The Marketing Mix, also known as the 4 P's of marketing, can be an obscure concept that you use without fully understanding, or it might be something that you've never considered before. In either case, they're a useful resource for marketing your products, so let's take a look at what they are, and how they can be useful.
What are the 4 P's of marketing?
Simply put, the 4 P's are Product, Price, Place and Promotion, and these are the four key factors involved in marketing a product or service.
They are designed to help you consider everything about your product or service, as well as helping you learn what the competition is doing and what your customers want from you.
For example, you can ask yourself:
- How does my product meet the needs of my customers?
- Where are my customers looking for my product?
- What is the value of my product?
- How is my product different from that of my competitors?
When you know the answers to these questions you can develop a strategy to reach your customers in a way that's meaningful to them.
So, let's look at these 4 P's in more detail.
To start, think about your product. You need to consider exactly what it is you're selling. Is it something specific? Is it more of a service? Can it be sold in a physical shop, or is it solely an online product, such as a website or an app?
Next, think about your brand messaging and packaging, you need to ensure it's effective and attractive to your customers. To help, think about why you developed your product. Was it to solve a specific problem for your customers? Or was it because you wanted to develop an eco-friendly version of an everyday item? Once you know why you developed your product, you can start to tailor your messaging around this, which can help your customers understand your product and believe in the messaging you're using.
As well as thinking about why you developed your product, think about your competitors. Why are you unique? Did you start the business for a different reason, or are you making a similar product in a different, but better, way? Once you land on what makes you unique, you can lean into the idea and start to differentiate yourself.
When you know your product intimately, and know what makes you different from your competitors, you can effectively market it to the right people at the right time.
You need to consider how much you're charging your customers for the product you're selling. If you're too expensive, not enough customers will buy your product to make it viable, but if you're too cheap your customers may have concerns about the quality of the product. In other words, you need to be able to make a profit while still being competitive.
A good place to start is to think about how much you would be willing to spend on your product if you were buying it from your closest competitor. If you think your competitor is too expensive, it's likely that your customers will feel that way, too.
Once you've settled on the full price for your product, you need to consider if you can offer any promotions or discounts that you can use in your marketing campaigns. You need to make sure you can still make a profit, or at least break even, while offering the discount, otherwise, the promotion may be doing more harm than good for your business.
Your pricing can be tricky to work out because it can affect how your product is perceived. Are you known as cost-effective in your industry? Or are you the luxury product in your market? Whichever end of the market your product falls at, you need to carefully consider the wording you use in your marketing. If you're too friendly, or too formal, for example, you could put off potential customers because they don't see you as legitimate. If you get it wrong, you could potentially do a lot of damage to your business.
What comes to mind when you think about place? Is it the location of the shop? The shelf the product is on? Where you can find it online? Or maybe it's how the product is placed in the market? When talking about the 4 Ps of marketing, Place refers to all of these ideas. But there's also another one, where is the product being marketed? Where have the ads been placed?
When thinking about place, you need to keep your customers in mind. Where would they expect to find the product? Are they looking in a boutique on the outskirts of town, or are they looking in an office building in the city centre? If your product is placed somewhere it wouldn't be expected, would your customers be able to find it?
When turning to advertising placements, the same can be said. If your customers belong to an older generation, would they be able to come across your advert if it's on TikTok? (I'm not saying the older generation isn't on TikTok, but you hopefully get the idea). The same idea can be used for targeting the younger generation too, would they stumble across your advert if it's in a broadsheet newspaper? If your advertising isn't focused in the right places, you could end up wasting money.
Another helpful tip when it comes to place is to consider whether you're selling your product to other businesses (B2B), or whether you're selling to consumers (B2C). Both of these have their own opportunities and pitfalls, so you need to be careful and carefully choose the correct path for your product.
Now you know everything about your product and where best to market it, it's time to actually do some marketing.
The exact marketing channels you use will depend on your product, its price, and where it's placed, which is why they are the first 3 Ps you come across in the marketing mix. If you get them right, promotion can be made a lot easier.
To start, you need to think about your brand messaging, brand awareness, and how you're going to generate leads and revenue.
Your brand message is closely linked to the reasons you developed the product and how you want to be perceived within the market. If you want to be seen as the "green alternative", that's where your brand messaging lies. However, if you want to be seen as the hip new alternative to fashion, then you need to tweak your brand messaging to fit those ideals.
Next comes brand awareness. Are people able to recognise your brand and your products if they see them? If the answer is no, you need to raise your awareness through your marketing and advertising. Try running campaigns on social media and doing flyer drops in your local area, the more people that know your brand and try your product, the more you can leverage word-of-mouth marketing.
Don't forget that as part of your promotion, you need to have an action you want your customers to take. Maybe you want them to visit your website and find out more, or maybe you want them to sign up for your newsletter. Perhaps you even want them to make a purchase from you. Whatever action you want your customers to take, they're not mind readers, you need to spell it out to them. Buy now! Find out more! Want to hear more? Sign up for our newsletter! These all seem like standard, stock phrases of marketing, and they are, for a very good reason, they're telling the reader exactly what to do. Nothing is left to interpretation.
Now for the hard part, put it all together into a message that will resonate with your intended audience and potential customers. Think of the colour schemes, wording and formatting that will appeal to them. Also, think about where they expect to see advertising and how easy it would be for them to find it.
Summing up the 4 P's
Once you've gotten to know your product, brand and where you should be marketing, you can start to think about the actual marketing you will be doing.
The 4 P's can be used to guide you through what you should be thinking about and when you should be thinking about it. But remember, these are just a guide, if you've found another method that works better for you, let us know on social media.