What is a Marketing Mix?

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A marketing mix is a way to make important decisions about how to execute a successful marketing plan. The term "marketing mix" was coined in 1953 by American Marketing Association president  Neil Borden, and has been used from then until today, with changes being made to account for current technology and other aspects of marketing that have changed over time. 

The Four P's

A marketing mix is associated with the four P's: price, product, promotion, and place.

When setting a price, a marketer needs to consider the customer's perceived value of the product, and consider the fact that price can dramatically change the marketing strategy. A cheap price ensures that more customers will buy the product, but it also needs to recover any cost to make the product and ensure the survival of the business.

For the product, the marketer needs to consider the life cycle of the product and any challenges that may come up when moving the product. For example, the early iPod had a battery life problem that was only noticeable after a certain amount of time, and Apple needed to be able to combat that problem.

Promotion involves advertising, marketing, sales promotion and public relations. Commercials, Internet advertisements, print media and billboards fall under advertising, while public relations covers the press releases, trade fairs and other communication that is not paid for directly in the way that advertising is.

Place means the distribution center, or where it is sold to allow customer access.

The Seven P's

The four P's have sometimes been expanded in recent years to become the seven P's. It includes Physical Evidence, People, and Process, in addition to the usual four.

Physical evidence involves anything that indicates that a service took place, whether it is packaging, a delivery receipt, or a scar from surgery.

Most businesses will have some form of physical evidence. People means the employees working on the product or service, and how well they do so.

Process involves anything within the organization that has an impact on how the product or service is handled, such as job querying.

How to Identify Your Marketing Mix

An important step for any business is to identify their marketing mix, to get early sales and continue getting customers. The first step is to write down a short description of your target customer. If you are targeting individuals, consider key demographics. If you are targeting businesses, think about how big the business is and where they are located.

Once you have decided on a target audience profile, use this to figure out your target market and what marketing strategies to use. Next, figure out your goals and what is needed to continue meeting your goals. For example, how many leads are needed to make your desired amount of sales?

Next, choose at least one marketing tactic that will reach your target audience, and select these tactics based on your goals and budget. What media does your target audience get their information from? Direct your advertising there.

Having a marketing mix can help a business avoid costly errors and develop adequate customer research.

It is a must for any business, large or small.