The marketing mix provides a great way for companies to enhance their marketing strategies and sales by focusing on the 4Ps – product, price, promotion, and place.
To achieve success in the growing competition, your business must stand out in the crowd.
And without a proper strategy, everything will be all over the place, whether it’s the product, customers, marketing, or sales.
This is where mastering and implementing strategies like the 4Ps or the marketing mix becomes highly important.
It will not only boost your sales and revenue but also help improve your reputation in the market.
In this article, I’ll discuss the marketing mix, examples, and the ways to implement it.
Understanding the Marketing Mix
“Marketing Mix” refers to an idea or concept involving various ways, strategies, and actions that a company can use to promote its products, services, and brand. These concepts are also called the four Ps of marketing – product, place, price, and promotion. The marketing mix can also include other elements like people and processes.
The strategies of the marketing mix guide the overall marketing initiatives of a company or product along with its market positioning and success. It shows the effective ways of marketing and advertising in order to engage more customers and grow revenue.
So, if you want to develop an effective marketing mix, you must understand your customers, current competition, market dynamics, and your organization. Figure out ways to innovate, add value, and showcase them to customers.
A Harvard professor, Neil Borden, introduced the marketing mix idea and popularized it through his article published in 1964.
As the years passed by, other prominent experts in the industry refined and developed the ideas and introduced “the four Ps of marketing”. These concepts are still relevant decades later, and today, companies use them to promote their services and products, enhance adoption, and overcome challenges along the way.
The Four Ps of Marketing
The first “P” in the marketing mix stands for “product”. A product can be a good or service in an intangible or tangible form. A company produces and/or sells the product to the intended customers in a targeted market.
Typically, a product is designed to meet the demands and needs of the consumers. Companies create a product when there’s an existing demand or as an experiment to provide a fresh consumer experience and generate demand for it.
So, when you create a product, consider the target customers as well as their challenges, requirements, preferences, likes, and dislikes. Next, propose a product that’s unique, can solve those challenges, meet their needs, and add value to their lives. With growing competition, offer a product that other providers don’t to increase the adoption rate and make it successful.
For example, laptops were created since the PC ran in a single place and the setup was bulky. But laptops can be carried anywhere in the bag and used.
Next, plan the product, which can be a physical or software-based item or a service. For example, if you produce and sell cosmetics, you can create a makeup item like a lipstick range or a virtual item like an online app to make it easier for customers to buy from you. If you are a service-oriented company, you can create services for customers like house cleaning.
Once you have finalized the product, think about all the features and capabilities it will have, along with packaging, delivery, distribution, etc., if applicable. Add unique yet valuable features that can set your brand apart in the market and grab a wider customer base.
The second element of the marketing mix – pricing, refers to the product’s cost you have fixed that the customer will pay to buy it.
Product pricing largely depends upon who you are selling the product to, i.e., your target customers. So, research about them and find out whether the price range is suitable for them or not.
While setting the pricing strategy, you must consider the production cost, supply cost, competitor’s pricing, discounts, and so on. The pricing must be in such a way that the customers will be paying for the product willingly. Therefore, it must be as per the market and economy of the area so you can make a profit while keeping the customers happy.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to think about how the customer will perceive your brand. You may establish yourself as an affordable yet quality product or service provider or a luxury brand selling only high-end products.
If you want to sell high-end products only, your product must justify the pricing and enable strict quality control. If you set the pricing a little bit on the higher side, only a few are likely to buy it. if you set the pricing too low, people might doubt the quality, which can impact sales.
For this, perform thorough research about the current pricing in the market and that of the competitor. You can also offer your products and services as a one-time deal or subscription-based. For example, Netflix uses a subscription-based model with many pricing tiers.
Place, in the context of marketing mix, refers to the location where you will sell your product. It’s where you will make the product available to the customers.
The place could be in a brick-and-mortar store where people can visit physically, interact with the product, and buy it directly. Or, it could be an online store that people can access from their computers, smartphones, etc., and make the purchase.
Not every location is ideal for your product. Thus, select the right location to market the product in order to meet customer’s needs and expectations.
If you are selling from a physical store, the location matters. For example, if you are a luxury brand selling high-end perfumes, you can’t open the outlet in a remote place inside a dilapidated building. Instead, open your store in a reputed mall or an independent building located in a posh area. This not only attracts suitable customers but also makes the place more accessible and comfortable for them.
Similarly, if you are selling your product online, get it showcased on popular and reputed platforms like Sephora or open an online store yourself and market it to grow your influence and establish authority in the market. You can also do both. Start by opening your website and selling products from it, make your products popular, and then launch it on an online platform like Amazon, eBay, Sephora, etc.
The goal of displaying the product in the right place or media is to be in the eyes of your target customers, where they are more likely to hang out and make purchases.
So, based on the type of product you have, decide whether you want to sell it online or offline and then choose a suitable place, platform, or distribution channel for it.
Once you have placed your product, it’s time to market and promote it on various channels. This is what we will be discussing next.
Promotion refers to advertising, media coverage, and public relations to introduce a product. It aims to make the target audience or customers aware of the product and why they must buy it or consider using it.
For example, if you are a feature film-producing company, you may want to organize various promotional events at various places in the region where you are releasing the film. This will help you gather media coverage and create a buzz around the film.
Eventually, your movie will become the talk of the town before it is released into theatres. As a result, more people will be encouraged to buy tickets.
Promotion requires a solid strategy. So, have a discussion with your team about various aspects of your business, product, customers, expected budget, revenue, and more. Create strategies for brand messaging and awareness, lead generation, etc.
So, when you frame your promotion strategy, consider your target audience and the region where you are going to sell your product in the first place. Whether your product is available online or offline, do not forget to promote it on various platforms, both offline and online.
You may release fliers, brochures, billboards, etc., so that people notice you or put up ads on television and social media like Facebook, Instagram, etc. You can also use your LinkedIn account and promote your product there so your followers can be aware of it.
Furthermore, promotion requires you to create a solid brand message that resonates with your audience and communicate it effectively with them. Also, determine the proper advertising methods that the audience finds the most persuasive. In addition, figure out the best time you can reach the customers and avoid annoying them.
Other Marketing Mixes
Apart from the five Ps, there are other marketing mixes available in modern marketing. These are – the seven Ps, five Ps, and five Cs, reflecting some characteristics of the original four Ps but certain unique elements making a difference in marketing strategies.
The Five Ps
People, product, price, promotion, and place are the five Ps. In fact, many companies and marketers now prefer using the Five Ps as it focuses on the experiences and expectations of “people” in framing marketing strategies.
Here, people can be customers, vendors, employees, and other parties involved in the business. This marketing mix aims to enhance the satisfaction and loyalty of people with your brand, product, and service.
The Seven Ps
People, products, price, promotion, place, physical evidence, and processes make up the seven Ps. Along with the 4Ps, it includes “people”, “physical evidence”, and “processes” in it.
Here, “physical evidence” refers to proof that your target customers or audience needs to witness in order to become your customers. The evidence can be stored or website displays to help your audience understand the product and use the product or service.
“Processes” in this marketing mix imply certain methods defining a product and customer experiences.
The Five Cs
Company, customer, climate, competition, and collaborators are the five Cs.
“Customer” is simply the target audience and their experiences.
“Company” is the location of a company along with its available marketing resources.
“Climate” is in the context of economic, social, and political aspects that surround the market.
“Competition” refers to how much competition exists in the market for the company with other similar companies and products.
“Collaborators” are people outside your company who can collaborate with you.
Case Studies of Marketing Mix
Pizza with Coca-Cola is the perfect match, isn’t it? Whether you are happy or sad, this combination can never go wrong, at least for me 🙂
This world-famous carbonated soda company claims to sell 2.2 billion servings a day. When it was first launched in 1886, it served just 9 drinks a day. Let’s understand its marketing mix.
Product: Carbonated drink that people can have directly or with meals. The product has a unique taste and can complement a variety of meals, whether it’s pizza, burgers, or spicy Indian cuisine.
Price: Cola-Cola has a reasonable pricing that’s easily affordable for most people in the world.
Place: The drink is available worldwide even in remote locations. People can grab a bottle from physical stores, vending machines, grocery stores, convenience stores, and online stores. The company focuses on greater accessibility to boost sales.
Promotion: Coca-Cola’s target consumer is everyone from children to adults and senior citizens. So, they conduct wide promotions in every region through several marketing channels like billboards, television ads, product placement in movies, social media, etc.
Nike is one of the most successful organizations in the world, whose products are loved by people from across the globe, including celebrities.
This American multinational company has a brand value of more than US$ 30 billion and generated more than US$ 50 billion in revenue in the last financial year. Let’s review its marketing mix.
Product: It manufactures, designs, and sells awesome shoes, accessories, apparel, and sports equipment.
Price: Nike’s pricing system is premium and value-based.
Place: People can buy Nike’s products from the brand’s retail outlets, third-party retailers, and the official online store.
Promotion: Nike’s tagline is “Just Do It”, encouraging people to do what they are supposed to and achieve success. It promotes the products through television ads, movies, social media ads, sponsorships, etc.
How to Implement Marketing Mix into Your Marketing Strategy
Understand Your Product
Before you make any marketing strategy, take time to understand your product inside out. You must know what you are selling completely before you make it available to customers in order to gain their trust and offer tailored experiences.
At this point, determine what problem your product or service solves and for whom it’s meant for. In addition, research about what the market size for the product looks like. Does it have a unique, valuable feature or USP that others don’t offer?
Once you have these answers, go ahead. If you can’t answer any of these, improve your product by working on that point.
Set Suitable Pricing
Set an optimum price point by analyzing the market pricing, competitor’s pricing, and manufacturing and distribution costs. It must also depend on the product type you are offering (like luxury or affordable), your target customers, and the economy of the region.
Determine the Proper Place to Sell
Based on the type of product and your target audience accessibility, choose the proper places to sell. It could be online, offline, or both. The goal is to keep accessibility in mind so that customers can find it convenient to shop from their preferred place.
Create Effective Promotional Strategies
Craft unique and compelling messages for your customers so they feel empowered and encouraged to shop from you. Give them reasons to prefer your products over others, whether it’s quality, quantity, discounts, or a mix of everything in the right proportion.
In addition, promote your products where your target consumers mostly hang out. It could be social media, billboards in popular locations, TV ads, etc. Most importantly, be consistent everywhere, showing the same values, messages, and offerings to garner mass trust.
Assess and Improve
Even if your marketing strategies are giving you good outcomes, keep on assessing your strategies from time to time and improving them. This will help you stay relevant in the market with changes and register growth. You can also collaborate with external collaborators to get unique perceptions.
Implementing the marketing Mix or 4Ps can help you elevate your business in terms of revenue, reputation, and overall success.
I hope you now have some idea of the marketing mix, its benefits, and how to implement it in your business.