What Marketing Mix Is and Why It's Important

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A marketing mix is a term that created by the American Marketing Association back in the 1950s to explain how marketers make important decisions regarding how they execute a successful marketing plan. The term is still used today and is relevant in 2018 because changes have consistently been made to account for emerging technologies and other aspects of marketing that have changed over time. 

The Four Ps of Marketing Mix

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

  • Price. 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 low price ensures that more customers will buy the product, but the price also needs to recover any costs to make the product and ensuring the profit margin and survival of the business.
  • Product. The marketer needs to consider the life cycle of the product and any challenges that may arise when the product is in the hands of the consumer. For example, the earliest version of the 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. Promotion involves advertising, sales promotion, and public relations. TV commercials, Internet ads, print media and billboards (even ads features on the top of taxi cabs) fall under the umbrella of advertising. Public relations covers the distribution of press releases to the media while trade fairs fall in the sales promotion category.
  • Place. Like it sounds, place means the actual distribution center, or where a product is sold to the customer.

The Seven Ps of the Marketing Mix

Sometimes, the four Ps are expanded to include the seven Ps. In addition to the usual four Ps, the seven Ps include the inclusion of physical evidence, people, and process.

  • Physical evidence. involves anything that indicates that a service took place, whether it is packaging or a delivery receipt. Most businesses have some form of physical evidence.
  • People. This encompasses all the employees working on the product, or service, and looks at how well they perform their jobs.
  • Process. The process is anything within the organization that has an impact on how the product, or service, is handled, such as how many queries salespeople receive about a product.

How to Identify Your Marketing Mix

An important step for any business is to identify their marketing mix in order to bring in early sales and continue to build their customer base. The first step is to write down a short description of your target customer. 

Once you have decided on a target audience profile, use this profile to figure out your target market (such as single women ages 25 to 45) and what marketing strategies you need to implement to reach this audience. Next, figure out your goals and what you need to do to continue meeting your goals. For example, how many leads do you need to meet your desired sales quota for the year?

Next, choose at least one marketing tactic that will help you reach your target audience, and select tactics based on your goals and budget. For example, what media does your target audience get their information from? Is it all online or is a mix of online and local newspapers and television stations? Direct your advertising to these platforms.