The marketing mix consists of 4 major elements: product, price, promotion and place. These ‘4-Ps’ are the key decision areas that marketers must manage so that they satisfy or exceeded customer needs better than the competition. In other words, decisions regarding the marketing mix form a major aspect of marketing concept implementation. At this point, it’s useful to examine each element briefly so that we can understand the essence of marketing mix decision-making.
Why is the Marketing Mix Important?
In your day-to-day business activities it’s difficult to turn your attention to the big picture, especially when you’re putting out fires left and right.
Your marketing mix provides a roadmap for your business objectives. It keeps you on track, while keeping your target market in the forefront of your mind.
Your marketing mix will help you make sure your business is marketing the right product, to the right people, at the right price and time.
10 Steps to an Effective Marketing Mix
Use these 10 steps to assist you in building your perfect marketing mix for a successful product offering.
Step 1. Goals and Objectives
To create the right marketing mix you must first clearly define what you want the end result to be – more customers, brand awareness, higher sales, etc.
Every marketing plan has its own marketing goals. Also ensure you have set a specific time frame in which to achieve your goals.
Step 2. Establish Your Budget
How much money are you willing to spend on product innovation, consumer research and product promotion?
Step 3. Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Describe the benefits users will experience from using your product or service. What unique problem are you solving better than anyone else?
For example, Tom Shoes gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase.
Step 4. Who is Your Target Market?
In order to communicate effectively with your audience, you need to know who they are and how they prefer to be communicated with.
Create an in depth profile of your ideal customer. Make sure you’ve gathered enough consumer data to develop a complete picture of your ideal buyer.
Step 5. Ask Your Customers Advice
- What do they think of your product?
- How satisfied are they with the quality?
- Are the benefits apparent?
- How is your product effectively or not effectively meeting their needs?
Use their answers and the language they used in your marketing material. You’ll appear more relatable and approachable to your audience.
Step 6. Define Your Product in Detail
Take your time describing the specific qualities and value of your product. Look for the unique features that show your product’s worth.
Step 7. Know Your Distribution Channels
Identify the places your product will be marketed – which distribution channels you’ll make use of.
Your choice of distribution channel will influence your pricing and your promotion decisions.
Depending on your audience and product your main options will be:
- Selling to wholesalers who will sell to retail outlets, who will then sell to the consumer.
- Selling directly to the retail outlet.
- Selling directly to your customers.
Step 8. Create a Pricing Strategy
You need to discover clever ways of differentiating your product on price. Research your competitors and make sure you’re not overcharging your customers.
You will also need to consider what your target audience might be willing to pay and what it costs to actually produce your product.
Step 9. Choose Your Promotional Techniques
Your target audience needs to be made aware of your product offering.
Successful promotion of your product includes various elements, like:
- Direct Marketing: Directly connecting with carefully targeted individuals to cultivate lasting relationships. For example, catalogues, telephone marketing, and mobile marketing. Used for direct outreach to prospects in a database or sales list.
- Public relations: Press releases, exhibitions, sponsorship deals and conferences. Used for getting newsworthy attention.
- Advertising: Television, radio and print media will be your offline focus. Used for introducing your audience to new products and services.
- Personal selling: Personal presentation by your sales force. Demonstrating how your product works is key. Used for selling expensive, specialized and technologically advanced products.
- Sales promotion: Short-term incentives to encourage a purchase. This includes discounts, promotions, and payment terms. Used for getting people to use your product more often and to gain new customers.
- Word of mouth: Creating positive word of mouth via your sale staff, recommendations from buyers and social media. Used for boosting brand awareness.
Step 10. Use Inbound Marketing
The 4Ps of marketing creates the basis of your marketing strategy, but inbound marketing also plays a vital role in developing your marketing mix.
An effective inbound marketing mix should include:
- Your Website: Customers today want to interact with your brand and newly developed products. Use your website to fulfil this need for interaction. Make sure your website is quick loading, impactful and easy to navigate.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): In order for customers to interact with your website, they must be able to find it first. Use descriptive keywords to help search engines, like Google, direct users to your website.
- Email Marketing: One of the quickest, most direct ways to communicate with leads and customers. You need to continually collect prospects and customer contact information to grow your database and follow-up on a regular basis.
- Social Media: Besides having a website, you should use popular social networking sites to distribute your message and create brand awareness. Twitter and Facebook are invaluable for describing existing products, introducing new products, offering promotions and announcing sales.
- Blogging: Blogging will help your business stay top of mind by putting out regular content. Host the blog on your website and write good content, making sure to respond to each blog comment.
A well-developed marketing mix will help you develop products and services that better serve the wants and needs of your target market.
Done right, your market mix will help your customers understand why your product or service is better than those of you competitors.
Although the 4Ps should remain core to your marketing mix, inbound marketing should also form part of your overall marketing strategy. Use these 10 steps to help you develop your perfect marketing mix.