As marketers, we should never underestimate the power of planning. For most of us, that means creating a water-tight marketing strategy, informed by analysis and data - one that has objectives, a target market, and proven tactics.
We all use different blueprints depending on our industry, our target audience and our products and services. But there’s one, timeless model that any marketer can utilise regardless of their field of work and that is the marketing mix.
What is the marketing mix?
Traditionally, the marketing mix is a framework for your marketing strategy containing four key elements: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. Then we have the extended marketing mix - or the 7Ps - which contains the first four elements, plus Physical Evidence, People and Processes.
It’s important to note that while the marketing mix can influence your strategy and provide a greater understanding of the wider market, as well as your business internally, it doesn’t work in isolation. The marketing mix is a tactic that works best when it’s implemented regularly or semi-regularly as a structure for planning, executing, evaluating and re-evaluating your marketing activities.
Who created the marketing mix?
The marketing mix is a concept developed by professor and academic, Neil H. Borden, who elaborated on James Culliton’s concept of business executives being mixers of ingredients- ingredients being different marketing features and practices.
The marketing mix was later refined by professor and author, Jerome McCarthy, to specifically include four key components: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. McCarthy wrote about the 4Ps in the 1960s in his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.
The 4Ps vs the 7Ps
These original 4Ps of the marketing mix covered the fundamental factors of business and marketing at the time. But as we know, marketing and business as a whole have evolved exponentially since then, so it was only a matter of time before the marketing mix needed to be expanded.
In 1981, the 4Ps were built upon by two modern academics, B.H. Booms and M.J. Bitner, who identified three additional elements they saw as key to the marketing mix: Physical Evidence, People, and Process, thus providing us with what we now know as the 7Ps of the marketing mix.
And it makes sense that these three were the elements Booms and Bitner added to the marketing mix framework. People are at the heart of every business. Without people, you have no one to market to; no one is there to buy your product or make use of your services. It’s a no-brainer.
What are the 7Ps of the marketing mix?
Now that you know what the 7 Ps of the marketing mix are and their origins, let’s dive a little deeper into the definition of each aspect.
Product refers to what is being sold - a physical product, service, or experience.
No matter how you position yourself as a brand, your product or service is always going to be at the centre of your strategy and will influence every aspect of the marketing mix. When you think of your product, consider factors such as:
- Specific features
- The problem that it will solve for your customers
Product in this case, then, is about crafting something that meets the needs and desires of your target audience. This means understanding their preferences, pain points, and aspirations. By meticulously aligning your product with customer expectations, you create a solid starting point for your marketing endeavours. Over 30,000 consumer products are launched yearly. Out of these 30,000 new products, 95% of them fail woefully without having any significant impact on the market.
Choosing the right distribution channels significantly impacts your product's accessibility and visibility. Effective placement ensures your product is available when and where your target audience needs it. Place in the marketing mix doesn't just mean physical locations—it encompasses websites, catalogues, social media, trade shows, and brick-and-mortar stores.
Source: ZippiaAs of 2021, in-store shopping dominates, accounting for 80.9% of sales, while online shopping comprises 19.1%. By 2022, online retail sales reached 21%, showing modest progress.
Place covers all distribution channels. Factors like your target audience influence your choices. Selling via a single high-street store won't work if your audience is mostly online or global. Test options—could an eCommerce site or a pop-up store work? A mix might suit your business.
Understanding your target audience is vital for the right distribution. To profit consistently, distribute where your brand fits and your audience can access. Make your presence felt where it matters most.
The right pricing strategy is critical for a product's success. A misstep in pricing can jeopardize your ROI. Bain & Company research found that 18% of companies lack internal processes for pricing decisions. Your price should mirror customer perception, align with your budget, and ensure profitability. Pricing significantly impacts your business's success, affecting marketing, sales, and demand.
Various pricing strategies exist, each with unique benefits and considerations, depending on your product and brand image.
6 Common pricing strategies:
- Price Skimming: Begin with a high price, gradually lowering it over time.
- Competition-Based Pricing: Set prices above or below competitors' rates.
- Economy Pricing: Target budget-conscious buyers with lower prices.
- Premium Pricing: Attach a high price, emphasizing product quality.
- Value-Based Pricing: Determine price based on perceived customer value.
- Cost-Plus Pricing: Set price based on production cost plus markup.
Whatever your pricing strategy is, ensure it aligns with your brand, appeals to customers, and maintains profitability. Monitor the market, economy, and competitors to adjust as needed.
Promotion is at the core of our marketing expertise. Whether through direct marketing, PR, advertising, content strategies, or in-store presentations, as marketers, we excel in raising awareness and engagement.
Promotion involves telling a compelling brand story that resonates with consumers, guiding them to consider your offerings. Effective promotional strategies achieve various goals, from elevating brand recognition to driving sales and revenue. Addressing key questions sets the stage:
Where is your audience able to find you? Online or in a physical store?
Does seasonal impact influence your business?
What is your brand personality and how does it shape your messaging and design?
- How do competitors promote themselves? A SWOT analysis helps here.
Promotional tactics fall into two categories: traditional and digital. Traditional methods encompass print media, broadcasting, mail, billboards, and word of mouth. Digital avenues include email, social media, content marketing, SEO, mobile outreach, and paid ads. Digital marketing generates 50% more customer interactions than traditional methods.
Source: MarTech Alliance
The way you communicate and promote directly affects your brand's success. Misplaced messages or poor timing can negatively impact sales. Understanding your audience through segmentation and targeting, along with integrating marketing data, helps cater to their needs and ensures seamless omnichannel campaigns.
5. Physical Evidence
Physical evidence means more than just proof of purchase - it encompasses the overall existence of your brand. Think website, branding, social media, the logo on your building, your store’s decor, the packaging of your product, the post-purchase thank you email, even the ambience of your store. All of these elements offer your customer the physical evidence they need to be certain that your business is viable, reliable and legitimate.
For consumers to truly be comfortable with you, to complete a purchase, remain loyal and advocate for your brand, they need to be confident that you’re legitimate and worth their time.
To create a well-crafted strategy that ensures you offer great customer support, be sure to deliver products and receipts efficiently and reliably, and provide a customer experience that is seamless across each and every touchpoint.
People, in the marketing mix, refers to anyone directly or indirectly involved in the business side of the enterprise. That means anyone involved in selling a product or service, designing it, marketing, managing teams, representing customers, recruiting and training.
It’s critical to the success of your brand, and the satisfaction of your customers, that everyone who represents the company (including the chatbots) is polite, professional, knowledgeable and fully trained. Employees need to be able to solve the problems that customers have, so as a business, you need to offer training, good working environments and anything that will safeguard the contentment of your employees.
50% of consumers will switch to a competitor after a single bad experience, while 80% will switch after multiple bad experiences. Excellent customer service is a must for any brand operating in today’s customer-centric market.
Digital strategist, Dave Chaffey, says that people buy from people because of the human connection that we all typically crave. When marketers create a strategy that’s highly tailored and personalised, they can be as influential as the best, most persuasive salesperson.
Having the right people is key for both long and short-term success. Each part of the marketing mix can help your customers see you as reliable and dependable, which is crucial to any branding strategy.
Process encompasses what goes into every step of the customer journey - from making an enquiry to requesting information and making a purchase. The efficiency and consistency of your processes can significantly impact your overall effectiveness. From lead generation to customer support, having well-defined and streamlined processes ensures a seamless customer journey.
The more intentional and personalised your processes are, the happier your customers will be. Even with the best product in the world, your business can be let down by processes.
You want your customer interactions to be seamless from beginning to end, so think about things like:
- Your customer response time
- The time between booking with sales and actually having a meeting
- What happens once they make a purchase
- How to generate positive reviews after purchase
- What tools can make your processes more efficient i.e. AI, CRMs, email clients, KPI tracking, etc.
Marketers who plan their projects and campaigns against their strategy are 365% more likely to report success.
Regularly assessing, adjusting and adapting your processes will help to structure your business efforts so that you can function at optimal efficiency.
Why are the 7Ps of the marketing mix important?
In the dynamic realm of marketing, where strategies evolve and consumer behaviours shift, having a reliable and comprehensive framework is essential. The 7Ps of the marketing mix provide precisely that – a versatile toolkit that empowers intermediate marketers to construct impactful strategies and achieve sustainable success.
At the core of the 7Ps framework lies a profound focus on understanding and catering to the needs of your target audience. This customer-centric approach is a cornerstone of successful marketing. By delving deep into your customers' preferences, pain points, and aspirations, you gain insights that guide your decisions across the 7Ps. This empathetic understanding ensures that your product is tailored to meet specific demands, your pricing resonates with perceived value, your distribution channels are optimized for accessibility, and your promotional efforts strike a chord.
The 7Ps framework also equips marketers with the agility to respond to shifting market dynamics. Whether it's adjusting pricing strategies to remain competitive, leveraging new promotional platforms to reach wider audiences, or refining product offerings based on customer feedback, the flexibility inherent in the 7Ps allows marketers to stay relevant and effective.
Additionally, the 7Ps facilitate measurement and optimisation, a key element of any successful marketing strategy. Each "P" provides distinct metrics that can be tracked and analysed which allows marketers to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This data-driven approach enables informed decision-making, leading to continuous refinement and enhanced results.
How can I use the 7Ps?
The 7Ps marketing mix is more than just a theoretical concept; it's a versatile toolkit that can be wielded by intermediate marketers to create impactful and effective strategies. Here's a concise guide on how you can leverage this model to your advantage:
1. Start with Solid Research
Understanding your target audience is paramount. Conduct thorough market research to unearth insights into their preferences, behaviours, and needs. This foundational knowledge will inform every decision you make across the 7Ps.
2. Tailor Your Product Offering
Craft your product or service with your audience in mind. Strive to meet their unique needs and desires, differentiating yourself from competitors by adding value and addressing pain points.
3. Pricing Precision
Develop a pricing strategy that aligns with customer expectations and provides a clear reflection of the value you offer. Consider factors such as production costs, competitor pricing, and perceived value when setting your prices.
4. Strategic Placement
Determine the optimal distribution channels to ensure your product or service reaches your target audience conveniently. Whether it's through physical stores, online platforms, or a combination of both, choose avenues that enhance accessibility and visibility.
5. Powerful Promotions
Craft compelling promotional campaigns that resonate with your audience. Utilize a mix of advertising, public relations, social media, and other marketing channels to amplify your message and create a buzz around your offering.
6. Prioritize People
Invest in your employees and ensure they are well-trained and aligned with your brand's values. Their interactions with customers can significantly impact their experience and perception of your brand.
7. Streamline Processes
Efficiency is key. Optimize your marketing processes to ensure a seamless customer journey from awareness to purchase and beyond. This includes lead generation, customer support, and post-purchase interactions.
In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, a robust framework is essential, and the 7Ps of the marketing mix offer just that. As marketers, this versatile toolkit empowers us to craft impactful strategies for enduring success. By delving into customer preferences, pain points, and dreams, we tailor our decisions across the 7Ps. Harnessing the power of the 7Ps, allows us to shape strategies that resonate, adapting to the ever-shifting marketing landscape, and ensuring lasting success.
Track and visualise your KPIs in real-time with Hurree. Try Hurree today and discover how to truly harness the power of analytics and transform your company reporting using cross-platform dashboards. If you have any questions then feel free to get in touch!
You May Also Like
These Related Stories