What Is The Marketing Mix and Why Is It Vital To Your Marketing?
The marketing mix is made up of four factors that create the perfect marketing strategy. The key to success is to find the right balance of these factors, which differs from business to business. The balance is based on fulfilling customer needs and business objectives, essentially satisfying everyone.
In this article we are going to look at just the 4 traditional factors that make up the marketing mix; product, price, place and promotion. However, in recent years, marketers have adapted the marketing mix as customer and business needs have diversified. This resulted in the new ‘7Ps’ approach, which you can read more about in our separate article here.
The Traditional Marketing Mix: The 4Ps
The ‘product’ doesn’t have to be a physical product, it encompasses anything you sell to customers, be this services, goods or both combined (e.g. service elements of physical products or aftercare/additional services sold on top of goods).
Things to consider about the product:
- What is the product’s current benefits to buyers?
- What sets this product above the competitions’?
- How can it be improved to create a further gap between your company and the competition?
The price of the product is important for a number of reasons. It impacts the company’s bottom line, the customer’s expectations and perceptions of the product and it can set you apart from competitors.
It isn’t always about the lowest price or the highest price. It’s about finding the price balance that will optimise all of the above mentioned factors. It is one of the most flexible factors of the marketing mix, as it is often changed to absorb production and distribution costs, to reflect market changes and competition changes, and to suit customer needs.
Things to consider about the price:
- Does the price reflect the current marketing and competitor prices?
- Is the product profitable enough at the current price to justify continued sales?
- What can be added to create the perception of increase value in line with a price increase?
The ‘place’ is where the product can be distributed purchased from. Decades ago it would have simply meant the physical shops and warehouses. However, as technology has evolved the place can now mean any channel of distribution, online or offline.
The channels of distribution play a large role in getting the right products out, at the right time and in the right quantities. This channel could simply mean getting a product that is purchased online from the storage warehouse into the post and direct to the customer. It can also involve more along the way, such as 3rd party resellers and vendors, wholesalers and retailers. The addition of these can create longer and more complex channels, which require more thought and careful management to ensure stock moves accurately and efficiently.
Things to consider about the place:
- How does the number of parties involved in the distribution channel affect the product’s delivery? Does it slow it or make it faster/more accessible for customers?
- Do the distribution channel costs contribute to an increased price? Can these costs be reduced or absorbed elsewhere?
- Are the products available in enough places to meet demand?
Promotion encompasses any form of communication from the company to inform customers and prospects about what is on offer. The different forms of communication will typically depend on who the target audience is and what time/budget the company has.
Things to consider about the promotion:
- What forms of communication are the target audience most susceptible to?
- What is the marketing message and what forms of communication would convey this in the best way?
- What forms of communication fall within the company’s available resources and budget?
To read more about the marketing mix and it’s modern adaptations, take a look at our article: The Marketing Mix Redefined: 7-Ps and Counting.
If you are interested in learning more about marketing strategy and improving your skills and knowledge in this area, you may be interested in the Chartered Institute of Marketing courses we offer. To find out more, call us on 01865 515255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.