Thanks to these four components, the company must be able to differentiate itself from its competitors and establish itself in the market. Discover below the “4 Ps” of the marketing mix and its various evolutions.
Discovering the marketing mix
The marketing mix is the part of business marketing that deals with the marketing of a product or service. This term coined by McCarthy in 1990 in his book “Basic marketing” includes all the variables that intervene in the marketing of an offer under the best possible conditions.
It is therefore the set of decision, action and marketing tools used to tailor the right target audience to a product. Far from being a new type of Operational Marketing, it comes at the end of your reflections. At this point, you have already conducted a marketing analysis to set up your marketing strategy.
Your target market, your audience as well as your persona method must already be defined upstream. Your quantitative and qualitative objectives for the offer you are making must also be defined. Then comes the time to think about how to achieve the goals and how to get there. This is where the marketing mix comes in.
The marketing mix: the fundamental components
In its most basic form, the marketing mix revolves around 4 important components of strategic marketing that we call the 4 Ps:
- Product (the product),
- Price (the price),
- Promotion (the promotion)
- and Square (the distribution).
To have a good positioning on the market, it is necessary to first define the right policies by deeply studying these different components. However, the 4 Ps are only valid for a target audience and lead to nothing when taken individually.
Product – the product to be marketed
The product is the first component of the marketing mix and is even its variable par excellence. Product policy encompasses the goods and services that are marketed by the company.
The offer can be a product:
- or even a service.
Product reflections help define the aesthetic and functional characteristics of what you are selling.
Among the aspects of the product to be studied, we find:
- the brand,
- the image,
- the packaging,
- the quality,
- and the variations of the product.
Product marketing (or product marketing) takes into account anything that can differentiate your product and make it desirable to your prospects. This is to determine the Unique Selling Point (USP) of your product.
- What is selling?
- What needs does the product meet?
- What benefits will the product bring to the buyer?
Price – the pricing policy
The pricing policy means the price at which you have chosen to sell your product.
We also find there:
- the applicable reductions,
- the bonuses that will be added to it (for loyalty, for example),
- payment terms,
- the terms of credit,
- and the means and conditions of payment.
This is aboutdevelop a pricing strategy which takes into account the following key elements:
- The price offered by your competitors
- Production and marketing costs as well as profit margins
- The amount your buyers are willing to pay for your product
Your potential customers will compare your price to the market before making the purchase. Buyers will then determine if the price has been set by comparing the quality of the product and the benefits they have derived from it with the amount spent to acquire it.
It is therefore important to do a good market research to offer the best quality / price ratio.
Place – product distribution
The third P of the marketing mix relates directly to the means and possibilities that your future customers have to access your product.
This involves performing a marketing analysis to determine:
- the merchandise area,
- the different points of sale,
- inventory management,
- and means of transport in order to promote the distribution of the product.
The aim of the distribution policy is to get the product to consumers in the right place at the right time. Since there are many ways to distribute a product, the distribution strategy to adopt will therefore have to take into account the location of the consumers, the characteristics of the market and the available resources.
- Where and how will your targets find and buy your product?
- Through what distribution channels will you send it to them?
Promotion – communication
The promotion policy includes the methods and means that you will use to publicize your offer and ensure that it interests your target.
In reality, you must set up a communication plan to communicate the benefits of your product to your buyers. This is how you will achieve your business goals.
To achieve this, you have many marketing tools at your disposal such as:
However, the medium (or the media) and the lines of communication (brochures, newsletter, emailing campaigns…) that you will use to gain or retain customers will depend on the product and the audience to be reached.
The evolution of the marketing mix: the 7 Ps
The concept of customer relationship as well as the techniques of marketing a product have evolved a lot since the advent of the 4 Ps of the marketing mix.
Many companies have therefore adapted to this development by adding 3 new pillars to their marketing strategies.
People – people
The 5th P refers directly to the members of the company. Because they are the first ambassadors of the company’s brand and of the marketed offer. In fact, the experience with the members of your company plays a big role in the decision of your target to buy or not the product or the service that you offer them.
Your relationship marketing, your availability, the welcome you reserve for your customers and the support you offer them are all levers that define the reputation and brand image of your company.
It is therefore necessary to make a good management of the personnel, of the sales force in order to offer the best possible experience to your consumers and to make them new ambassadors.
Process – the sales process
The purpose of this pillar is to define and improve the production and delivery process of your product and the functioning of your customer service. This takes into account all the time and all the steps from the first interaction with your prospect until their conversion into a customer.
You will succeed in setting yourself apart from your competitors by putting in place a process to:
- increase your efficiency,
- lower the costs,
- ensure quality,
- and provide the best user experience.
This will also have the effect of you guarantee a good return on investment, whatever your industry.
Phisical evidence – physical evidence
This is about providing tangible proof of the quality and effectiveness of your product. While some products can be tested or tried before a purchase decision is made, other products and services cannot be tested.
It will therefore be necessary to provide proof or guarantees to convince the consumer that your product actually works.
The warranty, contract, performance indicators, satisfaction rate and testimonials from other consumers are all evidence that can reassure and convince your prospect to take the risk of buying your product despite the competitive environment.
A new evolution of the marketing mix: the 10 Ps
In order to adopt a more precise marketing mix in order to better target the needs of the targets to meet them with precision, 3 new Ps appeared in the 2000s.
While many companies adopt this marketing policy to achieve their marketing objectives, the very concept of the 10 Ps is constantly evolving and continues to be questioned.
Permission marketing – permission marketing
Introduced by Seth Godin in 2008, permission marketing involves asking for the prospect’s consent to solicit it. Thus, it is the consumer who comes into contact with the company and not the other way around.
Later, you will send him information or commercial messages without falling into the spam trap.
Thanks to the LEN law, this concept is now mandatory and the explicit authorization of the Internet user is required to conduct prospecting through his email address. This component fits very well with the spirit of inbound marketing.
Partnership – the partnership
Partner marketing is increasingly common between brands. Two or more companies join forces to evolve together (B2B Partnership). Thus, one can take advantage of the audience and the reputation of the other to make itself known and gain new customers.
This pillar of the marketing mix requires thinking about the brands with which an association would be beneficial for the marketing of your company’s offer.
Purple cow – the purple cow
By alluding to the metaphor of the purple cow, this tenth P of the marketing mix translates the idea of surprising the customer with innovation. The product must therefore bring originality to stand out from what already exists. A marketing audit and market analysis are necessary to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the product in the market in order to perfect it and adapt it to your targets.
Adapt the marketing mix for a coherent strategy
As we said above, the pillars of the marketing mix are interrelated and do not lead to a good result when taken separately. They must therefore be studied in relation to the same product and the same target to be effective. The challenge is to exploit these different levers to offer a coherent offer adapted to the target audience.