From the moment McCarthy developed his 4Ps of the Marketing Mix back in the 1960s, marketers everywhere have been using it. Sure, it’s moved on, and some people have added a few more Ps to extend the reach of the model. The concept simplifies the idea of marketing, but if you don’t know what the purpose of each P is, it won’t be much use to you. Let’s simplify it for you now. The purpose of any marketing is to reach, engage, and provoke the desired reaction from your target market or potential customer. Ultimately you want everyone to become a paying customer. The Marketing Mix helps guide your campaign in that direction.
Think of the mix as a cake mix when you’re baking. You’re going to want a sponge cake one day, but you’ll probably prefer a banana loaf the next. The sponge is fine when you want something light and popular. The loaf is a little more healthy and filling. Different ingredients are required to create the differences in the cakes. Just like your campaigns, you’ll know which way to go on any given day. You’ll know who you’re serving the campaign to and how you want them to feel about it. You’ll select the ingredients (4Ps) that work to deliver that.
McCarthy’s 4Ps are:
Product (or Service)
Price (you’re charging)
Place (your channels or marketplace where you’ll find customers)
Promotion (the bit the excites and engages your customers)
The first two are very much down to you, but you can get a little bit of help fine tuning them. For example, a focus group or reviewer could reveal user experience details you hadn’t considered when you developed your product. They might reveal which similar products yours compares with most closely. They’ll also be frank about whether they think what you sell is worth every cent you’re asking for it. This can allow you fine tune the RRP you’re putting on it.
When it comes to Place, your focus group may offer some insight here too. You’ll quickly build up a detailed profile of each participant, particularly those that loved your product the most. This could be your target market. Go through your customer data with a fine toothed comb. You can gather a great deal of geographic and demographic information here. This can help you figure out what kind of person is most responsive to your product. Now all you need to do is reach many more just like them.
An advertising agency can help here. They’ll take your data and give you options on how best to reach these customers through the media. They may also offer valuable insight to the kind of campaigns that may generate the most response. After all, you’re looking for leads before you can convert them to sales. Be honest about your budget. You may not have much, but there is much you can do, even on a shoestring.
Your ad agency may also be able to develop appropriate campaign material that could be used across several media. You don’t have to mix up your promotions if you don’t want to. Of course, reaching target customers online and offline may help to make sure you attract their attention.
Every campaign should have a call-to-action. You want those people to respond in a particular way. The campaign might drive traffic to your website, so detail a unique URL for them to follow (this makes sure you can track and measure your ROI.) Not every campaign has to be a hard sell leading directly to the Buy It Now button. You might simply want to start the customer’s journey with a story to pique their interest in your new product.
Now you have your 4Ps mixed up and evolving into a campaign strategy. You might be interested in considering some of the other elements of your marketing. Are you so consumed with hitting lead and sales targets that you haven’t fully considered what happens after the customer parts with their hard-earned cash?
Who is personally responsible for ensuring the security and safety of your customer data? There are legal requirements here for every territory. Your website may be a big part of the ordering process, so make sure it is secure. Next, consider who is responsible for packing and posting your product to the customer. How much care goes into this? What feelings will be invoked when the product arrives? Yes, first impressions count for a lot!
What about customer services? Have you engaged a copywriter to create your transaction, in-progress, and dispatched communications? Customer like to be kept up to date. And what more do you have to say to them once the product is received? Can you reach out to make sure they are enjoying the product? Can you offer further tips and advice on how to use the product? Will that customer be encouraged to come back for another sale?
The people in your company and the process of getting stock to the customer should be fine-tuned. Customer satisfaction is key, especially in the age of social media. Consider these ingredients to be the choice of oven and the icing on the top! Don’t let them be an afterthought. Even a small business can do more to make sure packaging is attractive and practical. Customer services should be available, helpful and friendly.
So what goes into your marketing mix, and when do you use it? The marketing mix should be detailed in your marketing strategy and your business plan. You will fine tune it and make adjustments for each campaign. Over time, you’ll add more and more to it as you look at more and more integrated marketing solutions. Perhaps it will be the document you have open most often on your desktop?
Marketing techniques will continue to change and evolve as our target market changes its habits, behaviors and preferences. But the model that has been a pinnacle of business studies for over fifty years can always come in handy. Happy marketing.