Getting the marketing mix right for your product or service means you are covering all of the important bases in your marketing campaign. Here is a definition of marketing mix and a description of its main components.
The term marketing mix refers to the primary elements that must be attended to in order to properly market a product. Also known as The 4 Ps of Marketing, the marketing mix is a very useful, if a bit general, guideline for understanding the fundamentals of what makes a good marketing campaign. Here is a brief description of each component of the 4 Ps of the marketing mix.
Product: The marketing mix concept has its roots in the 1950s U.S. corporate marketing world, and the practice of marketing has obviously evolved tremendously since this term was invented. One of the changes is that there are a lot more services available nowadays, such as those available online. Also, the distinction between product and service has become more blurry (e.g., is a Web-based software application a product or a service?). Either way, product here refers to products or services. The product you offer needs to be able to meet a specific, existing market demand. Or, you need to be able to create a market niche through building a strong brand.
Price: The price you set for your offering plays a large role in its marketability. Pricing for offerings that are more commonly available in the market is more elastic, meaning that unit sales will go up or down more responsively in response to price changes. By contrast, those products that have a generally more limited availability in the market (but with strong demand) are more inelastic, meaning that price changes will not affect unit sales very much. The price elasticity of your offering can be determined through various market testing techniques.
Place: This term really refers to any way that the customer can obtain a product. Provision of a product can occur via any number of distribution channels, such as in a retail store, through the mail, via downloadable files, on a cruise ship, in a hair salon, etc. The ease and options through which you can make your product available to your customers will have an effect on your sales volume.
Promotion: Promotion is concerned with any vehicle you employ for getting people to know more about your offering. Advertising, public relations, point-of-sale displays, and word-of-mouth promotion are all traditional ways for promotion. Promotion can be seen as a way of closing the information gap between would-be sellers and would-be buyers. Your choice of a promotional strategy will be dependent upon your budget, the type of offering you are selling, and availability of said promotional vehicle.
Marketing has come a long way from the 4 Ps of yesteryear, and yet understanding this marketing mix is for your product remains very relevant today. The marketing mix serves as an excellent touchstone for continually checking that you are covering all of the bases in your marketing campaign.