What is a Marketing Mix?

A Marketing Mix is a set of Factors to focus on, to design a Successful Marketing Campaign.

  • Or simply to Analyze How companies Market their Products.

 

A Marketing Mix can consist on 3, 4, 7… or 12 Factors.

Each Method proposes a certain amount of Factors to Analyze.

 

You could even create your own Marketing Mix, choosing the Factors you consider most important when Designing or Analyzing Marketing Campaigns.

The 4 Ps of Marketing with Examples

The 4 Ps of Marketing is the most basic Marketing Mix you can use.

 

It contains the minimum Marketing Factors that you should always keep in mind.

As its name indicates, it proposes 4 Factors to analyze:

  1. Product.
  2. Price.
  3. Promotion.
  4. Place.

 

* There is another approach that uses 7 factors instead of 4: The 7P Marketing Mix.

 

Now, we’ll analyze them in detail with some useful Examples:

Product

This P stands for Define perfectly what you are Really offering to your Customers:

  • Experience.
  • Features.
  • Quantity.
  • Alternatives.
  • Complementary Products.

 

Do not limit the description to Technical Characteristics.

  • Consider the Product as a complete experience.

Product - 4 Ps of Marketing example

 

We bet you’ve ever been into a McDonald’s.

  • It is one of the most valuable Brands in History.
  • Its restaurants are always full of happy children… and not just children.

 

How did they achieve this great Success?

 

Think about the Experience they offer:

  • Children get a “Toy” when they order a Happy Meal.
  • The Memories you have playing with your friends.
  • The taste of their hamburgers has not varied since you were a child.

 

They sell this Product (apart from their Burgers):

  • An Oasis where you can Remember good old times.

 

Many things in your life may have changed, but you know that the taste of a Big Mac won’t change.

Price

This P Stands for:

  • Competitor Prices.
  • The Price of Substitute Products.
  • Perceived Prices.
    • Whether Customers Perceive Prices as High, Fair or Low.

 

All these factors must be taken into account simultaneously.

Customers decide if something is Cheap or Expensive after looking at all the Alternatives they have.

 

We will continue with the example of McDonald’s, analyzing its Pricing Policies:

Price - 4 Ps of Marketing example

At first glance, it may appear that McDonald’s only uses a “low price” policy.

 

But, if you look carefully, you’ll find out that it’s Menu can be divided into 3 different categories:

  • Cheap products:
    • $1 burgers as well as other Cheap Products.
      • $1 ice cream, the McDouble, McChicken….
  • Classic Products:
    • The Famous Products:
      • Big Mac, Quarter pound, etc.
      • French Fries, McNuggets, etc.
  • New items:
    • These Products are usually Advertised on TV Commercials, at bus stops…
    • Also, they tend to be Limited;
      • They are offered only for a specified period of time.

 

These Limited and “more exclusive” products give McDonald’s the Highest Margins.

  • We’re pretty sure.

 

Therefore, McDonald’s has 3 different Price Strategies depending on the Product.

 

Also, its Famous Products are used as a Hook to attract Customers to its Restaurants.

  • And, once inside, they can be tempted to purchase new Limited products.

Promotion

This P Stands for How you Market the Product, and it must consider:

  • What you Sell (obvious).
  • How your Clients Perceive it.

 

There must be Coherence between your Product, its Price, and How you Promote it.

  • You cannot promote a Mercedes in the same way that you would promote a cheap car.

 

Generally speaking, there are 3 main Types of Promotional campaigns:

  • Traditional Campaigns.
  • Uncommon Campaigns.
  • Innovative Campaigns.

Traditional Promotional Campaigns

These Campaigns consist in Acting like the Competition.

  • Without adding anything new.

Chanel No 5 - 4 Ps of Marketing example

 

As Christmas comes, you can see How all perfume commercials are the same:

  • Handsome girls and boys doing nothing but whispering the name of the perfume.

 

No matter if it is Chanel, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana…

  • These companies do nothing more than what everyone else does:
    • Nothing different.

Uncommon Promotional Campaigns

These Campaigns consist in Adding variations to the Competitors’ Campaigns.

  • These Variations characterize the Product, Brand or Company.

Burger King - 4 Ps of Marketing example

 

Compared to McDonald’s, Burger King does more or less the same with its New Burgers, Traditional and Cheap Products…

 

But, Burger King highlights the “Taste” of its Hamburgers.

 

It seems obvious to Highlight the flavor but, nowadays is not very common.

  • Promotional Campaigns highlight other things such as:
    • Family, Friends, Nostalgic Values, etc.

 

McDonald’s never mentions the taste of their products.

Burger King follows the same Promotional approach but, with an additional factor.

Innovative Promotional Campaigns

These Campaigns consist in do something completely New and Disruptive.

  • Even if you are a Marketing Expert, these Campaigns are very Risky.

SPAM - 4 Ps of Marketing example

 

You surely know the word “SPAM“.

But do you know why we call excessive advertising “SPAM”?

 

SPAM is a canned-meat company that decided to promote its products with massive publicity some years ago.

  • Its name comes from putting together the words “spread” and “ham”.

 

Its campaign was so aggressive that, nowadays, we still use its name as a synonym for indiscriminate propaganda.

 

These type of Promotional campaigns can be the best, if you know what you’re doing.

  • Otherwise, they can ruin your Reputation right away.

Place

This P Stands for:

  • Geography.
    • Where are your Customers from.
    • Where you are developing your Marketing Campaigns.
  • Communication Channels.
    • Which Communication Channels you are employing.

Geography

Geographic Differences can make the difference between Success and Failure.

  • The same product can be Perceived differently in different countries.

KFC - 4 Ps of Marketing example

 

In Europe, KFC is usually regarded as an “unhealthy product” that is mainly consumed by Lower-Medium income families.

  • (I personally love KFC, by the way).

 

On the other hand, in China (or at least, the last time we were there) it is considered almost as a Premium Product that is consumed by Upper-Middle Income families.

 

If you were designing a Promotional Campaign for KFC or another Fast Food Company, you should take these differences into account.

Communication Channels

The Communication Channel is part of the Product Identity.

  • Choosing the adequate Communication Channel is key when developing a Marketing Campaign.

 

To choose the proper Communication Channel, you should think about all the factors we mentioned before:

  • The Product.
  • Its Perceived Value.
  • The Customer Profile.
  • Price.

Disney - 4 Ps of Marketing example

Imagine that Disney plans to release a movie.

 

How do you think, they’ll promote it?

  • At children’s lunchtime
  • During Disney-movies ads.
  • They’ll offer toys within Happy Meal menus or in Pizza Hut, Burger King, etc.

 

They won’t waste their money on ads during the 12:00 pm horror movies.

 

Disney promote its products on Channels that are best associated with its Brand and Reputation.

  • Channels that also maximize its chances of reaching the right audience.

* There is another Method that replaces these 4 Ps by 4 Cs that focus on Customer’s perception.

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