For many companies, the marketing mix means much more than just what is on paper. The phrase “marketing mix” has become a standard framework for companies, historically focused on price, product, location, and promotion. In recent years, however, the marketing mix has come to mean a combination of these four elements. Many companies now define their marketing mix through a combination of product, price, location, and promotional activities. This new marketing definition has had an important impact on how businesses evaluate their marketing mix.
It is becoming increasingly clear that a company’s ability to profit lies in combining the right marketing mix with effective promotion and the right advertising. Marketing and promotion activities must be carried out at the right time in the right place to reach the right people at the right time. If a business tries to promote its product or service in too many different places, it will not be able to spread its message across the marketplace as quickly or effectively as desired. Likewise, if a business carries out too many promotional activities, it will lose some of the customer’s goodwill and this will have a negative impact on future sales. Companies should try to identify their target audience, design an appropriate marketing mix, and then carry out the activities in a way that ensures maximum effectiveness.
Branding is an important ingredient in the marketing mix. The term “branding” was first used by Richardwalter W. Fuller in his book, Crucial Conversations. According to Fuller, a brand is a “lasting impression in our mind, our touch, our memory, our experience.” In recent years, however, the brand concept has taken on a more conventional meaning, often associated with an individual product or service. A successful branding strategy will be one that combines effective promotion with a trustworthy and recognizable name that will stick in people’s minds and elicit reactions that support the business’s objectives.
A good marketing mix should include some form of segmentation. Depending on the nature of the product or service, there could be several target markets. In order to identify these target markets and to determine the right promotion mix for each one, a company must carefully consider its own goals and the roles of each segment in its overall strategy. The target market should also be closely related to the product or service in question. This will help to ensure that the right strategies are in place and that the right kind of promotion is carried out.
In addition to segmentation, a good marketing mix should also include some form of cross-activity. Cross-activity refers to an effort by a firm to take advantage of established customer relationships and to leverage these relationships when possible. For example, a health care company could take advantage of existing relationships in the health care field and make a number of product or service changes in order to increase sales and to increase profit margins. A branding agency would then have to play the role of both the health care provider and the branding agency in order to make this happen.
Marketing mix definition can be complicated. The best way to approach it is to draw on examples from all corners of the business world. Some examples include branding for healthcare organizations, food companies and hospitals. Each of these businesses will likely have different ways of looking at the various elements of their marketing mix and might therefore require slightly different strategies. A branding agency may well be able to advise on the best approach for a given client, but it is ultimately the company’s responsibility to define what is the marketing mix for that particular business.