How to develop the marketing mix of a marketing plan defined as the four Ps of marketing that are product, place, price and promotion.
Academics have enlarged the four Ps into the 7Ps and 4Cs. This extension is an attempt to get inside the head of the customer and the marketing departments to ensure they are as one when it comes to developing solutions to customer problems.
What is the Marketing Mix?
Definition: The marketing mix is a tool used in business covering the four Ps of marketing to aid strategic planning.
Those Ps are product, place, price and promotion of a product. The other P's are people, process and physical evidence. These elements are discussed in more detail below. See how they influence your marketing in your business.
The first element of the mix is the product. This component is fairly straightforward as it's the tangible or physical item you're selling. There are three levels of a product; the core product offering, the actual product and the augmented product. It's important to understand the differences.
- The core product is not the actual tangible product but the benefit the product provides to the customer to satisfy their need. In reality, this is the sole purpose of offering your product or service in the first place - to meet the needs of the consumer.
- The actual product is the tangible item people purchase and defined by such things as the colour, the style, branding, fashion and purchase volume.
- The augmented product is the non-tangible elements that add value to the physical parts. These may include warranties and guarantees, customer service excellence, finance options for purchasing delivery options, installation services and post sale customer care.
The above elements are mostly present in all products with different benefits for the customer.
The place element of the marketing mix is defining how and where the product is being sold. In these days of online purchasing, the place covers both the website and the physical distribution and delivery of the product once purchased.
When developing your marketing plan, you should cover all areas from the wholesaler, retailer and any storage or intermediaries along the way. Drop-shipping comes into this context if you're selling but not distributing the final product to the end customer.
Much research and opinion get offered on how best to generate sales volume through pricing strategies. A higher than average market price may indicate a high-quality product, whereas low pricing could suggest more inferior quality. Competitors often cut prices to build market share but if their peers follow it directly reduces the profitability of the entire industry.
Conversely, studies show that some companies have doubled their prices and still sold more units, so it's worth experimenting with the pricing levels. You can bundle products, so customers pay and all-inclusive price or unbundle, so each element is purchased separately.
Look at price closely - you can develop all types of offers or go into new markets entirely. Some pricing headings include: premium pricing, penetration pricing, product line pricing, psychological pricing, price skimming, economy pricing, promotional pricing and value pricing.
The promotion element is the part of the marketing mix that many people consider to be "marketing". However, this is really the result of all your hard work in defining products to satisfy needs and pricing it accordingly.
Once you're at the promotions stage, you'll have a lot of areas to communicate what your business can offer. The main areas are direct marketing, direct advertising (such as television or radio - also called "above the line advertising"), personal sales, public relations (PR not press releases) and sponsorship.
Not all may be right for your products, but certainly a mix of these promotional activities is essential to get your message across.