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The Marketing Mix and the 7 Elements of Marketing

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

The classic marketing mix, as defined in 1948 by James Culliton, a professor of Marketing at Harvard University, and later extended by Jerome McCarthy, incorporates product, price, place, and promotion into a marketing theory that has been of great relevance in the sector for more than 70 years. Since then, this theory has been extended to the seven elements of marketing, which are: product, price, promotion, place, people, packaging, and process.

These are now also referred to as the seven elements of marketing or the marketing mix. Next, we will analyze this concept and its components, and we will answer some questions about the marketing mix and its applications.

What is the marketing mix?

The marketing mix is ​​a selection of marketing tools that includes various areas of focus that can be combined to create a complete plan. The term refers to a classification that began with four elements—product, price, place, and promotion—and expanded to product, price, promotion, place, people, packaging, and process.

What are the seven elements of marketing?

The concept of the four elements of the marketing mix (also later known as the seven elements of marketing) was introduced by Jerome McCarthy in his book: "Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach". It refers to the carefully designed mix of strategies and practices that a company uses to drive business and product promotion successfully. Initially, these elements were product, price, place, and promotion, which were later expanded to include people, packaging, and process. The seven elements of the marketing mix are now considered.

It can be difficult for a small business owner or marketing director to know how to establish a unique selling proposition or reach the right customers, especially on new platforms like the internet, with digital marketing.

Fortunately, the seven elements of marketing provide you with a framework to use in your marketing planning and an essential strategy for effectively marketing to your target market.

You can also factor the elements of the mix into your daily marketing decision-making process with the goal of attracting the right audience to successfully target through your marketing campaigns.

The seven elements of the marketing mix are as follows:

1. Product (or service)

Your client only cares about one thing: what your product or service can do for him. Therefore, prioritize making your product the best it can be and optimize your product lines accordingly. This approach is called product-oriented marketing. In a marketing mix, product considerations involve all aspects of what you're trying to sell. This includes:

  • Design

  • Quality

  • functions

  • Options

  • Packaging

  • Market positioning

There are five components to successful product-driven marketing that are important for product marketers to consider:

  • Get out of the way. Let your product or service sell itself. Focus your marketing efforts on getting consumers to try what you offer so they can see its value for themselves.

  • Be an eminence (in your clients). Know the needs of your customers and use that knowledge to help communicate the value of your product.

  • Always help. Position yourself as an ally by creating informative content that meets the needs of your target customers, and they will be more likely to buy from you. (This is also called content marketing.)

  • Share authentic stories. Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences and why they appreciate your brand.

  • Develop a product mindset. Focus on your product before thinking about how to sell it. Invest in the development and the quality of the product will take care of the rest.

2. Prices

Many factors are involved in a pricing model. Brands can:

  • Pricing a product higher than competitors gives the impression of a higher quality offering.

  • Price similar to competitors, and then call attention to features or benefits that other brands don't have.

  • Underpricing competitors to break into a saturated market or attract value-conscious consumers.

  • Plan to raise the price once the brand is established or lower it to highlight the value of an updated model.

  • Set the base price higher to make bundling or promotions more attractive.

Think about what you want to achieve with your pricing strategy and how pricing will work with the rest of your marketing strategy. Some questions to ask yourself when selling products:

  • Will you offer higher-end versions at additional cost?

  • Do you need to cover costs immediately, or can you price it lower and consider it a growth investment?

  • Will you offer sales promotions?

  • How much can you lower without people questioning your quality?

  • How far can you go before customers think your price is excessive?

  • Are you perceived as a cheap brand or a premium brand?

3. Promotion

Promotion is the part of the marketing mix that the public notices the most. They include television and print advertising, content marketing, scheduled coupons or discounts, social media strategies, email marketing, banner ads, digital strategies, marketing communication, search engine marketing, public relations, and much more.

All of these promotional channels unite the marketing suite into an omnichannel strategy that creates a unified experience for the customer base. For example:

  • A customer sees a promotion in the store and uses his phone to check prices and read reviews.

  • They see the brand's website, which focuses on a unique feature of the product.

  • The brand has solicited opinions on that feature. Those reviews appear on high-ranking review sites.

  • The customer buys the product and you send them a thank you email using marketing automation.

Here are the ways to use these channels together:

  • Make sure you are aware of all available channels and make the most of them to reach your target audience.

  • Embrace the move toward personalized marketing.

  • Segment your promotional efforts based on the behavior of your customers.

  • Test responses to different promotions and adjust your marketing spending accordingly.

  • Remember that promotion is not a one-way street. Customers expect you to pay attention to their interests and offer them solutions when they need them.

4. Place

Where will you sell your product? The same market study that has helped you make decisions about the product and the price will also help you determine the location, which goes beyond physical locations. These are some considerations about the place:

  • Where will people look for your product?

  • Will they need to get their hands on it?

  • Will you get more sales by driving customers directly from your own E-Commerce website, or will buyers seek you out on third-party marketplaces?

  • Do you want to chat directly with your customers while they shop, or do you want a third party to resolve customer service issues?

5 people

The term people refers to anyone who comes into contact with your customer, even indirectly, so make sure you hire the best talent at all levels, not just customer service and the sales force.

Here's what you can do to make sure your staff is having the right impact on your customers:

  • Develop the skills of your salespeople so they can carry out your marketing mix strategy.

  • Think about the company culture and brand personality.

  • Hire professionals to design and develop your products or services.

  • Focus on customer relationship management, or CRM, which creates genuine connections and inspires loyalty on a personal level.

6. Packaging

A company's packaging attracts the attention of new buyers in a saturated market and reinforces value for repeat customers. Here are some ways to make your packaging work harder for you:

Design for differentiation. A good design helps people recognize your brand at first glance and can also highlight particular features of your product. For example, if you are a shampoo company, you can use different colors on the packaging to label different types of hair.

Provide valuable information. Your packaging is the perfect place to educate about the product or reinforce the brand. Include clear instructions or an unexpected element to surprise and delight your customers.

Add more value. Exceed your client's expectations and offer them well-designed branded extras they can use, like a free toothbrush from their dentist, a free estimate from a roofer, or a free styling guide from their hairdresser.

7. Process

Prioritize processes that overlap with the customer experience. The more specific and fluid your processes are, the easier it will be for your staff to carry them out. If your staff is not focused on navigating procedures, they will have more attention available to customers, which directly translates to exceptional, personal customer experiences.

Some processes to keep in mind:

  • Is the logistics of your main distribution channel profitable?

  • How are your programming and delivery logistics?

  • Will your third-party retailers run out of products at critical times?

  • Do you have enough staff to cover the busiest times?

  • Are items reliably shipped from your website?

The conclusion

The Marketing Mix and the Seven Marketing Elements are a guide to outlining and creating an outreach campaign for any business entity. They are guidelines that help us cover all of our fundamentals when it comes to brand reach. It should be noted that branding considerations are not included in the concepts covered by these promotional frameworks.

The elements of these guidelines work together to create a functional framework for creating a complete marketing plan.

Develop your marketing mix and integrate it into your marketing essentials. When developing your marketing mix, consider how each element affects the rest to create a unified brand experience for your consumers, from the user experience to the perceived value of your product. Think about how the price of a product changes your promotion strategy, how the specifications will contribute to the pricing, and how your people carry out the processes. Make sure your people and the tools they use can communicate with each other, and use the right tools to reach the right people.

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