The Evolution of Marketing Mix: A Complete Guide
Last updated on January 24th, 2023
In the marketing and overall business world, marketing mix is a well-known concept among professionals. It provides the very basis for making effective marketing decisions. Marketing can be considered as a mechanism through which value is delivered to the customers. The purpose of this process is and has always remained the same but the ways of delivering value to the end users have kept changing with the passage of time.
As the focus of the marketers shifted from mass marketing and focus to niche marketing and customer, the ways to satisfy the needs of consumers while generating profit for the business have also evolved.
Understanding this evolution is important for marketers and overall business professionals so that they can learn from the past, implement effective strategies in present, and devise actionable plans and initiatives for the future.
This ultimate guide sheds light on all aspects related to the marketing mix and leads the reader 4Ps to 10Ps of the marketing strategy that is now being followed by well-known business names worldwide.
What is the marketing mix?
The marketing mix can be defined as the list of elements that are involved in the foundation of the marketing strategy of a business or company. It can also be considered as a basic framework around which all decisions of a marketing manager or business leader are made and implemented in the business landscape. However, this marketing mix is not a fixed entity. It keeps changing with respect to the needs and demands of the prospective customers of a business.
Historical background of the Marketing Mix model
The term “marketing mix” was first used by Neil Borden, A Harvard Professor, who published the concept in one of his articles named “The concept of Marketing Mix” in 1964.
However, the traces of these terms also lead us to the 1940s when Professor James Cullitoon used the term while giving lectures on marketing at Harvard University. He even published an article way before Borden named “The Management of Marketing Costs” citing marketing as a mixture of a number of elements that can be used by marketers effectively.
The usage of the 4Ps of the marketing mix was first popularized by E. Jerome McCarthy who managed to deliver the concept in the context of consumer behaviors, market analysis, market segmentation, planning, and customer behaviors.
Till the 1980s, the concept of the 4Ps of the marketing mix was well-received by the business community.
Later on, in 1981, Booms and Bitner further extended the scope of the marketing mix and proposed the usage of 7Ps instead of 4Ps in the traditional marketing strategies.
After that many other models like 8Ps and 10Ps have been introduced in the marketplace where the concept of 10Ps is one of the latest ones.
What are the four fundamental Ps of the marketing mix?
For more than fifty years, well-established corporations, medium-sized enterprises, and even smaller startups have been using 4Ps of marketing mix which are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion respectively.
The concept that was proposed by E. Jerome McCarthy and later propagated by Philip Kotler has been widely used by businesses in understanding the needs of their customers, analyzing their competition, and taking effective business decisions.
These 4Ps are given below.
When a business launches a product in the market, it analyzes the existing products of the marketers, studies the needs, demands, and wants of its consumers, and tries to outshine its competitors. The factors that are considered in this cycle can be the type of the product, its characteristics, its labeling and its entire branding strategy. You can ask yourself the following questions.
- Why will the customer prefer my product over others?
- How can you add value to your product?
- How and where can the product be used by potential customers?
After answering these questions, you can develop a selling product that will match the requirements of the potential users.
You are definitely looking to generate a profit for your business and that is why you will consider adding a suitable profit margin in addition to the cost of production while you put a price tag on your product.
At this stage, you need to consider how much price your consumers can pay in exchange for the value that they are going to get. Is your product competitive enough in terms of pricing as compared to other brands in the market? You need to have a clear idea of what amount of value you are going to add to the lives of your consumers before you decide the price for your product to be sold.
The positioning of your product is another very essential element of the marketing mix. You need to have a clear understanding of the purchasing patterns of your potential consumers and what type of channels they prefer to buy their desired products. You can locate the mediums in the supply chain that are already being used by your competitors to lure maximum customers into their sales traps.
Before the advent of technology, traditional shops, brick and mortar stores, markets, and ways of selling goods and items were used all around the world. But as digitalization has opened many doors to access markets that were never tapped before, e-commerce and digital marketing have emerged as one of the most popular tools to market your products and items now.
The amalgamation of the physical and virtual sales channels has attracted many retailers and they are using omnichannel strategies these days in order to meet the latest needs of their end consumers.
Marketing is all about persuading the customers, informing them about your brand or business, and keeping them engaged until you achieve your desired business goals. How are they going to know about your best product? Is there any right moment to communicate the features of your products to your end users? In order to influence the purchasing decisions of your customers, you can use mediums like advertising, public relations and marketing your products and items directly, etc.
The promotion part is one of the most necessary elements of the marketing mix where you guide your customers about how your product is going to resolve their issues, and how they can benefit your items to the maximum extent. The right promotional strategy can lead you to a loyal clientele that will keep generating revenue for you on a consistent basis.
A shift from being product focussed to customer focussed
The marketing arena has shifted its trends and patterns from product-oriented to customer focussed in order to meet the varying needs of the customers with emerging technology and digitalization of the business industry.
The boom caused by social media, the internet, and digital marketing has revolutionized the way people perceive products and how they shop. Customer relationships are now more important than ever for marketing firms as the users are well-informed now and they are looking for customized solutions for their very detailed needs. In order to handle the requirements of the customers in a better way, the 7Ps approach of Marketing Mix became quite popular in which elements like process, physical evidence, and participants were added to the marketing mix in the 1980s.
With the evolution of marketing mix and customer and market dynamics, the marketing mix has now evolved into 10Ps that are part and parcel of the marketing strategies of many modern businesses.
The 10Ps of the marketing mix in the modern business landscape
As the 4 main Ps of the marketing mix have already been discussed earlier, now you are going to get basic info regarding the remaining Ps of the marketing mix which are Physical Evidence, Process, Packaging, Positioning, People, and Personalisation.
The 5th P in the list of 10Ps of the marketing mix is physical evidence. The environment around which your business operates says a lot about your products, services, and the value that the customers receive from your brand.
It acts like social proof or testimonial that your product actually makes a difference in the lives of people who use it. It adds to the credibility and integrity of the business.
Apart from the reviews and testimonials from previous clients, 5-star feedback reviews and other kind of ratings, the staff of your company, the presentation of your shop or store, and consistently your advertising methodologies also contribute towards making a strong impression of your brand in the minds of the users.
The next P in the line is Process. The Process step involves the set of activities that are involved during the interaction between the customer and business until the completion of the purchasing cycle.
How does your staff behave with the customer? What is your business’s response rate to the customer’s queries? How much is your staff helpful? Is the overall process of purchasing items convenient for the customers? All of these questions are needed to be answered in order to make the purchasing decisions easier for clients and provide consistent user experiences.
In order to enhance sales and reduce customer churn, businesses should improve their process cycle in order to facilitate more and more customers. For that purpose, all the activities that are recommended and already tested by experienced professionals of the marketing team should be communicated to all team members involved in the purchasing cycle of the customer.
The marketing or sales manager can develop a slide presentation for showing the proper steps and initiatives that are needed to be implemented to enhance the user experience of the consumers. These slide presentations can include visual slides, infographics and other kind of graphics depicting suitable tips and techniques to facilitate customers. You don’t even need to design your slide presentation from scratch, especially when you are using PowerPoint. You can download Free PowerPoint Templates to represent your business processes through the help of visually appealing slides. In no time, your own professionally crafted PowerPoint slide presentation will be ready to be delivered to any audience.
Packaging is one of the first things that a customer sees in a product before actually purchasing it. It means how the product looks from the outside. How well it is presented and seems appealing enough for stimulating the purchasing desire of the consumers. If you are a service provider, then packaging will mean how well your shop or business is furnished and how persuading your company’s staff is.
You can greatly influence the desires and wants of your customers through appealing packaging and decoration of your products. The better the packaging is, the stronger the first impression will be in a positive manner.
What position does your business hold in the minds of the customers? How do your users differentiate between you and your competitors? What are some specific qualities of your business that make you distinct as compared to other brands in the market? After answering such questions, you will have a better idea of what positioning is and how important it is for your brand or business.
You need to understand the very specific demands of your customers and provide them with the relevant solutions only so that a good perception is developed in their minds regarding your brand name. Targeting a specific group of people with a customized product in a specific niche can be a good idea to position your brand well in a competitive marketplace. For this step, Behavioral Segmentation templates or STP PowerPoint templates (a presentation modeling Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning) can help to present the positioning strategy to an audience.
The people involved in your business activities can lead your brand to the heights of glory or can totally destroy its reputation in the desired marketplace at the same time. These people can be your salespersons, production operators, managers, marketers, top executives, etc.
The process of hiring and selecting efficient candidates for your business affects your customer satisfaction rate greatly as the newly hired people will also interact with your business’s consumers in the future either directly or indirectly. In both situations, the customer will have a user experience with your staff and get a brand impression that will decide about his/her present as well as future purchasing decisions.
The better the user experience will be, the brighter will be the chances of generating consistent business opportunities with the returning customers. Otherwise, a bad reputation through word of mouth can destroy your business’s image too.
Developing a buyer persona is very necessary for marketers if they want to achieve effective results in a specific time period. For that purpose, they will need to develop customized solutions for the individual needs of their customers.
Through market segmentation, standardized products and services can be introduced for targeting the most suited customers efficiently for achieving your revenue generation targets. The best examples of personalization experience can be given in the context of e-commerce giants Amazon and eBay. Both of these e-commerce platforms try to show personalized products and items to the visitors by analyzing their previous search history and possible interests.
Most internet-based platforms like search engines and social media platforms also work in the same way. Personalization can prove to be decisive in enhancing the user experience of the clients and making them loyal customers of your business. Personalization also takes a vital role in digital marketing strategies and online advertising. Someone who see a personalized ad tailored to the specific person is more keen to pay attention to that ad, and hence the chances to convert into a goal are higher.
The marketing mix is regarded as the basis for the marketing strategies of companies and corporations. It provides a framework for business managers to follow and implement effective marketing measures in order to make more informed business decisions.
The evolution of the marketing strategies has seen a dynamic time period in which the traditional 4Ps of marketing transformed into modern-day 10Ps which now include Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Process, Physical evidence, Positioning, Packaging, People, and Personalization.
All of these elements are incorporated in the marketing strategies of the businesses to enhance the user experience of the customers, increase the revenue of the businesses and add an overall better value to the lives of the consumers. In this way, a business keeps growing through loyal and satisfied customers who are a consistent source of revenue for it and maintains its sustainable development in the long run.