What is Marketing Mix?

Before we jump into answering the question “What is Marketing Mix?” it’s important we understand the goal of this approach, and what it brings to businesses.

Marketing Mix was established to ensure the development and execution of successful marketing strategies. This is to both satisfy the end customer, but also the business that is selling the product or service using the Marketing Mix.

The approach has been revered by many academics, marketers, and businesses over the years. Making it a well-respected approach to marketing that is used by businesses and brands both large and small.

So let’s dive into how the Marketing Mix first came about, what it entails, and how you can utilise it within your business.

The initial concept of Marketing Mix

The concept of Marketing Mix was first introduced by Neil Borden, an American Academic and professor of advertising at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Borden published an article titled “The Concept of The Marketing Mix”, which first introduced the term to the masses. However, Borden was actually influenced much earlier by James Culliton, another American Academic and professor at Harvard. Culliton suggested that the Marketing Manager was a mixer of ingredients. A concept which Borden used throughout his studies.

Specifically, Borden introduced the ingredients that are essential for successful marketing. Notably, product, distribution, planning, price, branding, advertising, packaging, promotions display, and personal selling.

Borden’s approach has been refined and built upon by many other academics and marketers. Arguably most famously by Edmund Jerome McCarthy, an American marketing professor and author. McCarthy grouped Borden’s ingredients into the 4 Ps: product, price, place, and promotion.

The 4 Ps

The 4 Ps are key factors involved in curating successful marketing. Here is a breakdown:

Product

The product can refer to the tangible goods or intangible services that a business offers. The product should fulfil customers’ needs, or at least be so irresistible that it creates a new demand for customers.

Key to this stage is understanding the product lifecycle and the products and services which may need to follow. Businesses should plan for different stages and ensure they meet specific challenges. So understanding their audience is essential to get their product right.

Price

The price of a product must be related to the product’s real and perceived value. However, it must also incorporate costs such as suppliers, discounts, and competitive pricing.

Key to getting pricing right is understanding how customers perceive the product or service that is being sold. For instance, if customers perceive a product as having a high value to them, they may be willing to pay more than its true monetary value.

However, if businesses underprice a product or service, this can also suggest to consumers that the value of the product is lower than they originally perceived.

 Place

Place refers to where a business will decide to sell their products. The goal is to get the product in front of as many target consumers as possible. Whether that be in specific high street store locations, online, or via third partner resellers and marketplaces.

This is a useful stage for determining the correct channel for promotion (which we will cover next). For instance, in-store promotion vs online.

Promotion

Good promotion should tell consumers why they need a product and why they should pay a specific price.

This stage requires planning that includes promotional strategies and tactics. However, it’s important to bear in mind that there is a difference between promotion and marketing, with promotion simply being the communication stage of the Marketing Mix.

Marketing Mix evolved

Unsurprisingly, as both consumers and brands change, so do our approaches to marketing.

The foundations of Marketing Mix and the 4 Ps remain the same, however, they continue to grow and flex.

For instance, the 4 Ps have grown to now incorporate:

People

As customer demands and expectations soar, it is unsurprising that the 4 Ps have evolved to increasingly recognise customers within the Marketing Mix.

Therefore, this stage incorporates the consumers the product is aimed at, as well as the people within the business who are involved in the marketing process.

Process

Process was introduced as the original 4 Ps did not take into account the sometimes complicated processes of services and software.

However, it also refers to the processes involved in marketing, such as systems a business has in place. This could include payment and distribution systems, and sales funnels.

Physical evidence

This stage refers to the material elements of a service. Because services are not tangible like products, consumers have to rely on physical cues to connect with the service. This could include equipment, brochures, business cards, and your office.

Essentially, your physical mark on your industry.

How can your business utilise the Marketing Mix?

Marketing Mix is personal to each and every business. It will differ depending on a business’s unique set of tools, resources, customers, products and services. And will likely change and transform as time goes by.

Developing a Marketing Mix that is successful for your business requires tailoring each stage to your own business goals, challenges, and audiences. Therefore, ongoing research and analysis are integral to ensure your Marketing Mix is working for you.

And no matter how well thought out each stage of your Marketing Mix is, it is essential that they are all coordinated and connected together for a seamless buying and customer journey. So, focus on the cross-communication strategy between each stage. And ensure any evolution is passed from stage to stage so that nothing is working within a vacuum.

Get some help from the experts

The above may sound both exciting and daunting to you and your business.

If this is the case, get some help from the experts.

Our all-in-one AI email and web marketing platform alongside our Customer Success Team are experts in all stages of the Marketing Mix. And are well experienced in automating processes so your Marketing Mix can run smoothly from one stage to the next.

Get in touch to find out more.

Meet the author

Komal Helyer

VP Marketing