Date of publication:

29 May. 24

What is a Marketing Mix and How to Use It

The marketing mix, also known as the «4P» concept, is a set of tools that companies use to promote their products and services in the market. It includes four main elements: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. The product encompasses the range and characteristics of goods. The price determines the pricing strategy. Place describes the distribution channels. Promotion includes advertising and PR activities. The combined use of these elements helps effectively meet customer needs and achieve business goals.

Purpose of the Marketing Mix

The marketing mix, or marketing complex, is a generalized formulation used to define various ways to promote a product or service to the market that companies choose. This strategy is needed to take a comprehensive approach to marketing activities. Using the marketing mix allows companies to consider and work through elements that influence their success in the market. Consequently, it helps achieve a comprehensive effect from the utilized marketing tools and a significant increase in sales.

There are several models describing the elements of the marketing mix. The popular classic model is known as the 4P. It was created by marketing professor Edmund Jerome McCarthy in 1960. Other known models include 5P, 6P, and 7P, as well as 4P and SIVA.

Elements of the 4P Model

The foundation of the marketing mix is the 4P concept, which allows determining the marketing opportunities of a particular company, considering price, product, promotion, and place, to ensure the offer meets needs. The essence of the marketing mix lies in the comprehensive work on its elements, as each is essential to achieving the goal.

The 4P model includes:

  • Product. This includes product policy and all activities related to the product.
  • Price. This encompasses the development of pricing strategies, selection of pricing methods, creation of discount and bonus systems, credit policies, financial supply conditions, and other elements.
  • Place. Also known as the point of sale or distribution, this element includes issues related to the distribution and delivery of the product from the production site to the receiver.
  • Promotion. This is the brand’s communication policy aimed at informing customers about the product’s properties and creating and stimulating demand for it.

Product – The Key Element of Marketing

To correctly form an effective and successful marketing mix, it’s crucial to understand each element of the classic 4P model in order to build your own marketing complex based on them. It all starts with the product, which is the cornerstone of the entire model and requires special attention.

In this context, the concept of the product includes:

  • Development.
  • Design and packaging.
  • Quality characteristics that distinguish it from competitors.
  • Functional features and unique parameters.

Additionally, it encompasses the brand, after-sales customer service, warranty policy, product diversification, customization, and assortment management.

Price: How It’s Formed and What It Affects

Another crucial element of the 4P model, directly influencing the company’s profit from product sales and the product’s success in the market, is price. Setting an appropriate price for the product is vital. Simply increasing or decreasing the price won’t create a loyal attitude from the target audience towards the product or service, as these are not the best promotion strategies. Effective pricing, which becomes a full-fledged and efficient element of the model, is possible through careful price formation considering:

  • Retail price including the wholesale cost.
  • Market policy in the specific segment.
  • Price in bundled sales.
  • Promotional price or discount amount.

Place: Availability and Demand

Choosing the right place for sales affects how accessible and in demand the product will be for customers. The chosen place also determines the methods and resources required for its promotion.

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For this, it is necessary to:

  • Study and analyze all optimal sales locations.
  • Consider the strengths and weaknesses of distribution channels.
  • Examine merchandising practices.
  • Train sales representatives on proper product positioning.
  • Find suitable distribution methods.
  • Set up logistics.
  • Maintain necessary stock levels.
  • Strictly adhere to product expiration dates.

Additionally, working on building retail and branch networks, managing stock, and marketing logistics is essential.

Promotion: How to Attract Attention to a Product

Promotion is a crucial element of a marketing strategy aimed primarily at attracting customers’ attention to a product. This involves identifying and utilizing the necessary resources to achieve this goal. Initially, it is essential to create a need for the specific product or service within the target audience. To do this, it is important to help consumers form the right perception and opinion about the product.

To achieve these goals, standard methods of advertising and promotion can be used, as well as promotional campaigns at points of sale, event marketing, and search engine optimization. For promotion to be effective, marketers should choose a combination of various tools. It is also important to consider the seasonality of the specific product segment and study the advertising and promotion methods used by key competitors.

Expanded Models of the Marketing Mix

The basic 4P model is fundamental, but marketers also use extended versions of the marketing mix. Today, the most well-known models are:

  • 5P. Emerged with the development of relationship marketing, often used in service promotion. It adds «People» to the traditional 4P model—those who influence consumer decision-making and are involved in the product sales process.
  • 6P. Adds «Politics» and «Public Relations» to the 4P base. This model is used for successful promotion by shaping public opinion and gaining support from organizations that regulate the market.
  • 7P. Expands the 5P model with two more elements: «Process» —the interactions between the consumer and the company, and «Physical Evidence» —creating a favorable environment around the consumer that influences the purchase decision, loyalty to the company, and its image.

What Are the Marketing Mix Models 8P, 9P, and 12P Used For

As the market context evolves, so does the marketing mix. By focusing on achieving and maintaining consistently high quality, companies can reach high goals in increasingly competitive market conditions. This opportunity arises from managing quality through the marketing mix concept extended to the 8P version. This model includes additional elements such as process, physical evidence, people, production, and quality.

The 9P version, based on the 7P model, is supplemented with elements like public relations and personal selling. The 12P version, used in the modern marketing mix, includes concepts such as the policy of social responsibility, consumer participation, and loyalty programs.

Other Marketing Mix Models

Other variations of the marketing mix are also known in the marketing world. These include the 4P and SIVA models. The 4P model is a reinterpretation of the basic 4P model and includes the following components:

  • Customer Needs and Wants. The needs and wants of the customer that the product should ideally satisfy.
  • Cost. The costs incurred by the customer in relation to purchasing the product or service.
  • Communication. The communication tools used to promote the product through interaction with consumers.
  • Convenience. The convenience for the customer, determining the most comfortable distribution channels for the product.

The SIVA model focuses on maximizing attention to customer needs. It consists of four elements:

  • Solution. The product that helps solve the customer’s problem.
  • Information: Communication that conveys how the product solves the customer’s problems.
  • Value. The benefit the customer gains from the product, considering the costs incurred.
  • Access. Measures that make the product as accessible as possible, effectively meeting customer priorities.
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Features of Creating Your Own Marketing Mix Model

Creating an effective version of your own marketing mix is achievable if you adhere to certain principles during its development. These include three key requirements:

  1. Consistency. Consistency means ensuring that each element of the marketing mix aligns with the other components. For instance, high product quality should be matched by quality advertising and a high level of customer service.
  2. Balanced approach. A balanced approach involves taking into account market sensitivity. For example, if the market is sensitive to product quality, the advertising should include detailed descriptions and extensive information about the product’s advantages.
  3. Adaptability to changes. Elements of the marketing mix should be adjusted based on changes in market conditions and performance outcomes. The marketing mix and action plan are not static constants and should be revised as necessary.

How to Ensure the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Mix

To successfully promote a product, it is important not only to create a marketing mix, but also to ensure its effectiveness. This requires a systematic approach and an analysis of various aspects of the marketing strategy.

Here are some effective recommendations for evaluating your marketing mix:

  1. Sales and profit analysis. Compare current sales figures with target goals. An increase in sales indicates a successful marketing mix. Assess whether the marketing mix is generating the expected profit. High profit with steady sales suggests effective pricing strategies and successful promotions.
  2. Market share evaluation. Compare your market share with that of your competitors. An increase in market share can indicate that your product is becoming more attractive to consumers.
  3. Customer base analysis. Conduct surveys and research to understand how satisfied customers are with the product, pricing, availability, and advertising. A high level of repeat purchases indicates customer loyalty and the success of your marketing mix.
  4. Marketing campaign results. Evaluate how many potential customers make a purchase after interacting with your advertisements. Compare marketing costs with sales revenue. A high ROI indicates effective use of the marketing budget.
  5. Use of analytical tools. Monitor website traffic, user behavior, and referral sources. This helps identify which elements of the marketing mix are performing best. Analyze customer data, their preferences, and purchasing habits.
  6. Comparison with competitors. Assess how your marketing mix stands against competitors. Study their strategies to understand what can be improved or changed in your approach.
  7. Adaptation and improvement. Regularly review and adjust the marketing mix based on the data and results obtained. Flexibility and readiness for change will help you stay competitive.

The Bottom Line

The marketing mix, or the «4Ps» concept (product, price, place, promotion), helps companies structure their efforts to create and promote products that meet customer needs and achieve business goals.

Effective use of the marketing mix requires regular analysis and adaptation of the strategy. Evaluating sales results, profit, market share, and customer satisfaction helps understand the success of the current marketing mix and what elements need adjustment. Using analytical tools and comparing with competitors also aids in evaluating and improving the strategy.

The marketing mix is a dynamic tool that helps companies navigate the market and achieve success. Continuous improvement and adaptation of the «4P» elements to changing market conditions and customer needs to ensure sustainable growth and competitive advantages.

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