What is the Marketing Mix and How Can You Use It?

The big idea behind the marketing mix is putting the right products in the right place, at the right time and price.

It serves as a useful tool to consider the different elements that go into promoting a brand and its products.

Originally comprised of 4 key categories known as The 4 P’s (product, place, price and promotion), it lays out the foundation needed for marketers to determine a brand’s place within the market, and build out the best marketing strategies from there.

How the marketing mix has changed

The marketing mix, now more than ever, is rooted in a deep understanding of your target audience.

The explosion of digital and the rapid rate at which consumer trends now change has transformed the face of marketing.

Modeling your business using consumer insights ensures you delver at each stage of the marketing mix.

This has spurred the creation of an extended 7 (and even 8) “P” system, founded on a deeper understanding of the consumer processes and the trends that shape their behaviors, attitudes and perceptions.

Let’s dig down into the 7p’s of the marketing mix.

1. Product

The product must do what consumers expect it to do. Meeting and exceeding expectations are minimum requirements for a brand’s long-term success.

Question to consider:

  • How will the product help your consumer achieve their goals? Are they aspirational? Status-seekers? Family- oriented? Do they seek value over quality?

Finding the answer:

  • Look to concept testing with survey data to assess the reaction to your product or concept before going to market.

2. Price

The product’s price should reflect the attributes of your target market as best as possible, pitched at the right level, but still turning a profit. This will depend on factors including market share and competition.

Question to consider:

  • What income bracket do your target consumers sit in? Are they affluent consumers or students, for example?

Finding the answer:

  • Start by creating your audience in GlobalWebIndex, adding all the relevant attributes to paint a clear, defined picture of who these people are, and what their spending habits are.

3. Place

Knowing the best channels to promote your content means knowing where and how they spend their time.

Question to consider:

  • What online channels are your target market using the most? Where are they engaging with similar brands?

Finding the answer:

  • Gathering data from your own onsite and social media analytics and combining that with regional behavioral and psychographic data from GlobalWebIndex builds up a picture of what your audience does online, whilst highlighting key trends.

4. Promotion

This is all about developing the messaging – being able to communicate what your brand and product does and present it in the most effective way. ‘Promotion’ is closely tied with the point above, and in fact, one cannot be effective without the other.

Question to consider:

  • How do people expect to be approached on the channels you’ve identified? How can you speak to them in a way that resonates?

Finding the answer:

  • It starts by creating detailed audience segments, and digging down into each to cross-examine what motivates them – not just to purchase products – but in daily life. Identifying the lifestyle indicators and broader perceptions of each segment is key to unlocking the messaging that will deliver results.

5. People

Companies are reliant on the people who run them, from the managing director to the front line sales staff. Employing the right people is essential because they shape your brand, and its product offering.

Question to consider

  • What kind of people would best align with your consumer’s values and realise the vision?

Finding the answer:

  • Deep-dive into how your target consumers see themselves in relation to brands. Running a custom survey will identify their personal perceptions, specifically the ones you as a brand can appeal to, and help you determine the right kind of people to deliver your message.

6. Processes

This element covers the interface between the business and consumer and how they deal with each other at every stage of your service. Service delivery is an important consumer touchpoint that forms part of the customer feedback loop, encouraging process innovation.

Question to consider:

  • How can you increase brand equity at every stage of the buying process, from awareness to product delivery?

Finding the answer:

  • Making the purchase journey as swift and pleasing as possible, again, means delivering on consumer demands whilst maintaining a profitable process. Start analyzing the purchase journey touchpoints within the GlobalWebIndex platform to get a better understanding of what works for your target consumer at every stage.  

7. Physical Evidence

Simply existing as a business isn’t enough for brands today. Consumers want to build authentic relationships. One way to achieve this is through physical evidence.

It could take the form of products, brochures, information pages, or even PDFs, with the main goal of supplementing the psychological evidence that the brand exists with something tangible. The more relevant, personal and exciting the better.

Question to consider:

  • What kind of content do my target consumers best respond to?

Finding the answer:

  • Discover what motivates consumers to build long-term relationships with brands by analyzing brand loyalty and brand trust data points.

Example: Anytime Fitness’s marketing mix

As the world’s largest fitness chain, with over 4,200 clubs in 33 countries, Anytime Fitness have gained a huge market share with three hundred thousand people joining clubs each year.

Let’s look at how their business model fits into the 7p’s marketing mix.

Product:

 

Use of the gym equipment, classes and facilities, taking a ‘no frills’ approach.

The equipment is basic but plentiful, making the time spent in the gym practical and efficient for customers with little ‘extra’ incentive to do anything other than exercise.

Price:

 

Anytime Fitness is certainly competitive in the low price gym market – typically costing $30-36 a month.

It’s able to charge slightly more costly because of its plentiful locations, making it a more convenient option for customers. They also use dynamic pricing depending on affluence of location.

Place:

 

You’d find Anytime Gyms across the U.S. and because of its ‘no frills’ approach, it is able to set up shop in a variety of buildings.

With no swimming-pools or sports pitches to take up space, it can use old offices in dense urban areas at lower rental costs.

Promotion:

 

It’s marketing agency, GdB, was key in determining the types of message that hit home, or more specifically, the types that didn’t.

Advert showing the importance of promotion in the marketing mix featuring older women exercising.

Research revealed that consumers found typical gym ad messaging centred on physically fit, attractive models to be intimidating. This isolated less fit consumers who actually make up the majority of the population.

Anytime Fitness adopts a more consumer-centric tone, featuring people of more shapes and ages than other gyms, urging them to improve their health through exercise.

 

Paradoxically, Anytime Fitness found its niche amongst the majority of the population by being attentive to their opinions, offering a safe space for anyone to exercise, not just the very fit.

People:

 

Anytime Fitness employ very few people to help deliver their product, especially when it comes to the day-to-day running of the gyms. The majority are freelance personal trainers who generate revenue from customers that request their services. This helps keep the business model lean.

By employing fitness professionals, they ensure the continuity of their health and fitness message throughout all arms of the business, whilst giving consumers something to aspire to.

Process:

 

It’s a frontrunner in the digitization process, making signing up, booking exercise classes and contacting staff simple through their app. Customers are given autonomy over their memberships, with the flexibility to cancel and freeze with the possibility of re-opening at anytime.

Physical Evidence:

 

Being a highstreet-based service, Anytime Fitness has a strong physical presence, coupled with the on-brand personnel who help deliver the service. Combining this with the wealth of digital media creates a more rounded experience for the customer.

Key takeaways

Today’s consumers are more empowered than ever, with greater expectations for brands to meet their requirements with relevant, easy-to-use content, and to provide a product offering that meets expectations.

The marketing mix breaks down what’s needed to make a business work, but success isn’t attributed only to modelling theory templates like this one. It’s attributed to the depth of insights used to develop each stage.

Businesses that can deliver on what their consumers truly want, and showcase how their brand will enrich their lives, will see the best results.

Click to download our Creating Consumer Insights guide.