The Marketing Mix Explained

The Marketing Mix Explained

Anyone who takes an entry level marketing course will quickly discover the importance of the “4 P’s.” These four principles explain the core of marketing and how a company should develop a marketing plan.

The four P’s in marketing are: product, price, place, and promotion. Let’s get an understanding first of what these mean and then we’ll get into why their important:

  • Product: a good, service, idea, place, person—whatever is offered for sale in exchange. Includes the design and packaging as well as associated services.
  • Price: the assigned value to the product or the amount the consumer will exchange to receive the product.
  • Promotion: all the activities marketers undertake to inform consumers about their products and to encourage potential customers to buy these products.
  • Place: the availability for the customer to get the product at the desired time and location.

These four P’s are also known as the “Marketing Mix.” This mix is important for a company to develop for every product or service they hope to offer the consumer. Each one of these principles require a company to develop three action points once they discover what their product, place, promotion, and price are:

1. Objective
2. Growth Strategy
3. Implementation Strategy

#1 Objective

You must clearly define an objective for your product, your price, your place, and your promotion. The objective should be specific in its definition. It must be attainable in that it’s realistic to accomplish. And finally, the objective must be measurable in that you can analyze how you are doing each step of the way in making sure you are getting closer to achieving your objective. The objective is what directs your steps to achieving your goal. So if your goal is to increase revenue by 10% then an objective for promotion would be to increase awareness of your product by 15%. This objective is specific (awareness increasing 15%), it’s attainable (20% may not be realistic), and it’s measurable (we know through analytics when we’ve reached 15%).

#2 Growth Strategy

The Growth Strategy defines how you will accomplish your objective. It’s the creative process. It’s the meat of your marketing department and the idea generator for your think tanks. You will not accomplish your objective overnight, so you must plan out what it will take to increase awareness 15%.

The objective for promotion won’t be the same it is for price or placement, so you need to develop growth strategies for each of your four P’s. The growth strategy is often what takes the most time to for your marketing department to determine, but it is also the most fun. It is the trajectory for your company and is the source for your implementation strategy.

#3 Implementation Strategy

Once you develop your growth strategy, you need to make a plan how you are going to get those action items done! An implementation strategy explains five things in obtaining your objective:

  • An action item to completing your goal
  • Who is responsible for completing it
  • When they will begin and when they will finish
  • How much it will cost to complete
  • What priority this action item has in comparison to the rest of your action items

You will need to develop an implementation strategy for each of your four P’s. There are no limit or minimum of how many action items you may have. Realistically, there will be more for promotion than anything else if you plan on promoting your product or service heavily. Action items, like objective, are specific, measurable, and attainable, but they differ from objectives in that they are baby steps towards your big objective.

Understanding the importance of the four P’s is crucial for a marketing plan and creating a real strategy for growth and action. Hopefully you’ve comprehended these concepts better than Timothy did.

How are you applying these four P’s to your business or non-profit organization?

Branding & Design

4 responses to “The Marketing Mix Explained”

  1. Hank says:

    Well, I try to apply all of the 4 P’s. My ‘organisation’, if I can call it that, is a small online text based game (MUD) with an active community of about 3000 players. About 200 are online at a time.

    Promotion – well, our favourite and most effective promotion method is word-of-mouth by our players. They tell about the game to their friends and help them to get started. Works better then anything else for us. This is because our type of game is not popular and does not seem atractive at first.

    Product – we try to do our best to design and keep improving the game. We always put the players first, do surveys, polls, voting for new features…. it is not a business for money, we do it as a hobby, hence we are a part of the players community, and understand exactly how they feel and what they want, as we spend alot of time togeter in the virtual world.

    Price – since we do this not for money but as a hobby and entertainment/fun, we do not charge anything. The game is 100% free. No extra features for extra money. You get the full package for free. However, there is an option to donate money, inorder to help with server cost and other expenses.

    Place – as far as software/games are concerned, our product could not be more available, as it can be accessed from any internet enabled computer (regardless of operating system) anywhere around the world. No download needed – can be played right off the web client. 🙂

    so that sums up my 4 P’s 🙂

  2. David says:

    I read many sites and search out places that have a keen eye for information like this. I read your blog twice and want to take a moment to congratulate you on a thorough and wonderfully straightforward method to attack these important topics. You are a TRUE RESOURCE. I will be back. Keep up the good work.

  3. harowitz says:

    My 4 Ps for my ebook sales website could be summarised as follows:
    Product- a 177 page eBook that is actually a guide to making money on EVE online game. 🙂

    Price – exactly 12 bucks. I just thought it looks like small amount of money anyone could afford. The visitor would not have to think too much as it would probably be the case if I used the ever popular 47 dollars tag.

    Promotion – mostly adsence, private add agreement with few EVE online fan sites and few other methods. nothing special.

    Place – internet of course 🙂

  4. carter says:

    Each and every line gave me great information ! what a great article man !

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