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What is the marketing mix?

The marketing mix was first introduced back in 1960 by marketing professional and author, E. Jerome McCarthy. 

Although it has been interpreted and developed since, the basic fundamentals of the marketing mix are still very much used by firms in today’s modern world to develop an effective marketing strategy. Here’s why…

So, what exactly is the marketing mix?

The marketing mix is a set of tools used when you’re looking to market a product or service, consisting of; product, price, promotion and place. Typically, businesses refer to the marketing mix as the “four P’s”, and will consider all of these elements one by one when developing an effective marketing strategy.

Each of the four P’s in the marketing mix have equal importance, and no element should be prioritised over the other – as they should work in perfect harmony.

Product

Simply put, the product is the good(s) or service(s) that you’re looking to market to the target audience, and is what your marketing mix is formulated around.

With any product, it’s essential to first consider the people that you’d like  to invest in what you can offer, and establish their needs. You’ll need to identify exactly what your product does, who the target audience is, and how it will differ from others on the market (i.e. your unique selling point, or USP).

Price

When we look at price, we consider the cost of your product or service. When determining the price point, it’s important to choose a price that is accessible to your target market while still meeting your profitability objectives. 

Ultimately, if your pricing is too high, it’ll have a significant impact on the overall success – no matter how good your marketing strategy is. Similarly, if your price is too low, customers may question why this is – for example, they may believe it’s been made on a budget at a reduced quality. You’ll also be at risk of pricing yourself out of making any solid profits – so this is a crucial element to get right.

To pinpoint the best price, you’ll need to understand your target audience and their willingness (and ability) to pay for your product. For example, if your target audience mainly consists of students and young people, they’ll likely have significantly less income than those who are in a different stage of life. You’ll need to check out the pricing of competitors too, as you won’t want to price yourselves out of the market completely.

Promotion

The promotion element of the marketing mix is how you advertise your product or service to get the word out about what you’ve got to offer. Your marketing campaign will need to resonate with your chosen target audience to have the most impact and reach.

Your product or service can be promoted in many ways, using different forms of media. There are always more ‘traditional’ methods to consider, including print advertising and TV/radio commercials, and then more modern techniques such as social media marketing and email marketing as well as PR. Marketing mixes should include more than one form of promotion to have the most effective results.

Promotion is something that needs to be carefully thought out and planned, or you’ll be in danger of wasting your valuable project funds on reaching the wrong target audience.

Place

The ‘place’ part of the mix is where you’ll be selling your product/service, and the channels you’ll be using to reach those potential customers.

Finding the right place to market and sell your product is a key factor to successfully reach your target audience. There’s little point pouring all of your time and budget into a fully online marketing campaign if you’re mainly targeting individuals who spend little time on the internet – so you need to take the time to consider the best channels for success.

To decide the best place to market your product, you’ll need to consider where it will be sold (online, in shops, both?), where your target audience typically will shop, and what channels your target audience will be exposed to.

Why is the marketing mix so important?

By using all four elements of the marketing mix effectively, you can create a successful marketing strategy that meets the needs of your target audience, while enabling your organisation to achieve its sales and revenue goals.

An effective marketing mix will help you ensure that your product or service reaches the right customer (i.e. those in your target market), at the right time, and in the right place – a perfect recipe for success. Without an in-depth marketing mix, you’re at a real risk of your product or service not reaching its full potential.

When you target potential customers from several different effective angles, it will help to build your brand while providing a fuller, more comprehensive picture of who you are and what you do, building trust and credibility. A well thought out marketing mix will target customers at every stage of the buying cycle – meaning you’re likely to reach a wider range of potential buyers.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your product or service by developing a comprehensive marketing strategy, we can help! 

You can find out more about our marketing services here, or get in touch for a friendly chat with one of our team.