There isn’t a marketing expert out there that isn’t familiar with the famous marketing mix and its impact on today’s business world. Consisting of four key notions, product, place, price, and promotion, this mix enables marketing teams to devise successful strategies for wider customer outreach and improved success rates for any brand. However, the four Ps concept comes from a time when the digital wasn’t used in the same manner as it is today, and most novel marketers aren’t that familiar with the many advantages this mix has to offer.
With so much focus on crafting SEO strategies, using digital tools to nurture leads, harness the power of social media, and all the other digital solutions we have at our disposal, many modern marketers have neglected this simple, but profound framework. Let’s take a look at how you can integrate the four Ps into your own digital marketing strategy and how it will benefit your brand as a whole.
Let’s start with the essence of your business, the purpose of your brand: your offer. When the four Ps were created, this particular portion of the marketing mix framework referred to tangible, physical goods that were sold to customers. Back then, the competition was not as fierce and customers had an easier time spotting the key differences between products. Today, the idea of a product can refer to anything tangible, but also to a wide range of intangible services, global as well as local. The playing field has changed drastically, and there are now many different “products” out there that fit the same criteria, while their presence is the only thing that sets them apart.
What modern marketers can learn from this original notion of the product is going back to the basics: focus on differentiation. Since modern-day customers want you to exceed, not meet their expectations, you have a difficult task when creating your product and your selling proposition. You not only need to deliver on your promise (which is a given today), but overdeliver. When presenting your product/service, make sure that each key feature, each way in which you solve a problem is clearly defined so that your brand can actually stand out.
Considering the wider reach of modern brands, and the fact that so many digital businesses don’t really have any real geographical borders when it comes to serving customers everywhere, placement has been redefined. Placing your service or products at its core refers to the idea of distribution. Each marketplace, physical as well as digital, carries its own risks and potential setbacks to anticipate and resolve so that your product can actually be found in the right place, at the right time (and at the right price, but we’ll get there in a moment).
When focused on the digital alone, brands risk neglecting some of the most vital part of their logistics that make sure the customers get what they want and when they want it. To avoid setbacks in a business, it’s vital to find supply chain finance solutions that fit your own organizational structure and enable you to run your business without any glitches. You also need a trustworthy storage facility such as a warehouse and cutting-edge inventory management tools to make sure that “placement” is under control every step of the way, from start to finish. Traditional and digital have certainly become more entangled when it comes to this particular P of the bunch.
The tipping point for any industry and any product, the price is what will ultimately affect the purchase decision of your customers. This single factor has so much importance, that many marketers decide against adding a new line of products that actually solves an issue if they know that the price will be unsuitable for their target audience. The need to strike that fine balance between price and value so that both your brand and your customers will benefit is more important than ever before.
More than ever, brands need to justify the price they put on their products and services. With so many other options to choose from, and many brands that differentiate themselves clearly in the market, you need to make sure your customers know what they are paying for. Thankfully, brands can utilize online coupons and personalized discounts to make their offers more alluring and attract more people initially.
How do you make your offers known to your audience? The answer to this question is also the definition of the very last of the Ps. Unlike what brands have done in the past, when this marketing mix was invented, modern-day brands need to go above and beyond to make each promotional statement count. We no longer use TV ads, radio ads, or billboards only, or as much as we did. Instead, we focus on social networks, websites, content creation, in-app ads, and the like.
Thanks to the many analytics tools at our disposal, we now have the power and the ability to make more flexible, data-based promotional decisions. You no longer need to make a commitment to a pointless series of advertisements if they fail to deliver on your desired ROI. You can quickly readjust your budget to allocate more of your ad funds to your social campaigns and email marketing instead. This greater control of the promotional landscape has allowed brands to maximize their digital and offline potential.
Even though the marketing world has evolved over the years, certain time-tested strategies and marketing basics such as the marketing mix have remained relevant for a number of reasons. Make sure you understand their place in the digital world, and you’ll be able to utilize them to empower your brand more than ever.
Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. As a regular contributor at BizzmarkBlog, he enjoys writing and providing insight of the marketing industry based on both practice and theory.