The Marketing Mix is an aspect of the marketing process which aims to streamline the goals and objectives of your strategy. When it was first introduced by Jerome McCarthy in 1964, it simply involved 4Ps: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion.
Fast-forward to 1981, where we see Booms and Bitner, two academics, who added 3 crucial Ps to the Marketing Mix: Physical Evidence, People, and Processes. These new additions saw the Marketing Mix evolve into the 7Ps, or the Extended Marketing Mix as its often known.
So what good does the 7ps of the marketing mix do for marketers? As the needs, wants, and expectations of customers are constantly changing and developing, understanding and evolving with them is key. Frequently revisiting the 7Ps formula allows you to accurately segment your market. Then, with your new streamlined strategy, you can meet, and exceed, the requirements of your consumers, and also keep ahead of industry competitors.
So let's go through each of the 7Ps of the marketing mix:
Number 1: Product
Product refers to a physical product, service, or experience. Basically, anything that’s being sold. You need to make sure that your product is right for the market, in that it satisfies or exceeds the expectations of the customer.
Number 2: Place
This is where you choose to distribute your offerings. It could be a warehouse, a high-street store, an e-commerce shop or a cloud-based platform. Wherever you choose to distribute, you need to make sure that it’s accessible to your audience, and that you’ve taken your competitors into consideration.
Because where you choose to distribute your products can dictate things like your product type and your budget.
Number 3: Price
Price refers to the cost of your product, service or experience. Your cost should reflect your customers’ perceived value of what you’re offering, it should also be in line with your budget and take into account industry competition. If not, you jeopardise losing your desired target market.
Number 4: Promotion
Promotion refers to your marketing, advertising, and sales techniques. You have traditional promotional channels such as TV, radio, billboards, and newspapers, or more modern methods like pop-ups, push notifications, native advertising, email marketing, or social media marketing. Your chosen promotional methods have great influencing power over the perception of your brand and its long-term success.
Whichever promotional methods you choose, if you want to break through the noise and be heard, your data gathering and market segmentation analysis have to be meticulous and well thought out so that you’re reaching the right audience, in the right place, and at the right time.
Number 5: Physical Evidence
Physical evidence, in the sense of the Marketing Mix, generally takes two forms; one, evidence that a service or purchase took place and two, proof or confirmation that your brand exists.
Physical evidence of a transaction comes in the form of things like receipts, tracking information, and invoices, whereas proof of the existence of your brand is highly visual; it could be the appearance of your building, your social media channels, your website and logo, your business cards and so on.
Choosing an unfamiliar brand or product is risky for a customer. They need to know that you’re legitimate. And physical evidence achieves this.
Number 6: People
‘People’ essentially refers to anyone who is involved in the brand or product; it could be those selling it, designing it, creating it, managing teams, or representative customers. When you think about it, anyone who comes into contact with your customers can make an impression, positively or negatively, and this can impact the perception of your brand.
There’s no use in creating an amazing product, having a lively social media presence, and a strong brand if your employees aren’t behind you. You need to recruit people who will engage with your company culture and add value to your organisation.
And Number 7: Processes
‘Processes’ is the 7th ingredient in the extended marketing mix. It describes the full experience of the buying process; from when a customer becomes aware of your brand and enters the sales funnel, to your distribution procedures and then post-purchase customer relationship management. Each step you take and the methods that you choose during the whole process must be done in a way that is professional, cost-effective, and offers the most value in return to your wonderful customers.
Every aspect of the marketing mix is key to your success. No element should be considered in isolation. For example — you can’t develop a product without considering an appropriate price, or how it will reach the customer. In the same way, you can’t promote your product using a channel that isn’t accessible to your target market.
By carefully analysing and segmenting your target audience alongside the 7Ps, you can ensure that your marketing strategy will be as streamlined as possible.
Now we’d like to hear from you. Are you going to start using the 7Ps of the marketing mix in your strategy? Or maybe you’d like to share some of your own tips that we might have missed.
Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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