Marketing mix, also commonly called "the 4 Ps of marketing", is a term used to reference key elements of a marketing strategy. The classic 1960s model of marketing mix includes only 4 Ps — product, price, place, and promotion. Today, however, it is more common to see the extended "7 Ps of marketing" model, which adds people, process, and physical evidence elements.
Elements of marketing mix
Every element answers a certain question about a business's marketing strategy, helping build a profitable venture. Here's what each of the elements entails:
- Product (service) — something a business offers to cover the core need of customer. The key is to produce an offering that answers a certain demand from people;
- Price — monetary value of a product. The key is to find middle ground between business's profit margins and customer expectations;
- Place — the channels of distribution where the product can be found and purchased. This element might also include production and storage;
- Promotion — informing target audience of the product at right place and at the right time. The key is to show potential customers why they need the product;
- People (person) — the way staff interacts and communicates with customers. The key is to develop staff that would leave favorable impression of your business;
- Process — the systems and policies in providing service. The key is having highly-developed service standard;
- Physical evidence — the appearance of space where business operates (e.g. storefront, website), employee appearance, and other tangible cues on the quality business provides. Neat physical evidence leads to more positive assessment of a business by the customer.
Why marketing mix is important
All of the elements of marketing mix are interconnected, meaning they influence each other. For example, the product element directly influences promotion — if your product is a highly-specialized piece of SEO software, there's little point advertizing it via brochures dropped in people's mailboxes. The price, meanwhile, has a deep connecting to placement — a high-end, expensive jewelry brand will place their products in similarly high-end storefronts and online, but probably not at a local fair.
Simply put, marketing mix is a roadmap a business should follow as it is planning out it's marketing strategy. Every element can be considered a question to answer, and ensuring that all elements are compatible with each other is essential in mapping out an effective marketing strategy.