What is a Marketing Mix and why Every Business Needs One.
Effective marketing tactics have a defined objective and a means to measure success (ROI). In most cases, marketing tactics aren’t free so you want to make sure you know exactly why you are spending the marketing dollar and what type of return you want to achieve.
It takes different tactics to hit different objectives but most marketing spend is associated with one primary goal: growth. You spend marketing dollars to grow awareness, grow audience, grow leads, grow position, grow market share, and grow revenue.
A marketing mix is simply a mix of the various marketing tactics your business is doing to achieve the results it seeks. A marketing mix is a critical element of the business formula (Scoreboard + Routines x People = Results). A marketing mix is designed with a scoreboard in mind and is made up of routines that will drive results.
So what should your marketing mix include? Well that depends on your business and your objectives but below are 4 different types of tactics every business needs to consider.
A good framework for considering different tactics in your marketing mix is to look at the 4 P’s Marketing Model.
The 4 P’s of marketing are: product, price, promotion, and placement.
How does your product differ from your competitors? What features/benefits can you articulate to the consumer that competitors can’t? What value does your product provide to end users?
Once you have those questions answered, does your product packaging/functionality reinforce those points? Ask other people what they think of the product and what features standout. Ask them what the benefit is.
Why do you think Apple markets the iPad as a pad instead of the iComputer? The iPad can do the same things as a computer or a phone for that matter, but it’s the shape and the way it looks that is the key feature. The benefit is that you get a computer without a computer (or laptop).
Your pricing strategy should be designed to compel consumers to buy your product. As a rule of thumb, customers perceive prices ending in odd numbers more favorably than prices ending in even numbers. For example, a product priced at $4.35 will outperform a product at $4.00. Same with big ticket items: $415 will outperform $400. The reason is because $415 will be viewed at relative to $500 and the customer will see $85 in value. $400 leaves no room for a relative number because it’s the last number of a range ($301-$400).
Is your pricing flat or variable? Does your product carry more value within certain variable terms? A beer at a grocery store costs $1.50. The same beer at a restaurant costs $6 and at a ball park it costs $10. Same beer, different price.
How are you promoting your product so that your customers learn about it? Do you have a website, social media, billboards, etc.? The key to promoting your product correctly is to know and understand your target audience. Take the time to map out a customer’s buying journey and ask yourself, where can I put my product that I know my customer will be to see it.
If you’re in the business of selling fish tanks, you need to find out where fish lovers are. Prior to the internet, most marketing was artistic (with a little bit of science). The creative behind your newspaper, magazine, yellow pages, or billboard ad was critical. In today’s market place, the creative is still important, but marketers can leverage science and math to outperform competition.
Thanks to the internet and social sites like Facebook and Instagram, you can target your ads, digitally, at people who have been on the web searching for topics that may indicate they would be in the market for your product. The fish tank store owner can target his/her ads at consumers who searched for “How many fish fit in a 10 gallon tank.” You can see data on your digital ads’ performance and make better decisions on how you’re promoting your product, digitally.
Promoting online and socially is must but what else are you doing to promote your product? Do you have an opportunity to hold informative classes, cross-sell at events, or offer referral bonuses?
Where are you putting your product for customers to access? Many businesses have brick and mortar stores but what about e-commerce websites. You can sell your product on social channels like Facebook and Instagram as well. With websites and apps like Shopify, e-commerce has never been easier.
Most successful businesses have their product in 5-7 different places even if they have a brick and mortar store. Where is your product?
Bonus – People and Perception
The 4 P’s of marketing is a pretty aged concept however it still rings true today. Some marketers will argue that the 4 P’s now includes 2 additional P’s: People and Perception.
How do you leverage people to market your product? Do you incentivize your team to share products on their social channels? Do you offer people custom apparel or vehicle wraps? Nobody wants to be a walking billboard but studies show more people than not will support their favorite brands if the apparel is par with their social preferences (don’t go cheap with basic cotton polos – companies like Homage will help you out!).
Your employees are a touch-point – do they have dress guidelines, scripts, and/or behavioral guidelines to reinforce the marketing strategy?
Perception refers to the perception your product/business has in the marketplace. Online reviews are now digital currency. You want them and you want a lot of them. In addition to the impact on SEO, online reviews can steer a consumer to your business (or away from it) and for the most part, it’s free marketing! Most successful businesses have robust programs that help them manage their online presence but you can you do it for free and with little effort. If you’re a multi-unit model, companies like Columbus based 30Lines can help you keep everything managed in a way that brings you business.
Having a well thought of marketing mix that aligns with your business objectives is a critical component to the winning business formula Scoreboard + Routines x People = Results. If your marketing mix isn’t deliberate, measured, and working, you need to bring in someone who can help.