When most people think of marketing, they think sales, but it’s a far deeper (and way more interesting) subject than just that. Marketing in its most basic sense is “communicating value to your customers.” It’s the precursor to sales, because without any attention, interest, or desire, there can be no action! (Known as the AIDA model)
Marketing answers the question, “why should I care?”
As marketers, we show people just how much there is to care about in four general ways, known as the marketing mix.
The elements of the marketing mix are: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
Product (Can also be a service)
This is your main offer, and is the solution to the customer’s problem. If you’re an accountant, you’re selling accounting services, or better yet, a tax solution; if you’re a doctor you’re not selling medical services, you’re selling “health”, if you’re a hardware store owner, you’re selling hardware, or better yet as the famous marketing saying by Harvard professor Theodore Levitt says:
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
This the price you charge. Price conveys a number of meanings and entire courses have been taught on price psychology and that classic .99 cent ending we all know.
Price is normally established by actual cost to produce, competitor pricing, or value based pricing. Each one conveys a different message to your customers. Think about if you had to pick which was the better car based solely on price, does your instinct tell you it’s the $10,000 or the $50,000 car?
This is how you deliver your product or service, and is the distribution component of the marketing mix. Do you have a storefront? Do you deliver? If so, in what? Plane, train, automobile? What are delivery times?
Each of these elements naturally says something about your business. As we move more and more into an online world, a businesses website and social media platforms become more important as customers use these to evaluate a company.
Also known as the communications mix. Promotion describes a host of communication tools, this is the fun stuff! It involves advertising, personal selling, direct selling, public relations, and interactive media (online, social media, web sales, etc)
While certainly no more (or less) important than any other element of the marketing mix, it’s the one that normally gets the most attention because it’s the part that people actually see.
The key here is to make sure to have a solid foundation behind the spectacular paint job!
There are two important strategies involved when reviewing the marketing mix elements in your company.
First, be sure that the message that’s being communicated is aligned with your objectives, and is in fact what you’re intending to convey.
Second, ensure that all of the elements of the marketing mix are consistent with each other.
This can’t be overstated.
Be consistent, and make sure your marketing mix elements align with company objectives and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition already.