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What is a Marketing Mix and the 4 P’s of Marketing?


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The skills and knowledge required to determine the optimum marketing mix for a business through analysis of interrelated marketing components, no matter how big or small can help position your business and therefore your products and services in your target market. Broadly speaking, it applies to all businesses and all individuals in marketing management roles who are responsible for developing marketing and promotional material within an organization. They may also adjust the marketing mix when new marketing opportunities are identified.

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The 4 P's are key marketing elements designed to help you think about your business strategically. A marketing mix, quite simply, is a mix of business activities that aims to build your brand and business in a consistent way.

If you want to grow your business, the 4 P's of marketing can help you think about how the different areas of your business can add value and offer a product or service different from your competitors.

Working your way through each of the 4 P's can help you think about which areas of your business you can change or improve on, to help you meet the needs of your target market.

  • Product
    • What is your program?
    • Is it a product or a service or both?
    • How is it different than competitors?
    • What service is it offering?
    • What is it called?
    • How will users experience it?
    • How do you define your components?
    • Your adaptations?
  • Price
    • What is the value of the program/product to the user?
    • Have you determined a pricing structure?
    • Are there established price points for similar things?
    • How does your price compare?
    • Is the user price sensitive?
    • What are your risks?
  • Promotion
    • How do you tell your customers about your product?
    • Passive, reactive, or proactive?
    • What messages are you using?
    • How do your competitors promote their products?
    • Is there a best time to promote?
    • When?
  • Place
    • Where do users look for your program/product?
    • Where do they find it?
    • Is it Online? Direct? How?
    • What is your distribution channel?

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Additional Marketing P’s

  • Package
    • What does your program/product look like?
    • How is it branded? How is it presented?
    • How does it appear from an outsider’s perspective?
    • People
    • Who are the end-users?
    • What are they in need of?
    • Who will be interfacing with end-users?
    • How will they be interfacing?
    • How are they trained?
    • How will these people be compensated?
  • Process
    • What is your process for providing people your product/program?
    • How does this work with your organizational structure?
    • What is your process for continuous quality improvement?

Positioning your business

Positioning is trying to occupy a market niche or impression of your business in your customers' mind. It's about defining how you want your customers to think about your products and services. Defining your position in the market should be one of the first things you try to do in your business or marketing plan. It helps you be clear about what your business does, who you do it for and why you're different from your competitors.

For example:

  • Is your business competitively priced?
  • A budget choice for families?
  • Or do you offer more high-end services?

Asking yourself these kinds of questions can help you work out where you want to be positioned in the market.

How do I position my business in the market?

You can use features of your business, such as location, your experience or packaging, to position your brand or products in the market.

For example, an online home-wares shop might use their pricing strategy to position themselves as a budget supplier, whereas a home-based accountant might use their international experience to position themselves as an up-market service provider.

Once you have worked out your position in the market, you will be able to work out what other business activities you might consider suiting your positioning. Although positioning might seem like marketing jargon, it's important to get it right from the very beginning.

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