The marketing mix is a concept introduced in the 1950s to help businesses of all sizes consider the most important elements of a marketing plan. Originally conceived as the Four Ps – Product, Price, Place and Promotion, they have since been expanded with an additional three areas – People, Packaging and Process – although some marketers also quote ‘positioning’ or ‘physical evidence’. When you are considering your marketing approach, whether you have an in-house team or use virtual marketing support, understanding these areas is a great place to start.

Why use the marketing mix?

One of the most difficult parts of marketing – particularly for business owners for whom this is part of a much bigger day job – is understanding what it means and how to plan it properly. Marketing is essentially the way we interest people in our products or services. And to do that effectively, whether via remote digital marketing, traditional direct mail, or social media management, small businesses need to gather as much detail as possible. That helps them to plan budgets, target the right channels and build an effective, measurable approach.

The Four Ps

Going back to basics and understanding Product, Price, Place and Promotion gives you a great starting point. Once you have dived into these areas, you’ll automatically have a much better idea of how your marketing should look. And that will inform your strategy for everything from market research to regular customer communications. Product – the better you understand your product or service, the better placed you are to market it. What are the key features and benefits? How will it make a difference to your customer? How is it different to your competitors? What added value do you deliver? Does it have a lifespan, or need other products for maintenance or support? Price – we could write a completely separate article on pricing! However, the most important things to consider are making sure your pricing delivers a good margin wherever possible. Look at pricing for similar products – you can do this by using a marketing research assistant – and decide whether you want to premium price your product, or offer it as a loss leader to begin with, in order to attract customers. Will you periodically raise the price, and if so by how much? Place – where do you sell the product? Is it online only – perhaps requiring a digital content marketing manager to help plan your strategy – or will it also be available in shops, at fairs or through selected retailers? Is it worth advertising? Can you sell through particular bodies or associations? What’s the best way to reach your target market? Promotion – how are you going to get your product or service in front of your target customer? Where do they go for their information? How will they come across your product? Do they need to look at it in person? Are they likely to base a buying decision on online reviews or testimonials? Can you put it directly in front of them by email marketing or paid-for online adverts? If you’re starting to pull together a marketing plan for your small business, virtual marketing support can be a reliable and cost-effective way to get going. Using experienced marketers, you can pull together all the information you need to understand how to best approach your marketing, and to be able to measure results. It takes a considerable amount of work off your hands, and you’re only paying for the time you use. Want to know more? Why not call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above to find out how we can help?  

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