You have founded a company, developed a strategy and defined goals. The task now is to achieve these goals. It is clear that this requires marketing measures – but how should these be designed? How are suitable activities developed in order to develop your own marketing strategy ? The so-called marketing mix, which we present in detail in this article, has proven itself. We will go into how this mix is theoretically structured and also show you how you can actually apply this method.
Definition: marketing mix
The marketing mix is intended to ensure that no advertising measures of any kind are simply set. The aim is to choose a holistic approach in order to really keep an eye on all relevant aspects that can influence marketing success. That is why the marketing mix is based on the famous four Ps, which are:
- Product (product policy)
- Place (distribution policy)
- Price (pricing policy)
- PhD (communication policy)
The basic idea is that marketing measures can be built around these four Ps. The product itself is of great importance, but so is the location, the price and ultimately also the advertising itself. This mixture tries to think about marketing as holistically as possible in order to develop targeted measures for each P. We therefore consider the product policy, the distribution policy, the price policy and the entire communication around the products to be advertised in detail.
The importance of the marketing mix
Before that, we come to the general importance of the marketing mix. This concept was developed in the 1960s and is a real classic. The application of the method has of course changed over the years, after all, especially in the digital age, completely new advertising opportunities, but also sales opportunities, have emerged. However, the basic principle of the four Ps has always remained the same and is still relevant today.
In some cases, additional Ps were added, such as “People” or – depending on the company, industry and business model – for example “Politics”.
Marketing mix goals
The marketing mix should never be created on its own or viewed separately. It is an integral part of every business plan and makes the most sense if other suitable plans are incorporated upstream and downstream. For example, strategic goals can be defined first, to which marketing measures can then be coordinated. Downstream, on the other hand, the marketing mix must also be linked to the financial plan, because after all, elaborated marketing activities must also be affordable and financially planned.
The aim of the marketing mix is on the one hand a holistic approach when planning marketing and general distribution measures. At the same time, however, it is also a matter of coordinating these measures with other areas of the company and bringing them into a uniform picture.
Position of the marketing mix in the corporate strategy process
This brings us to the general strategic point of view. A wide variety of tools are used in strategy development. Let us think of the BCG matrix or the SWOT analysis, for example. In the marketing sector, the marketing mix is a popular method that, as mentioned before, must be coordinated with other strategic planning.
Typically, general strategic goals and directions are defined first when developing a strategy. Then when it comes to how these goals can be achieved, marketing and sales also come into play. Now it is important to use the marketing mix to clarify which strategies and specific measures should be implemented in these areas.
Subsequently, these plans are to be included in the strategic financial planning in order to create appropriate budgets and to calculate which measures can be implemented when from a financial point of view – and which income they should bring in as a result.
The classic marketing mix: The 4 Ps in marketing
Product, Place, Price and Promotion – sounds good, but what exactly do these four keywords mean? We’ll show you in detail!
The product policy is versatile. It defines which products will be launched and how the range will be structured. This includes, for example, whether different products are to be manufactured that are sold under several brands, or whether the company wants to concentrate on a single product.
A coherent marketing and sales strategy also means that your own products are offered in the right place. The keyword distribution policy (“place”) therefore includes on the one hand where the products are to be purchased and on the other hand also where the marketing measures take place. So it’s always about the right positioning, in line with the other strategic marketing considerations.
The pricing policy is an enormous control tool and has to fit the product, the distribution channel and, in general, the strategy chosen. If a company wants to establish itself as a particularly high-quality manufacturer, this also means that the price is not in the lowest segment. Another example is the discount policy. Are you putting yourself under pressure with discounts, are there only certain seasonal discounts or are there perhaps no discounts at all? All of these are measures of the price policy that have to be coordinated with the other marketing measures. The pricing policy can therefore be a particularly sensitive factor and must be questioned regularly.
The actual advertising measures of the communication policy must match the rest of the considerations. High-quality products require other advertising media and media, i.e. products that are to be sold purely at the cheapest price. That sounds logical and obvious, but it is important to always make these decisions in such a way that they are holistically consistent. The product can only be successfully established on the market if all measures are compatible.
The extended marketing mix: the 7 Ps in marketing
As mentioned briefly, the traditional four aspects have been added over and over again. Various additional points came up. The approach of adding three further components has prevailed.
- Physical facilities
What does that mean in concrete terms? The mindset here is that Product, Price, Place and Promotion are no longer sufficient, but that planning should be even more far-reaching.
Anyone who markets a high-quality product appropriately and chooses a reasonable price is in the right place. But what is also essential for this are motivated people who are highly qualified to sell expensive products accordingly. The same applies to physical facilities, which means something like suitable production and sales facilities. To stick with our example, a high-priced product nowadays also requires a production facility that can be shown on social media , for example , to show that the products are manufactured under good conditions. If you want to sell at a high price, you also have to create the appropriate ambience in flagship stores or other sales rooms to match the product.
“Process” should also not be underestimated, especially when it comes to internal planning. Because process-oriented management has generally become firmly established over the past few years. In terms of marketing, this means that good processes must also be in place here. Aside from classic marketing and sales planning, we can think of special situations here, for example. What happens if there is a shit storm for whatever reason? Good processes are required that enable appropriate crisis management.
Practical example of the marketing mix
If you now want to actually implement the marketing mix, you have to complete other planning steps beforehand. Specifically, you need to have worked out a general strategy and be clear about where you want to go. Now it is a matter of aligning marketing and subsequently also sales to these goals.
The marketing mix can now be worked out as the basis for a complete marketing concept. An easy way is to write down the individual Ps in large letters and ask questions about them.
How high should the price be? Why should it be so high or so low? Who is our target group ? Where do we want to sell and why? The more W questions that are asked, the better. All answers can be collected in brainstorming sessions. The answers should not be evaluated, but rather discussed in the same group afterwards.
It is quite conceivable that very different answers will come up and the point is not to find the right solution. Finally, there can also be several conceivable directions of impact. These can then be worked out more precisely and then compared again. It must always be taken into account that these should match the other corporate strategy as perfectly as possible.
Tips for practice are therefore:
- First, work out a general corporate strategy
- Involve a wide variety of employees and managers in brainstorming sessions and decision-making processes
- Approach the matter openly, do not judge suggestions hastily, but collect different approaches
- Develops ideas further and does not look for a single, perfect solution
- Decide together and, above all, objectively, which marketing mix should ultimately be the result
- Communicate the result openly within the company
- Use the result as a basis for further planning measures (financial planning, etc.)
A lot of communication, constructive feedback and a positive approach from all those involved are the basic requirements for such a process, in which many people can be involved, to work.
Criticism of the marketing mix
The marketing mix has received various criticisms over the years. As with many older models, it became apparent that the approach is too simple. In addition, it was discussed again and again that he did not sufficiently take the customer’s point of view into account.
It can be countered that the approach is of course simple, but ultimately it can be flexibly adapted. If you want, you can use it and supplement it appropriately instead of criticizing the concept.
Conclusion marketing mix
The marketing mix is a practical concept that reminds you how important it is to switch to a bird’s eye view again and again and to look at your own company and its positioning from a kind of meta-perspective. A holistic view is the basis for finding directions. Of course, the concept must be supplemented by further steps and other strategies and never viewed in isolation.