A successful business designs the right product that the market needs, at the right price, and distributes it to them at the right place. The right marketing mix has always been the secret ingredient to successful businesses.
Every factor of the mix must align for success to happen and since every commercial venture’s end goal is to make a profit and gain market shares, the marketing mix is kind of a big deal.
What Is a Marketing Mix Strategy?
It is a plan developed after the goals and objectives of business have been defined and adequately understood.
You should start designing your marketing mix strategy after you’ve done these things:
Define Your Company’s Goals & Objectives
It would be foolish to design a marketing mix strategy when the business goal is still unknown. ‘Disrupting the system’ should never be the basis on which a business launches a product into the market. Even if the business existed before, is very important to define the objectives.
A proper understanding of the business goals and objectives will enable the marketers to know when they are succeeding and when they are failing.
Know Your Competitive Advantage
Your business is entering a market that is either already saturated or is relatively saturated, or if you are really lucky, relatively new which means less competition. Knowing who your competitors are will help you understand where you fit in the market.
If you want to start a burger shop, you need to conduct your market research to know which other business sells burgers in your area or your city. Then you research what makes this burger guys sell. What do they offer that attracts people? The next question is: What are they not doing that I can do? The gap your competitions are unable to fill could be your marketing advantage.
Your Unique Selling Point (USP) can be your advantage. What makes your product different from your competitors’? What unique benefit will customers enjoy when they use your product?
Define Your Market & Ideal Customers
Your ideal customers are the people who need your product and are willing to buy those products. You can know who your customers are by conducting market research. You can also ask your customers (if you are already in the market) what they want. It would be best to understand who your market is before taking any step into designing and implementing your marketing strategy mix.
The 4Ps Needed to Create a Marketing Mix Strategy
If you are a marketing professional, you already know the popular 4Ps, the foundation on which many a marketing mix rests on. Although there have been tweaks to the 4P, with extra Ps added to the mix, the foundation still holds: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
The product is the goods or services you will be offering your customers. As a business, you need to carry out market research to know your customers’ needs and how your product, goods, or services can meet that need.
In the product stage, all departments are involved in designing a ‘great’ product. From the sales team to the product development team, all hands must be on deck to ensure a successful product launch.
For the product you’re offering, these two components should be at the heart of the design:
This ranges from the logo design to the name of the company and the emotional effect you want your brand to evoke on your customers. Branding goes beyond the aesthetic appeal, even though that is a significant component of branding. Branding is about how you want your customers to feel when they come in contact with the product. The “WHY” of your business should be the motivating factor in defining your brand.
Simon Sinek, in his book Start With Why, said that starting with WHY gives brands the chance to communicate a deeper meaning to their customers.
So, while the logo, color, and brand name are necessary, ensure you have a good reason for the product. You’ll need this WHY when promoting your product.
In what form will the product come? If your product is a tangible good, the material it’s stored in and distributed is essential. The packaging should be both aesthetically appealing and useful. If you’re offering a service, your packages could come in the form of different benefits for different packages.
The price of a product is dependent on the market and the customers you’re serving. If the market is already filled with luxury products, then your prices should reflect the market’s reality. If you are all about disrupting the pricing dynamics of the market, ensure your product has the quality to offer this disruption.
Think about how much your target can afford and how much your competitors’ price their products. Collaboration with the sales team is needed to know how much discount can be allowed that will not affect the profit margins.
The place is the distribution channel you will use to get your product to your customers. What distribution channel is cost-effective and is easily accessible by your customers?
In an online dominated world, choosing whether or not you should own a website or an online store is almost non-negotiable. The usefulness of an online store or website depends on where your customers go to for their needs. Where will you sell your products? Online or offline?
What’s the use of having a great product, an excellent price but can’t be distributed to the customers? The distribution needs to be in sync with the product’s market base. Wherever your customers are is where you should be distributing your products too. And, if you will be using retailers, how much discount will you give the retailers? And the salespeople? How many salespeople will you need?
The market researcher you’ve conducted earlier will inform you how viable the market is and where your ideal customers hang out.
Promoting your product is the final phase of the four-pronged marketing fork. Promotion means telling people about your product, its remarkable qualities, and how it will make their lives better. With promotion, the goal is to get the customers to like and trust the product, abandoning your competitors’ products. Promotion is blowing your own trumpet. Loud.
Things to Consider Before Selecting a Marketing Channel
Think about where do your ideal customers spend their time? Radio? Television? On social media? And do not rule out the power of mouth-to-mouth promotion when choosing a promotional channel and message.
Before selecting a marketing channel, you should set SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound marketing goals. These goals will ensure you don’t waste valuable resources on promoting your products.
Promotional Channels to Use for Your Products
There are several marketing strategies you can use to promote your product. Some of these include:
This includes blogging, podcasts, videos, and building and growing a website.
Working with influencers and public relations.
Running ads on different social media channels.
Search Engine Marketing:
Creating SEO-optimized content and running PPC ads on search engines.
Run ads on radio, television, newspapers, and other online media outlets.
This includes discounts, coupons, and promotions to gain new customers. Sales promotion is also used to encourage old customers to use the product more.
Email marketing is still a productive channel to gain new customers and keep old ones.
This includes cold calls, the use of brochures, etc. Although inbound marketing – content marketing, email marketing, SEO, and podcasting – is fast taking over a portion of direct marketing, still, direct marketing is productive. The ROI and response rate is good enough if done right.
The beauty of digital marketing channels is that they give you the option to assess the behavior of your audience and the performance of each channel more in detail. The online channels gather insights and analytics that make long-term marketing efforts more effective.
The Other Ps in Marketing
Jerome McCarthy originally devised the 7Ps model. In his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach, he said that there are three other Ps in addition to the traditional 4Ps needed to create a successful marketing mix strategy.
Physical evidence that you use to reassure your customers of your authenticity and quality. These pieces of evidence include impressive buildings, great websites, etc.
The skill level of your staff and possible skill gaps.
What type of partners do we need, or which are we working with now?
Selecting your marketing mix is a process that relies on proper and extensive market research, well-articulated goals and objectives, and a defined ideal customer.
There is the no-shoe-fits-all approach when creating a marketing mix; it depends on your goals and objectives, market, customers, and budget.
You have a craft that meets your customers’ needs and meets them where they are. Your marketing mix is a vehicle that moves your company to where you want it to be.
Wendy Gooseberry is a copywriter at Whatagraph – an online platform that offers digital marketing analytics. With over 5 years of marketing experience under her belt, she has a strong understanding of content development techniques and continues to hone those skills every day.
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