Marketing mix is the combination of the 4 factors (the “Four Ps”) that form your competitive advantage—also known as core competency—product, price, promotion, and place. As you choose the elements of your marketing plan, always keep your vision in mind. What benefit is your product or service providing to customers?
Products/Services: The product or service should meet or create a customer need. The distinctive features and benefits of the product or service must be clearly stated. Remember, the packaging is also part of the product. If you are introducing an innovative technology, the value of the innovation to customers warrants explanation here.
Pricing: The product or service has to be priced so that your target customers will buy it and the business will make a profit. Price should reflect your vision, strategy, and policy. It has to be right. For example, if you are marketing a luxury item, a relatively low price might not send the right message to your target customer. Highlight competitive advantages—such as quality, credit terms, warranty type and length, service, and innovativeness—that support the pricing.
Promotion: Promotion consists of advertising, publicity, and other promotional methods, such as discount coupons or giveaways. Publicity is free, whereas advertising is purchased. The description of your promotional plans should be specific with respect to the methods used, the time line for implementation, and the budget. Often this section is further divided into advertising, public relations and publicity, and direct marketing. Advertising consists of paid promotion through media outlets, such as broadcast or cable television, the Internet, radio, magazines, and newspapers. Public relations consist of community activities that are designed to enhance your organization’s image. Publicity is free notice in the media presented as news. Direct marketing includes telemarketing, direct mail, in person selling, and other personalized efforts.
Place: This is the venue from which you will sell and distribute your product. Your selling location should be where consumers in your target market do their shopping. Where should you go to bring your product or service to the attention of your market? If you are selling a luxury item, you will need to place it in stores or on Web sites that are visited by customers who can afford it. Included in place is your selection of a type of sales force (i.e., independent, company, single line, or multiline), any geographic definition of your market, and all channels of distribution. Are you going to sell directly to consumers, work through wholesale distributors, be Web-based, or sell at retail?