Your Core Marketing Mix
You have many decisions to make about how you do business. Those that are forward-facing to your customers generally fall into one of four main areas: product, price, place, and promotion—also known as the ‘4 P’s of Marketing.’
These basic building blocks form your marketing mix. They are the same for any company, regardless of industry, though the strategies employed within each area are unique to each business. Together they work to create your brand. The more your chosen strategies line up with customer needs and expectations the more successful your business will be.
The chart below shows the primary strategic decision areas that fall into each building block.
The way you are doing business today reflects your current marketing mix. However, it should never be static. Instead, constantly strive to improve your business model to stay in sync with market needs. Regularly evaluating performance in each of these areas will enable you to make needed tactical corrections and take advantage of market opportunities to grow your business.
Not all of the items listed above will be relevant to your business, but most will be. For instance, as a service business you may not have to worry about product design and packaging, but you still have product strategies to plan, such as creating new service offerings, defining features and benefits, and establishing company branding.
In the area of pricing, every business has pricing decisions to make. Will you create loss leaders or free trials to ease a new client’s point of entry? Will you provide pricing tiers for basic and enhanced service packages? Will you offer price bundling discounts?
Regarding place, the definition of what constitutes a good location will vary depending on the type of business you’re in. The right address for a grocer will be vastly different than the right address for a high-end clothing store. If it’s important that your clientele visit a physical location regularly, a high traffic address in the area frequented by your target market is critical. However, if clients rarely need to visit your office, then place often becomes more about the cost of rent and the image you wish to project.
Regardless of where your team works, it’s important to recognize that your online presence is an important location for every business—that’s why it’s called a website. Whether or not you have an online store,your website is likely one of the first, if not the first, location that potential customers visit before deciding to explore further business dealings. How you move them through your site and on to engaging with staff requires as much intentional decision-making as how your physical office operates, putting website management firmly near or at the top of the list of vital ‘place’ strategies.
Last but not least, promotion is what most people think of when they define marketing. It is the collection of all your company’s advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, direct marketing, online, and public relations strategies. For most companies, this is where marketing teams are the most active as they strive to create campaigns that appeal to various target markets.
There you have it, a high-level overview of decision areas shaping your marketing mix. Workanswers.com will delve into these and other key areas to grow your business in upcoming articles. For now, consider this an at-a-glance checklist that you and your staff can use to trigger new ideas and periodically ensure that an important element hasn’t been overlooked.