Why do we call it a Mix?
All elements from the Marketing Mix have an interaction on and with each other. If you have a product, you will have to create a price and sell it. The way you communicate this product will make it either more or less visible to your target market. The price you ask for the product will infer a special quality. If you communicate effectively about the product, it will need to be for sale in a place where your target market has access to it. These elements, product, price, place and promotion all influence each other.
In addition to the traditional 4Ps it is now customary to add 3 more Ps to the mix to give us 7Ps. The additional Ps have been added because:
- marketing is far more customer service oriented than ever before;
- the service sector has come to dominate economic activity; and
- more products are augmented with service elements to gain competitive advantage and differentiation.
The three extra Ps for small or micro businesses are:
Physical and visual environment
Consumers typically come into contact with products and services in a number of ways:
- Your retail units where customers expect a high level of presentation in modern shops, they need to easily find their way around the store, and expect a good standard or presentation.
- Your website greets visitors with highly focused information that aids their product or service research and evaluation process, as well as providing them an easy way to engage with you and buy your products.
- Your social media and blog posts reinforce your brand and demonstrate your broad knowledge regarding what you offer. Your engagement works to get potential customers to take immediate action and buy something, or at least start the buying cycle by contacting you.
Provision of customer service
Customer service lies at the heart of modern marketing transactions as a mechanism for building long term customer relationships of mutual advantage. Customers are loyal to businesses that serve them well, from the way in which a phone or email query is handled, the timeliness and reliability of product and service delivery expectations, and direct face-to-face interactions.
Good processes make marketing effective in a business. Processes for handling customer complaints, identifying customer needs and requirements, handling orders and product or service difficulties.
The 7Ps – product, price, place, promotion, physical environment, provision of customer service, and processes comprise the modern marketing mix that is relevant in the service industry, but is also relevant to any form of business where meeting the needs of customers has high priority.
In my experience, one of the most important reasons to use a marketing mix decision model, is when something doesn’t work as you thought it would. When you are not getting the result you expected, and are able to examine where the failure is and in correcting it.
Of course, when trying to balance the different elements, it is very important to understand the market in which you want to sell. You can see how each element of your marketing mix plays a specific role that works collectively with the other elements to:
- Define the right offer and price
- Establish awareness
- Nurture the customer relationship
- Get the desired sales response
Most small businesses understand the marketing mix; but finding the right marketing mix balance takes time to put together. As long as your customers are leading your marketing program, you’ll find the right mix every time.
Love to know what you think? Please comment below.
About the author: Teresa Bassham is the principle of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their differential advantage, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success. She coaches customers face to face, online and by phone – if you would like to request coaching – please contact.