect of the service and customer interaction is optimal.
- Process is akin to the gardening techniques used. Just as efficient gardening methods lead to a flourishing garden, streamlined business processes lead to satisfied customers and efficient operations.
- Physical Evidence is like the garden’s aesthetic appeal and the visible growth of the plants. In business, this refers to the tangible elements that customers experience, like the ambiance of a store or the design of a website, which help in building trust and credibility.
Just as a well-maintained garden attracts admirers and provides a bountiful harvest, a well-crafted marketing mix can help a small or medium-sized business thrive by attracting and retaining customers, and ultimately, achieving sustainable growth
What Is the Marketing Mix: Fine-Tuning the Marketing Mix with Experiments
In today’s digital landscape, savvy marketers are using experiments and analytics to optimize their marketing mixes for maximum impact. Rather than relying on intuition, they are taking a data-driven approach to allocating budgets across the 4 Ps.
A/B testing enables you to test variations of your marketing mix to see what moves the needle on KPIs like conversions, sales revenue, and customer acquisition costs. For example, you could test spending more on advertising vs. improving product quality. Or experiment with investing more in promos vs. direct sales teams.
Successful brands use advanced analytics and attribution modelling to understand which elements of the marketing mix are driving results. This allows them to double down on high-performing areas. Make small bets with testing budgets, then scale winning tactics.
Platforms like Optimizely and Google Optimize make it easy to test changes to digital campaigns and experiences. While services like Mixpanel and Heap enable deep analysis of customer behaviours and marketing performance.
Testing and analytics should feed into annual planning processes. Historical performance data informs smart marketing mix resource allocation for future periods. Continuously refine the model as new experiments yield insights.
In the digital age, “what works” keeps evolving as consumer behaviours and channels change. Leverage data, not hunches, to build an optimal, responsive marketing mix tailored to your business’s evolving needs.
What Is the Marketing Mix Summary: Assess, Reassess 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.