What is the 7P Marketing Mix?

The 7P Marketing Mix is a set of 7 factors you should focus on when developing your Marketing Strategy.

Why is this definition so similar to the 4P Marketing Mix one? Because is the same concept.

The 7P Marketing Mix is nothing but an extended 4P Marketing Mix.

While the classic 4P Marketing Mix analyzes the:

  • Price.
  • Place.
  • Promotion.
  • Product.

The 7P Marketing Mix, simply adds the next 3 factors to this:

  • Physical Evidence.
  • Process.
  • People.

We explained in our “4P Marketing Mix” page, the main factors to study within a 4P analysis.

  • If you have not visited that page yet, we encourage you to do so right now since here, we’ll just explain the additional 3 factors that a 7P Marketing Mix includes.

What do these 3 new factors mean?

Now, we’ll explain you what these new factors add with some examples and why should you worry about them:

1. Physical Evidence - 7P Marketing Mix

This factor tends to have more than one meaning. Depending on who you ask you can receive a different answer (slightly different but different anyway).

It can mean 2 things:

  1. Literally, giving the customer Physical Evidence about what they are buying.
  2. Show, with Physical Evidence, why your product is the best in the Market.

We know that both of them seem to be the same. Now, we’ll explain the difference with helpful examples:

1.1 Give Physical Evidence about what they are buying

Sometimes, lots of companies offer intangible products, or some intangible values associated to their physical products.

Customers are like “serial killers”: they like keeping evidences about what they purchased. The higher the price of the product, the bigger the evidence should be.

This evidence can be included:

  • In the same product the purchased.
    • By having logos that remember how good your product brand is.
    • Usually in luxury brands.
  • In some side products included.
    • For example, an “elite” membership, a private club, etc.

Rolex - Physical Evidence 7P Marketing Mix example

The Rolex example is the best one we could have chosen since it offers lots of Physical Evidence examples:

1. As soon as you enter in an authorized Rolex shop:

  • If you are intended to buy a Rolex, you’ll surely receive a glass of Champagne.

2. Together with your Watch, you’ll receive:

  • A serial number that guarantees everybody it is not a fake.
  • A high quality leather box containing the watch.
  • Access to the Rolex community; events, notifications, etc.

3. The watch has a perfectly identifiable design.

  • You receive a watch that everybody identifies as synonym of high economical status.

All these things are not assuring you that Rolex is the best technical option you could have made.

These Physical Evidences tell you that you are purchasing a luxury product, nothing else:

  • The box may seem very beautiful, but its price is nothing compared to the watch you are acquiring.
  • The glass of Champagne may feel very sophisticated, but it represents nothing to the shop: the whole bottle may cost $50.
  • Maybe the Rolex design is not even the best they could develop, but you are “buying” the brand, the icon.
    • If Rolex changed its famous designs, the people wouldn’t identify their watches so easily (and lets be honest; 80% of the people owning a Rolex want to brag about it).

1.2. Physical Evidence about why your product is the best in the Market

This is a different Physical Evidence approach.

While the previous one may be more whim-oriented (we could say, “serial killer” orientation) this one is a more technical approach.

When you are stating that your product is either the best one, or different, you have to give proof about it to your customers before they buy your product.

Within the “Design Thinking” page, you have a good example about it in the “iPhone vs PDA” example.

  • We encourage you to check that example if you’ve not done it yet.

 

Although this iPhone example is very interesting, we want to give you an example about what may happen if you don’t or can’t give Physical Evidence to your customers:

Nintendo 3DS - Physical Evidence example

As soon as Nintendo announced the Nintendo 3DS we were sure about its success.

A device that can generate 3D images without any glasses, in a portable device: Amazing!

However it didn’t succeeded as much as Nintendo expectedWhy? We wondered.

The problem they had was that Nintendo couldn’t give Physical Evidence about its technically-amazing product through conventional Marketing campaigns.

You could see a TV commercial where they explained to you how good the 3D images were, but unless you were in front of it, you would never experience the effect.

Nintendo 3DS case is very curious, because Nintendo couldn’t do much for giving Physical Evidence about its product.

This example shows how, sometimes, having the best product in not enough: you always have to give proof about what you offer.

* That is why that many food brands offer you little pieces of cheese, chocolate, drinks… at the supermarkets.

2. Process - 7P Marketing Mix

The process represents all the actions that take place when developing, showing and delivering your product to the final customer.

This is a commonly forgotten factor but for some companies, it represents the real key to success.

Think about how many businesses success mainly, because they have a proper process:

  • Automotive companies that elaborate their cars so efficiently that they obtain the highest margins in the market.
  • Websites that have a nice and friendly user interface (customer experience process).
  • Fast food companies that have defined the perfect elaboration process, saving time, money and effort.

A proper process may:

  • Increase your margins by reducing the costs.
  • Allow you to engage more with your customers.
  • Ensure the best quality.
  • etc.

Nespresso Process example - 7P Marketing Mix

If there is a company that has understood how important the “purchasing process” is for engaging your customers, is Nespresso.

Nespresso is a good example for lots of things: Design, Physical Evidence, Branding…

However, we’ll focus on how good its selling process is:

  1. They design elegant stores that customers identify with the company’s essence.
  2. As soon as you enter in its stores, you find stylish people that are always (or should be) very kind to you.
  3. The product is placed in perfectly neat shelves.
  4. They offer you a free coffee.
  5. You can enter in the Nespresso club, with nice discounts and access to promotions.
  6. Finally, there are always new flavors so you “feel the obligation” of coming back periodically.

This “purchasing process” generates a desirable experience for the customers and allows Nespresso to project its coffee as a more exclusive product.

If you think about it, Nespresso just sells coffee, nothing else (ok, coffee machines) then… Why do you feel that they are offering you something else?

So, from now on, don’t focus just on the product itself. Regard it as a whole manufacturing and delivery process: from the moment it was being developed to the moment the final client received it.

3. People - 7P Marketing Mix

The People factor refers to everyone involved in the Marketing and Manufacturing process.

Sometimes, this factor is regarded as “just” the company people designing the product, the management system and the commercials involved, while it should take into account the clients’ profiles as well.

Hence, we’ll divide this factor into 2:

  1. The People involved in the product’s development.
  2. Clients‘ profiles.

3.1 People involved in the product's development

This is an extension of the 7P Process factor, previously explained.

A company is as good as the people integrating it, so you should analyze all the professionals involved at key positions:

  • Designers.
  • Commercials.
  • Managers.
  • etc.

Apollo 11 - Professionals involved 7P Marketing Mix

It’s been 50 years since the first man reached the moon with the Apollo 11.

Undoubtedly, it is one of the biggest achievements in history of mankind.

But, how on earth could they reach the moon with 1969’s technology? They had the best scientists and engineers in the world. That is how.

If you wanted to replicate this big achievement, you would have to hire the best brains in the world.

This simple but effective example shows how sometimes, the key thing for guaranteeing a project’s success is the people involved, nothing else.

* You can also appreciate this fact at Movies or Series, where the success normally relies on one single actor’s interpretation.

3.2 Clients' profiles

This factor highlights how important is to take into account your clients: whom they are, where they come from and what they like.

It is a factor that sometimes goes together with the “Place” within the Classic 4P Marketing Mix, although even in the same country, you can find very different tastes, preferences or even cultural barriers.

In the “Marketing Segmentation” page, we talked about how Coca-Cola approached different client profiles with almost the exact same product: Coke, Diet Coke and Zero Coke.

YouTube users profiles example

Some years ago, I was having a beer at a friend’s house and as we talked about a certain music group, I remembered a nice video I watched on YouTube (a funny stupid video).

It was a video that had been suggested to me repeatedly, so I expected to find the same vide at the first page of my friend’s computer.

However, I found completely different suggestions at his main page.

Now, we all know that YouTube suggests certain videos to certain profiles.

But at that moment that shocked me, since it was a similar person, with similar cultural background, from the same city, with the same age. We went to the same school… so I was surprised YouTube had not suggested this video to my friend.

YouTube analyzes all the videos you have seen so far, the ones that you liked the most, the language of the videos, where you come from… So they can suggest the content that better fits you.

And that is why YouTube is of king of content nowadays.

Categorize customers is very difficult.

Even between brothers and sisters you would have it difficult: how different we are from our parents, cousins, brothers…

No matter how difficult it is: you have to adapt your Marketing strategies to your client’s tastes, cultural backgrounds and preferences.

Otherwise you’ll never engage with them.

Never forget: Your client must be the centre of all the decisions you take.

Summarizing

The 7P Marketing Mix is nothing but an amplified 4P analysis.

To the traditional:

  • Price.
  • Place.
  • Promotion.
  • Product.

The 7P Marketing Mix adds:

Physical Evidence.

  • Give physical evidence about what the customer is buying.
  • Give proof about why your product is the best in the market.

Process.

Analyze the actions that take place when developing, showing and delivering your product to the final customer.

People.

  • The People involved in the product’s development.
  • Which are the clients’ profiles.

A proper 7P Marketing Mix will help you to define which should be your proper Marketing Strategy and which customers should be targeted.

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