An Introduction to Marketing Mixes & The 4 P’s of Marketing
The 4 P’s That Make Up a Marketing Mix
A marketing mix consists of a combination of factors that a business can control in order to influence consumers to purchase its products.
By strategically manipulating these factors and continuously optimizing them, businesses can better serve their customers; in turn, boosting their bottom lines.
Marketing mixes are comprised of the four P’s of marketing — product, price, promotion, and place.
Below we outline the various components of each of the four P’s of marketing.
- The quality of the product
- The design of the product
- The packaging of the product
- The branding of the product
- The retail price of the product
- The payment plans available to consumers
- The discounts available to consumers
- The credit terms required if consumers need to borrow money to purchase the product
- The advertising that promotes a product
- The salespeople (or lack thereof) required to sell the product
- Public relations
- Emails, or any other form of communication that spreads the word of the product
- The retail locations or storefronts required to sell the product
- Delivery of the product
- Whether or not the product is downloadable
- All distribution methods
The 7 P’s of Marketing
In recent years, the four P’s of marketing have been expanded to seven P’s by including the additional considerations of physical evidence, people, and process.
Physical evidence refers to anything that provides proof that a transaction or service took place. A receipt is a convenient example of physical evidence.
In the case of the seven P’s of marketing, people refers to the employees that work on the product or service, and how well they do so.
Here process refers to anything within the business that impacts how the product or service is established, created, and/or distributed.
How to Determine Your Ideal Marketing Mix
In order to best serve the market and in turn drive as much revenue as possible, businesses must determine the ideal combination of the factors discussed above to create an ideal marketing mix.
The first step is to develop a precise description of your target customer, and what makes them unique. You can combine your existing knowledge with customer interviews, as well as data from leaders in customer service, marketing, and sales. You can even run a customer feedback survey to collect fresh insights.
If you’re targeting individuals, consider key demographics within the larger population. If you’re targeting businesses, take consideration of the size of your ideal client company, and where they are located geographically.
Once you’ve developed an accurate profile of your target audience, you can begin to build out your marketing strategy to best align with your target population.
Next, define your goals, and what is necessary to accomplish in order to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Examples of Marketing Mixes Determined by Target Markets
Let’s imagine that you’re in the business of selling sandwiches.
The first step in building out an optimized marketing mix would be to identify and define your target market. Who are you going to sell sandwiches to?
Your target market will have a significant impact on your four P’s.
If your target market consists of the wealthiest people in a given region
If you decide that your target market are wealthy people in a given area that are interested in eating gourmet sandwiches, we could consider a sandwich that utilizes gourmet ingredients such as truffles, caviar, or high-end cheese that has been aged for years. This would entail a manipulation of your product.
When it comes to price, you’d have to charge a significant amount of money per sandwich to make a profit since your costs will be high due to pricey ingredients. For the sake of this example, let’s set the price per sandwich at $30.
A good promotional tactic you could utilize would be advertising your sandwich shop in luxury magazines.
Finally, the place that you sell your sandwiches would have to be somewhere like a country club, or a fancy restaurant.
If your target market consists of budget-conscious, health-focused people
If your target market were to shift from wealthy people to budget-conscious health-focused people, your marketing mix would need to change as well.
In terms of product, you might want to consider vegetarian options, or sandwiches that are made with a healthy bread substitute.
Your price would inherently change, as the ingredients to your sandwiches would not be as expensive, and your target market here would not have the same source of wealth as your previous target market of the wealthiest people in the region.
You could run a promotional campaign in which if people buy a sandwich, they receive a half-off discount on the next sandwich that they purchase. This would keep these budget-conscious consumers coming back for more.
Finally, when it comes to place, you might want to sell your sandwiches someplace like a local park that is free to access, instead of a high-end country club or fancy restaurant.
While the examples above are high-level, relatively simplistic marketing mixes, they speak to the fact that your four (or seven) P’s of marketing should naturally change and evolve depending on the target market you are hoping to address.
Different markets will receive varying marketing mixes with different levels of acceptance. That’s why it’s essential for any business, large or small, to put careful consideration and thought into developing the most optimized marketing mix possible.
In your experience, what has your development process looked like when it comes to creating an ideal marketing mix? Share your story in the comments below!