Put simply, marketing is about putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.
It’s that simple? Well, not quite.
We recently defined the marketing concept and established that a business must find ways to discover unfulfilled customer needs and bring to market products that satisfy those needs.
Following on from this is the continuous process of identifying customers’ needs through analysis of internal and external influences, marketing research, setting objectives, and developing the marketing mix. This is called the marketing mix.
At the heart of the marketing process is the 4P marketing mix which help define the marketing elements for successfully positioning your market offer. This mix should consist of:
- The right product
- Sold at the right price
- In the right place
- Using the most suitable mix of promotion.
The marketing mix is a useful, if a bit general, guideline for understanding the fundamentals of what makes a good marketing campaign.
Let’s briefly look at some questions you might ask when defining your 4P marketing mix:
- What are the product or service’s features?
- What need/s does it satisfy?
- Where will customers find it?
- What does it look like? (i.e. size, shape, colour, packaging)
- How is it branded? What is its name?
- What differentiates it from the competitors?
- What is the value to the buyer? Are customers price sensitive?
- Are there already established price points in the market?
- How will your price compare to competitors?
- Where do buyers find the product? (i.e. online, supermarket, department store)
- What is the right distribution mix?
- Do you need a direct sales force?
- What is the budget for advertising and marketing?
- How will you reach your audience? (i.e. advertising on TV, radio or press, billboards, product launches, sponsorships and events, internet, social media
- When is the best time to promote? Are there any holidays or seasons that influence the choice of promotional activity?
- What do the competitors do to promote their products? How does that influence your activities?