Marketing Mix: Do You Know Yours?
If there's one thing from college that I am never going to forget, it's the four "P's" of marketing - product, price, promotion, and place - also called the marketing mix. At the time, these words had very little meaning to me (other than the fact that it was an easy four points on each of my marketing exams.
It was when I started doing work in the marketing field after years of being the human resources girl that it all started coming together - and I realized without clearly defining each "P", you're going to have *really* tough (if not impossible) time trying to market your business.
Let's talk about how this relates to your marketing strategy
I like to think of marketing strategy as a totally souped up, made-to-order marketing plan. There are generic marketing plans all over the web - some swear by Facebook ads, others push Pinterest, and some tell you that you won't get *anywhere* without an email list.
But there's one thing that these plans are missing - the unique identity and positioning of YOUR brand.
Mark Zuckerberg himself could send you the low-down on the highest performing Facebook ads of all time, but if you aren't wording your message in a way that's relatable to your specific audience, you can't specifically explain how your product will make life better for your audience, or worse - most of your audience doesn't even *use* Facebook regularly, then that report would be absolutely worthless for you.
That's why you need a marketing strategy, not someone else's cookie-cutter marketing plan, or even the "number one converting strategy" that was designed with someone else's brand and audience in mind. Sure, these things might get you by, but you'll be missing out on a huge pool of people that have a desire or even a need for what you have to offer.
[ Related: Marketing Strategy: What It Is and Why You Need One ]
Now back to the four "P's" of marketing - AKA the marketing mix
Marketing strategy can almost be defined by the marketing mix. Let's look at how the four "P's" can help you to distinguish your marketing plan into a strategy:
Product: If you can't tell me exactly what you're offering and what it's going to do for me, then there's your first problem. You need to be able to specifically speak to what you are offering and why it's valuable!
Price: This takes a lot into account. Pricing isn't a game of just picking a price and hoping it's the right one - you need to consider the pricing being offered by similar competitors (look at competitors with similar audiences and target markets as you), the cost associated with creating or offering your product or service, the value you're able to create around your product, and even the average income of your ideal audience. You also need to consider how much of a profit you're hoping to make!
By understanding what goes into your pricing, you will also be able to market more confidently as to why your pricing is worth the value that it provides to your customers.
Promotion: How are you going to craft a message and visuals for your product that truly resonates with your audience? This is the part where most generic marketing plans fail. They don't take into account all aspects of what makes a product different, the needs and desires of the specific target audience, or the message and tone of the brand. Your promotion is the craft of your marketing strategy, and it should be apparent in every detail that it comes from your brand specifically.
Place: This is so. crucial. to understand. As mentioned previously with the Mark Zuckerberg example, you need to know what your audience is up to, where they choose to spend their time, and when. You can buy the *best* marketing plan for a platform, but if that's not the platform that your audience uses, then you're going to end up with a good amount of visibility but minimal conversion. There's a reason you probably shouldn't market to grandma on Snapchat. Know your audience, know their platforms of preference, and go to them.
Let's Put These Things Together: How the P's Relate to Strategy
When the four of these things tie together, that's when you start to create strategy. Want to see this put together in sample context? Then check out the video below!