How to Create a Marketing Mix
The term “marketing mix” sounds simple enough, but are you familiar with it? To really understand the ideal marketing mix, you must first jump back to the basics. What is marketing?
Marketing, at its core, is about getting a product into the hands of the consumer. The goal of marketing is to do this in the most effective way possible without wasting a lot of time or money. That’s where marketing starts to grow more complicated and take on different routes. But it’s the core message that we need to hang on to here: getting a product into the hands of the consumer.
What is a “Marketing Mix”?
A marketing mix is what helps you plan for exactly what you’re going to sell, and how you’re going to get it into the hands of the consumer. It’s what will save you from making mistakes, costly ones, like the time that an American appliance company tried to sell dish washers in Japan. Only, they completely failed because they didn’t realize Japanese kitchens were a lot smaller than that of the traditional American home. A marketing mix helps you understand your product, your target consumer, your environment, your timing, and helps you draw the line between those concepts so you can get from product to revenue as efficiently as possible. We do that with the help of the 4Ps.
Using The 4Ps of Marketing to Create a Marketing Mix
The four “P”s of marketing are a tool for creating a marketing mix that works. They stand for: Product, place, price, and promotion. Each of them represents an area of your marketing strategy that you will have to examine, questions you will have to ask, and changes you will have to make.
Before you get into your 4Ps, you need to define what makes this product useful. This is called the USP, or Unique Selling Proposition. You need to determine what it is that you will say about this product to a customer about why they need this or want this product in their lives. Try to do this in a single statement.
After that, you need to identify who it is that you’re selling this product to. Think hard about them. Don’t just think of their basic demographic details like age, gender, income levels, and more. Think about their lives. What do they experience in daily life? What problems might they face? How could your product help with that problem? This is going to be the person that you reach out to directly, so it helps to know enough about them that you can relate and create a connection. It always helps to know your customer. Go over the details of the life of your consumer and draw parallels between your product and this person’s life. How does your product fit into their life? How does it improve it, or solve problems? This is what will be highlighted when you go to market your product.
These steps lead right into the first “P”, which is Product. Things that might come up during this phase are questions like, “is there anything we could add to improve this?”, “are there any features that are redundant or unnecessary?”, or “why would a customer want this?”
The second “P” stands for Place. Here, you might ask yourself and your coworkers questions like: “Who are our competitors and how are we different?”, “What options do we have for bringing this product within reach of the customers?”, and “Where would a buyer look for a product like this?”
Then, you have the third “P”, Price. This one is simple. “Does our price match the value that a customer would place on this product?”, “Is our price on par with our competitor’s?”, and “How would a lower price reflect in our profit margin?” are common questions that would come up at this point. Then, you need to put a price tag on your product. With these questions, you should already have a good idea on where to set your price point already.
Finally, there’s Promotion, the fourth “P”. Promotion questions include: “What is the best method for getting our message across to potential buyers?”, “Where is our target market most likely to see our advertisements?”, and “What is the best time to market this product?”.
The Role of The 4Ps in Marketing
The 4Ps of marketing is just one way that you can break down marketing to help you develop a marketing mix that works perfectly for your goal. There are numerous similar easy-to-remember lists out there that help with this, such as the 7Ps by Boom and Bitner which adds “Plus, People, Processes, and Physical Layout Decisions” to the initial four Ps. There’s also the 4Cs which is a similar process to the 4Ps, but takes on the perspective of the buyer to help give marketing personnel a window into how the buyers will view and process their product. These include, “Customer Needs, Cost, Convenience, and Communication”. However, the standard marketing list for creating a marketing mix is the 4Ps method.
This method does more than just provides you with a means to identify potential problems through questions at each phase. It does a number of things. One benefit to using this strategy is the ability to identify problems in an already completed marketing strategy. Another is that you can better organize your information for your marketing strategy and be fully equipped to handle any questions about it should some arise by investors, bosses, or even customers. After going through the 4Ps, your marketing mix is ready to be unveiled.
The marketing mix is your strategy for getting your product in the hands of customers. Here, you’ll need to take into account all the questions and answers you derived from going through the 4Ps. This mix will combine the results of the 4Ps, and you’ll be left with a statement that identifies your clear focus for achieving the marketing goals you set out for with this product. The only thing left to do from here is present your marketing strategy cleanly, clearly, and then the real work can begin!