What are the 4Ps and Marketing Mix?
There are entire industries built around marketing and internet marketing is just one segment of a much larger picture. Modern marketing has been around for quite some time now, having really come into its own in the early 20th Century.
A lot of people are enticed by internet marketing, because they see it as a way to work for themselves and make money from home. Those things are true, but many of those same people do not bother to dig deeper into the principles of marketing. Instead, they take an unorganized shotgun approach, not realizing that many aspects of this business were well-developed long before the internet age.
Defining “Marketing Mix”
One the terms you will come across if you ever take a marketing class, or do much reading on the subject, is “marketing mix”. It will soon be apparent that many marketing professionals consider the marketing mix to be very important, but what is it?
The marketing mix is simply combination of factors that go into solidifying a product’s brand, which in turn, help to sell that brand’s products or services. There are different ways to go about establishing brand recognition and selling products and the marketing mix is one of them.
Introducing the 4 P’s
Traditionally, when people spoke about the marketing mix, they would refer to the 4 P’s. So, that’s what I will be explaining to you in this article – the 4 P’s of the marketing mix.
A good marketing mix will address each these 4 components. Having a plan in place for their implementation is an important step towards success.
The product can either be a physical product, or a service. Either way, it is something designed to meet the wants and needs of customers. Customers, in this case, should be specific and targeted. In internet marketing, we often refer to this as your niche. Also, one of the benefits of internet marketing is that “physical” products don’t actually have to be physical. Digital products are typically lower cost and more easily distributed.
Whatever your product, or service, might be, you need to understand it in relationship to the problem you are trying to solve for your customers. Whether the problem is a serious matter, or simply a desire for some type of entertaining gratification, your job is to communicate to your customers why your product is the answer to their problem.
The price is what the customer is expected to pay, in order to own, or use, the product. The price is a significant part of the marketing mix and you need to give it careful consideration. The price will not only affect the customer’s willingness to spend their money, it can also affect the perceived value of your product.
In order to sell a product, its price should reflect the value given to it by your customers. If it is a low value product, it needs to have a low cost. For instance, there is only so much money I am willing to spend on paper for my printer. It is a disposable product. Relatively speaking, it has low value and I expect to receive hundreds of sheets of paper for one reasonable price.
A car, on the other hand, is something that carries high value to me. That is how I will get around and I expect it to last me for years, to be comfortable and to provide a significant level of safety. I am willing to pay a premium price for those things.
Price your products fairly, but do not overvalue, or undervalue, them. If you do, people are unlikely to spend their money. If paper cost $100 for a few sheets, I will feel like the seller is trying to cheat me. On the other hand, if someone tries to sell me a Mercedes-Benz for $20, I will be suspicious that something is wrong with the car. In either scenario, I will not pay money for the product and seller makes nothing. Price reasonably, in accordance with customer expectations, and you can expect more sales.
Promotion involves the actual marketing techniques that are used to sell a product. For internet marketers, these might include banner ads, product reviews, pay-per-click ads, or any other method used to communicate information about your product to your targeted audience.
Each marketing channel that you utilize to promote your product needs to make sense for the product and price. There is no point in advertising cheap, trinket jewelry on a forum that specialized in luxury, designer jewelry. If you are selling e-books that written in English, there wouldn’t be any value in placing ads on a website that attracts mostly non-English speakers. These are simplistic examples, but hopefully, you get my point.
Blasting out promotions with no regard to the suitability of each channel is a waste of time and resources and is unlikely to produce positive results. Your choices should be deliberate and practical. Also, make sure that each promotion is well-produced. They don’t have to be complicated, but they should have well-written ad copy, appealing visual layout and communicate how the product is going to solve a problem for the potential customer.
The last of the 4 P’s is place and this has to do with product distribution. How does the customer actually obtain the product? For internet marketers the place is most often going to be a website. That may be the seller’s own website, or if it is an affiliate product, the customer may be directed to someone else’s website.
One of the perks of online marketing, the place element of the marketing mix is accessible from virtually anywhere. This means that much more of the energy behind the marketing mix can be directed toward getting the website (the place), in front of the customer. In the old brick-and-mortar model, it was necessary to get the customer to physically come to a storefront, in most instances. With digital products, once the customer arrives at your place (the website), product distribution can be as easy as a download.
A 5th P
This last P isn’t actually part of the marketing mix, but something I just want to reiterate. You need a plan. If you want to succeed in an online business, you need to be organized. Don’t just haphazardly go from one idea to the next, hoping that something will eventually stick.
The purpose of the marketing mix – the 4 P’s – is to provide a framework for your plan. This is how businesses have been operating for many years and, more pointedly, it is how they have been making money. The internet, obviously, has a lot of unique attributes when compared to traditional offline businesses. Most of the same principles still apply, though. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Put your plan in place, using the 4 P’s and see if it makes a difference in your marketing efforts.
If you have any suggestions, or experience implementing the marketing mix in your business, feel free to leave a comment.
If you are considering starting your own online marketing business, but don’t know where to start (other than this website), I would recommend reading my review of the Wealthy Affiliate program. It is my #1 recommendation for someone just starting out.