What is marketing mix?

6 min read
Harpreet Munjal

Every successful business follows processes that help them grow quickly and establish themselves as a brand or authority in their industry. In this post, I will answer the question “what is marketing mix?” This powerful strategy has helped thousands of businesses succeed — it can help yours, too.

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The 7 elements of marketing mix

To most people, marketing can seem like a complex and confusing topic — until you have a simple framework like this to guide you.

  1. Product.
  2. Promotion.
  3. Price.
  4. Place.
  5. People.
  6. Process.
  7. Physical evidence.

Before we dive into the 7 Ps, let’s quickly explain what is marketing mix and how this framework came to be.

What is marketing mix?

Marketing mix is all the decisions a business makes to influence people (consumers) to purchase their products.

According to E. Jerome McCarthy, who developed the idea in the 1960s, “marketing mix is the process of techniques or tactics that a business uses to achieve its marketing goals in its targeted market.”

The retail marketing mix that Mr. McCarthy defined has four main components:

  • Product
  • Promotion
  • Price
  • Place

These are known as the 4 Ps of marketing. The decisions you make about each of these have a big impact on how well your product will sell.

For example, setting the product price too high can reduce the number of products sold.

Setting the price too low can make consumers think the product or service is cheap or of inferior quality. It’s important to find the price point that generates the greatest number of sales without loss of reputation.

Marketing mix for service businesses

What is Marketing Mix Infographic
The 7 Ps cover all the elements that affect buyer behaviour, regardless of what you sell.
Image: Smart Insights

The 4 Ps, as Mr. McCarthy originally envisioned them, is a product-oriented framework. That’s why some theorists modified it, adding three more Ps to make it more useful for service-oriented businesses. These include:

  • People
  • Process
  • Physical evidence

This expanded form is known as the 7 Ps of marketing.

Which model is best?

These days, experts recommend the 7 Ps marketing mix model because it’s a more comprehensive guide to marketing, useful for products or services.

1. Product

First on the list of any retail marketing mix is the product, or the item or service that a company wants to sell. Quality is paramount.

If the product is not good you won’t be successful, no matter how good your marketing strategy.

The product must be designed according to satisfy the demands of your target market. The design, material, price — everything should be designed to appeal to the people most likely to buy the product or service.

For example, Rolls Royce uses premium materials, elegant design, high-end features, exclusive branding, etc. and sells at high prices because they are not targeting the majority of car buyers. Celebrities, high-profile and financially well-off people are their target audience.

2. Promotion

Promotion is all the marketing activities that a company undertakes to make people aware of its product or service. For example:

  • Advertising
  • Media coverage
  • Word of mouth referral
  • Direct marketing
  • Contests
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Social media marketing

Which promotional tools you use should be selected based on the target audience.

To use the Rolls Royce example, while there are millions of Indians who use Facebook regularly, what is the average income level of the country’s Facebook users? This platform might not be appropriate as a promotional tool if upscale consumers don’t spend much time here.

3. Price

What is Marketing Mix Red Sale Sign

Price is the value of the product. It includes the cost of:

  • Materials
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Transportation/delivery
  • Your profit margin

The cost (price) of a product should be reasonable for your target audience. As mentioned before, pricing plays an important role in the success of a product or service. It should be affordable for your consumers and profitable for you.

4. Place

The place is the point of sale. For a retail business, place is the secret of success. The aim here is to make it easy and enjoyable for the customer to buy your products.

The location of your store must be easily approachable for your customers so they can reach your store to buy your products. These days, there are many online options like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. where you can sell your products to buyers worldwide.

5. People

People are a very important element of the marketing mix as well. This includes:

  • Store clerks
  • Service providers
  • Customer support team
  • Other employees who come in contact with customers
What is Marketing Mix Food Server With Plate
No service business can succeed without high-quality employees.
Photo: Lefteris kallergis on Unsplash

A good team can help you to grow your company, and that’s why you must be able to choose the right kind of people. Always hire great talent that can help you achieve your goals.

6. Process

Process refers to the steps required to deliver a product or service to the consumer. Reviewing your process regularly can help you standardize your systems so every customer receives the same high-quality experience every time.

You’ll want to design process maps for your company that outline everything needed to deliver your product or service including:

  • Tasks
  • Processes
  • Functions
  • Activities

Invite employees to participate in designing the process maps, then share them company-wide to improve performance and success rate.

7. Physical evidence

Physical evidence is everything that goes with the product or service — receipts, delivery vehicle signage, thanks for ordering cards, confirmation emails, invoices etc.

The invoice for a Rolls Royce would look very different from the invoice for an entry-level commuter class motorcycle. The new Rolls Royce owner expects a higher level of quality and personalisation than the motorcycle buyer.

What is Marketing Mix Chanel Store

The same goes for your store, website, business cards, social media accounts and other representations of your business. Every element should be consistent with your brand.

Example of marketing mix

Here is an example of marketing mix for a digital agency providing pay-per-click advertising services:

Product: PPC Services
Price: $300 - $2000
Place: Remote work
Promotion: Run ads on Google for clients
People: AdWords Certified Professional to manage campaigns
Processes: The tasks and steps to deliver PPC management services
Physical evidence: Website, testimonials, company reviews, awards, case studies

Some of these categories require additional detail, but you get the idea.

Final words

It's no doubt that marketing mix is one of the most useful ways to think about marketing. It starts with the product or service itself and extends all the way to pricing, display and packaging or delivery. This framework can help any business pinpoint its marketing opportunities and test various combinations until it lands on a strategy that resonates with consumers.

All the elements of marketing mix are interrelated and have an influence on each other. When skillfully combined, they can help you create steady demand for your products and services.