Like any good cocktail, the correct mixture is essential to a tasty drink. This is also true in the marketing of any goods or service. The marketing mix is a combination of marketing elements or tactical components of a marketing plan. They are defined by four basic principals known as the four Ps – Product, Price, Place (Distribution), and Promotion. The correct mix will ensure the objectives of the company and will also meet the customer’s needs.
The amount of each “P” depends on the goal. For a high profile brand that is making a big push like Chase Banking has done lately, increase the promotions and get aggressive with pricingstrategies. If the demand is high and you want to sustain price, decrease or become more selective with distribution and if you are brave, even decrease production. Ultimately it’s the variations of the four elements that will give you the ability to effectively connect with your target.
Now before you drive your marketing department crazy, getting the right mix is not as easy as pouring a drink. It calls for some cautious experimenting and a fair amount of research. There are many methods to accomplish the correct mix; case studies, test groups and test markets pose the safest manner to ease into a company wide assault. It is also imperative that each component of the marketing mix is positioned correctly.
A marketing mix that is carefully outlined in a marketing plan has a much better chance of being effective than one that is positioned on a dry erase board or entrepreneur’s lunch time napkin. Having a clear and well positioned road map is a huge benefit of a concise marketing mix and this should be accessible to every principal of the company, even if it’s the company of one. The main reason for this is that in some markets more than others, targets do change. As the target changes so should your marketing mix to ensure you, the marketer, keeps up.
Niche markets are especially susceptible to quickly evolving trends. This could affect any one of the P’s. Take for example skateboarding, famous with setting trends through out the world and influential enough to affect Hollywood. Within 6 month period, loose fitting pants which were the staple by all skaters were abandoned by the hipster kids and replaced with tight fitting jeans. It’s not why it happened as much as how fast. So fast that not a single skateboard apparel company could adjust production fast enough. The hipster kids were stealing their sister’s fashion brand pants because they were the only ones that fitted tight enough. Even funnier is that the cut of female pants are built to accommodate a bigger backside that most skinny, young male skateboarders do not possess. This was a very important detail because along with the super tight legs, baggy butts were part of the look. This fashion transformation by the target of a niche market called for the change of all four of the P’s – Product, Price, Place (Distribution), and Promotion and the savvy brands with their finger on the pulse and their ear to street capitalized on it.
In case this post has your eye glazed over and your nodding away, I’ll sum up the Mix:
- Make sure the product is needed by the target,
- the price is within their reach,
- the distribution channel (place) is finding them,
- and the promotions are speaking their language and screaming it in their ear.