When you develop a marketing strategy, where do you start?
Do you immediately think of your public relations approach? Or do you start crafting social media content for your various distribution channels?
There are so many elements of a marketing plan that you’ll need to consider before you begin. That’s why it helps to think of your approach as an ecosystem as opposed to unrelated parts.
Every element of your marketing plan and your marketing tactics should complement the other, which is why you’ll want to develop them strategically, together, with the impact of all pieces kept in mind.
Don’t just develop marketing content. Think of it as your marketing mix.
In this post, we’re going to examine what the concept of the marketing mix is, the elements of the marketing mix, why taking this managerial approach to your basic marketing plan is how you can ensure you have the right promotional strategies in place to help speak to your target audience, and finally, how to reinvent the marketing mix for 2022.
What is a marketing mix?
First, a definition. According to Investopedia, your marketing mix “includes multiple areas of focus as part of a comprehensive marketing plan.”
If that sounds like too general of a definition, think of it in terms of the “Four Ps.”
Let’s work through all four Ps of the marketing mix and identify why getting them right is so critical for your marketing plan.
Before you write one word of copy or design any graphics, you’ll need to have an offer.
This is the most simple definition of the four Ps. Simply put, your product is what you sell to your customers.
It can be a physical product, sold in a physical store at a physical location. Or it can be a digital product sold over the internet.
It could be a unique, new product. Or it can be a fresh take on a classic product people already use, with a few vital tweaks to differentiate it from other offers.
Either way, you can’t engage in marketing unless you have a product your customer wants. Before you target customers, you have to ensure you have something to sell them.
When you have a product, you’ll ideally want it to do two things:
- Solve the problem of your customer base, directly addressing customer needs.
- Stand out from your competitors’ offering in one way or another.
When it comes to your product, you have to be forward-thinking and brutally honest about customer needs. Determining how well it addresses those customers’ needs will involve a decent amount of market research.
Another element of the marketing mix that requires plenty of research? Determining your product’s price.
This is another simple concept of the marketing mix. Price is how much you charge your customers for your product.
Calculating your price can be tricky. Generally speaking, it should be what your customers are willing to pay.
But there are other factors to consider as well when determining your pricing strategy. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are your rates competitive within your target market? Are you charging too much compared to your competitors in this space?
- Are you charging too little? Pricing is not always about a race to the bottom – not charging enough can leave you struggling to restock your inventory.
Your price should reflect not just your own dollar cost for building the product (doing research, testing it, promoting it, etc.), but also what people are willing to pay.
Don’t shortchange yourself in the hopes of making easy sales. It will cost you in the long run.
The placement of your product is all about where customers will be able to locate it. Placement refers to where you can distribute the product and where it’s likely to be sold.
What kind of product you’re selling will impact where you sell it. For example, you won’t find diamond earrings at your grocery store just like you won’t be able to buy deodorant at a high-end jeweler.
Of course, not every product can be held in your hand. Some are digital products that can only be sold online.
This will obviously impact your marketing activities – knowing how to position your product as a physical or online product can alter how you promote it.
The final P is what most people think of when they hear the term marketing. Promotion represents what you do to signal-boost the existence of your product, how much it costs, and where customers can find it to your target audience.
The key elements of promotion can include sales promotions, advertising, establishing partnerships with influencers, and paid and organic reach via social media.
Promotion is greatly impacted by your marketing communications. What you say about your product depends on the factors listed above.
How you get that message out to your customers is another crucial factor for promotion.
Now that you have a better understanding of the four Ps of marketing, let’s take a deeper dive into how you can reinvent these common concepts to better position your marketing approach for 2022.
How to reinvent the marketing mix for 2022
When it comes to developing your marketing campaigns, each aspect of the four Ps works in concert with the other. That’s been true for as long as marketing has been a concept and continues to ring true today.
But just because that’s still the case for marketing doesn’t mean that every element of it is the same. To successfully market your brand, you must be adaptable to the current environment.
Below are some best practices for reinventing your marketing mix for 2022:
- The best marketing approach is an integrated approach
- Don’t always promote every element of your marketing mix in every channel
- Don’t try to do too much
- View your marketing mix as an evolving life cycle
The best marketing approach is an integrated approach
There was a time when all marketing was direct marketing – direct mail, door-to-door personal selling, etc. Then digital marketing emerged as the internet and eCommerce became much more prevalent.
Some older companies rely on more traditional methods, shunning the new ways of doing business online. Some newly established companies may focus heavily on the digital side of the house, eager to embrace the new way of doing things.
The truth is that both are important.
Your marketing mix has to embrace digital marketing, but the foundations of it should still remain rooted in timeless principles. That means taking time to craft a persuasive offer and demonstrating the value of your product.
Research shows that 78% of marketers use more than five tools to plan, manage, and execute their campaigns. Having all of your marketing efforts organized together, in one streamlined and integrated platform helps avoid confusion.
Don’t always promote every element of your marketing mix in every channel
It’s also critical to not incorporate all four elements of the four Ps into all marketing activities. As a marketing manager, you have to know when to step up and when to dial back.
For example, you don’t have to include the price on every piece of marketing. Other times, it’s appropriate to cover the price while not discussing every element of the product itself.
While all four Ps should be a consideration when your developing your marketing strategy, you can highlight all four elements separately as well. Read the room and understand when it’s appropriate to highlight different pieces of information.
Don’t try to do too much
You’ll feel pressure to set up channels on as many social networks as possible. It’s important to temper your expectations here.
After all, if your target audience isn’t using a particular type of social media, it doesn’t make much sense to dedicate much time to that channel.
If you’re a consulting firm, setting up a LinkedIn profile makes sense as you can use it to establish authority on your topic and position yourself as a thought leader. Other channels may not deliver the same return on investment, so think carefully about where you dedicate your time and resources.
View your marketing mix as an evolving life cycle
When it comes to the four Ps, the last thing you’ll want to do is remain stagnant. Think of how all four Ps can change to meet the evolving needs of your customers:
- Product. Does your product still scratch an itch your customer has? If sales are lagging, you may need to tweak it – or perhaps you can explore ways to provide add-ons that improve the customer experience.
- Price. Is what you’re charging in line with the reality of the market? Is demand high enough that you can justify an increase to help grow your business?
- Placement. How are your customers’ behaviors changing? Are you still meeting them where they are?
- Promotion. What kind of engagement are your marketing efforts receiving, both online and using more traditional methods?
Don’t look at your marketing mix as a “set it and forget it” plan of attack that you establish and walk away from. It’s a continuum that requires constant testing and evaluation.
When it comes to your marketing mix, you have to have the right partner in place to ensure all four elements are tuned in and supporting each other. Welcome has you covered with the right solutions and tools to bolster all marketing efforts.
Welcome powers your marketing mix by integrating all of your marketing efforts within one platform.
Ready to give it a try? Get started with a free Welcome account today!