Marketing is fast-paced and constantly evolving. Which means it’s easy to get left behind if you don’t keep your finger on the pulse. Innovation is exciting. However, it’s vital to keep a solid foundation even as you keep moving forward. The marketing mix isn’t a new concept, and relies on principles you would have seen in marketing books in the 1960s.
Thank goodness for progress. If not, we’d still be watching the hamster dance and battling 100 pop-up adverts for every website we visit. Thankfully marketing is much more sophisticated now, relying on a modern view of the marketing mix to deliver high-quality, personalised and useful marketing to a highly targeted audience.
But, what actually is the marketing mix? Well, it depends who you ask. Generally, when considering a marketing mix you’ll read about the 4Ps and 7Ps. Although it might sound like a complicated algebra equation, it’s actually much simpler than that. These Ps form the core of your marketing efforts, and should help you to build up a rounded and well-balanced strategy that reaches the right people, at the right price, in the right place, at the right time.
Why 4Ps and 7Ps? Can’t we just pick one?
Think about when you bake a cake. It’s just four core ingredients — flour, sugar, eggs and butter. Simple, but delicious. But how often do you just eat a basic cake? More likely you’ll add extra ingredients, chocolate, buttercream or coffee.
Think of your marketing mix like a cake mix.
The 4P’s are your basic ingredients. The four components that make the foundation of your marketing strategy. The 7P’s are a boosted foundation. You don’t need them, but they add extra flavour and flair to your plan.
So, let’s start with the basics.
The 4Ps of Your Marketing Mix
Product. Price. Place. Promotion. These are the foundation blocks of your marketing plan.
We hope you have this one sorted out, otherwise what is it that you’re planning on marketing? It doesn’t matter whether your product is something tangible, like left-handed scissors or a stuffed lizard toy, or if you’re offering a service, your product is the heart and soul of your business. As such, it should be at the front and centre of any marketing plan.
This isn’t just as simple as slapping a number on your product and watching sales trickle in. Understanding your profit margins, supply and demands and marketing budgets is vital when considering your pricing. It’s also important to carefully analyse and understand the pricing of your competitors too. Don’t price yourself out of the market.
No matter how good your product is, you’ll never sell a single item if you don’t have your placement sorted out. How can consumers buy what they can’t find? Understanding your target audience, and how and where they shop is vital. Do your research.
If people can’t haven’t heard of your brand, they won’t buy. No matter how you choose you market yourself, the important thing is that you do. You might want to swerve those 90’s pop-ups though. Content marketing is the way forward. Need some quick tips?
The 7P’s incorporates the principles from the 4P’s, product, price, place and promotion, and adds a little extra. While they’re not the basics, in our opinion they’re still vital parts of any successful marketing plan.
- People. Understanding your core audience and what makes them tick lets you create high-targeted marketing material. The one-size-fits-all theory is old news, and you should always try to cater to your community.
- Process. This covers all of the systems and processes involved in your behind-the-scenes work. If you have a full grasp of what’s needed, it’s easy to streamline your process to be a cost and time efficient as possible.
- Physical Evidence. Almost all services include physical elements, even if the bulk of what the consumer is paying for is intangible, like a haircut or business advice. Even if the end result can’t be held in your hands, there’s usually still some physical evidence of the transaction.
That covers the basics, but as we mentioned before, the marketing mix means different things to different people. As digital marketers, we have our own views on what ‘mix’ really matters. And as a business, you’ll start to build your own, personal strategy. However, the P’s are a great foundation to build up from.