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Marketing Mix – Using The 7Ps Of Marketing

If there were a rule book for marketing, adhering to which you get accurate results, every marketer would be after it. But alas, that’s not the case is it? Marketing can be overwhelming in many ways. That’s why industry experts come up with concepts like the Marketing Mix. These concepts help mitigate the stress involved in promoting a brand as an ongoing task.  

Marketing mix, in simple words, defines the strategies, or steps that a business should take in order to advertise the business, build a brand and promote long-term growth. To further break down the concept, there are the 7 Ps of marketing. If you haven’t heard about the concept already or if you are wondering how to make use of this idea for your business, you are in the right place. 

In this blog, we’ll dig into marketing mix – the 7Ps of marketing and how you can use it to your business’s advantage. 

Marketing mix – an overview

In his article, “The Management of Marketing Costs”, Prof. James Culliton, Professor of Marketing at Harvard University, introduced the concept of marketing mix. More than a decade later, E. Jerome McCarthy, a professor of marketing further broke down the marketing mix in his book, “Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach”. This was the birth of the 4 Ps of marketing. 

The 4Ps of marketing were defined as 

  • Product 
  • Promotion 
  • Price 
  • Place 

These were initially considered to be the core influencers of a business’s growth. And these, back then, were the factors that were considered to be “controllable” by a business. 

In other words, when a business operates, there are many external factors that have a role to play in the performance of the business, like market conditions. Even an established business might not have direct control over these external factors. But then there are some aspects that the business can focus on in order to move in the intended direction. And these were the 4 Ps laid down as the areas of focus in marketing. 

The one common problem that many experts called out was that the 4 Ps framework was more biased towards product-based businesses. As more and more service-based businesses began to emerge, the 7 Ps model of the marketing mix came into existence, in 1981, as proposed by Booms and Bitner. 

And today the more evolved 7 Ps framework is a more popular version that applies to both product-based and service-based businesses. 

Product marketing vs service marketing – let’s talk about the differences 

More often than not we talk about marketing in a generic sense for businesses. But product marketing and service marketing can be so different in many ways, right? So, let’s talk about these differences. 

With product marketing, you have a physical product to promote. With a tangible product at hand, creating ads is so much different. A product image accurately shows what you are selling. But that’s not the case with service marketing, is it? We’ll explain this with an example.

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Social media design by Kimp 

In the above image, the moment you look at the product photo you know what is on discount. The design idea is easy for the brand and the interpretation is easy for the customers. But when it comes to advertising a service you need to get more creative. The copy and the design should together convey what exactly the business does otherwise the design ends up being ambiguous. Communicating your message can feel a tad bit trickier with service marketing since there is no tangible product. 

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! 

Service marketing can feel tedious with no concrete “ownership” at stake and no physical quantifiers to accurately capture the quality of service. That’s where the marketing mix model, the 7 Ps of marketing can make a difference.  

What are the 7 Ps of marketing in the marketing mix framework? 

The 7 Ps of marketing are: 

  • Product 
  • Place 
  • Price 
  • Promotion 
  • People 
  • Process 
  • Physical evidence 

As you can see, they pretty much sum up everything about your business from what you offer to where, and how. Clearly defining these 7 Ps takes you closer to a better branding and marketing approach. Take a closer look and you will see that these are all connected. Therefore, starting by clearly understanding the 7 Ps of your business lays a strong foundation. So, let’s talk about these 7 Ps of the marketing mix in detail, shall we?  

Product 

Product indicates the “product” or “service” your business offers. Identify your offering and you are halfway there. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Identifying what to sell is perhaps the toughest decision for most entrepreneurs. Because people won’t buy a product simply because you think it’s a good idea. If they think that the product meets their requirements or solves their problems, then they might consider buying your product. 

Finding a product that feels relevant and adds value to customers is the first step in marketing. Have you come across products that come off as a brilliant idea and you hear everybody talk about it but after the launch, the product just vanishes? Take the Apple Newton for example. This was a revolutionary personal digital assistant gadget released in 1992. But the product failed due to a high price point and some design issues like inaccurate handwriting recognition.

In this case, the idea was novel but it was way ahead of the time and the technology that existed then did not entirely support the execution of the idea as intended. As a result, the product was discontinued by Apple. 

Kimp Tips:

Let’s talk about some inferences from the above example. 

  • The product you plan to offer should not just be a fancy idea – it should make sense to your customers. 
  • The design should ensure that it actually does what is intended. In other words, it should be user-friendly. 

By pondering over the above idea, you already have defined what your promotional materials should talk about. You know what features or benefits of your product to talk about in order to convince your customers. 

Place 

Place refers to the “place” or “platform” where your product or service is accessible. This can be an online store or an offline store, for example. In other words, these are the actual touch points where customers meet your products or services and take them home. 

For example, opening a physical store for selling software products is not the most practical idea. If these are going to be software products that your customers will install on their home computers, do you think an offline store will make sense? Visiting your store, purchasing a physical copy of the CD, and then going back home and installing the software will be an outdated execution. 

Instead, if you sell through your website, perhaps even provide a trial version that customers can directly download and execute on their machines and then instantly purchase the paid version, things are smoother. 

Kimp Tips: 

Place matters mainly because it prioritizes customer convenience. A good business model does not make customers travel too far or wait in a queue to make a small purchase. That’s why if you look at ads one of the most important details that any business lists down will be where to purchase the product or avail of the discount advertised. 

Price 

When you have a great product to sell but the price tag does not justify the value it offers, you still don’t make a difference. When your business sells a product or service that already exists, you have an overview of the kind of price tag to attach to it. Based on the market trends, based on what customers are willing to pay for that product or service you can easily arrive at a pricing strategy. 

The real problem begins when you are pioneering an idea. If you introduce a product that’s never been sold before, how do you know how much people will be willing to pay? One reliable option here is to conduct thorough market research. This includes surveying the actual people who will be using your product or service. 

There are several kinds of pricing strategies like competition-based pricing, value-based pricing, dynamic pricing, subscription models, and so on. Identify what works best for your business and what feels relevant to your customers. 

Apple’s Lisa, one of the first personal computer models, is a good example of how even the most market-relevant products can fail if the price does not resonate with the audience. 

Kimp Tips: 

When you have to introduce your product to the world to gather feedback from customers in terms of the pricing strategy, aim at creating a virtual experience for them. Even if you do not have a physical product to record in action, you can simulate the experience through an animated video. Help customers understand what you are offering and why. And then take them to a landing page that collects their input. 

Want to create demo videos and social media posts to gather customer feedback? Choose a Kimp Graphics + Video subscription. 

Promotion 

Promotion is undoubtedly one of the most critical components in your marketing mix because this defines how you speak about your products or services. And your brand’s ads can help increase brand awareness by about 80%. Today, with the growing need for an omnichannel presence you need promotional activities focused on digital platforms like websites and email, social media, and print media like flyers and even outdoor advertisements. All of these put together make up your promotion mix. 

Consistent ad designs, a strong and catchy color palette that customers can relate to your brand, a clear tone of voice that resonates with your target audience can all make your promotions more impactful. And with impactful promotions come a better perception of your brand and better sales. 

Kimp Tips: 

Promotions these days cannot be restricted to one channel. The key is to reach customers where they are and that too in the least intrusive manner. This includes a good mix of social media campaigns, website ads, and a strong email marketing strategy. 

Your ads should have a distinct visual style that shows what your brand personality is like. And it should be more about the meaning behind the ad, the emotional connection it makes because that’s when an ad becomes memorable. 

Take a look at the below social media design, for example. 

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Social media design by Kimp 

The visuals perfectly complement the copy and that’s what good promotional designs have. 

People 

One of the foundational blocks of any organization is the people in it. It can be a small team for a startup or a large one spanning the globe for big brands. Either way, every single person who helps design and execute your idea, promotes the product or service in the picture, and works towards helping the product reach the customers has a direct influence on your business. 

That’s why details about the team are important elements in a business plan. From the number of people you need on board to the kind of services you need to manage in-house and those that should be outsourced, every decision counts.

Kimp Tips:

Good marketing talks about the things that matter the most in a business’s growth and one among them is the people behind it. For your customers to understand your brand better and trust it better, talking about your team, and corporate culture is very important. 

This can be in the form of introducing your team on social media, showcasing their work or even talking about your team events. 

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Social media design by Kimp 
Process 

Clearly detailing your process helps you better understand the steps involved in materializing the idea based on which your business was built. Defining your processes involves talking about the workflow and the people involved at each step. 

With an accurate understanding of the processes comes consistent execution of these processes. And that’s one way to maintain consistent quality in your products and services. That’s also one way to plan and implement other crucial tasks like inventory planning and resource management. 

For example, in the ecommerce seller category, there are many kinds of businesses based on the processes. You can be an ecommerce seller by manufacturing your own product, stocking it from wholesalers, or even by drop shipping. While all of these involve selling products directly to customers, how you source the products and stock them changes. 

Kimp Tips:

One of the main ways in which brands showcase their authenticity, their transparency is by talking about the processes to their customers. For example, when you are promoting a restaurant, talking about how you source your ingredients is one way to make an impression on your customers. 

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Social media designs by Kimp 
Physical evidence 

There are some elements that can directly or indirectly influence your customer’s experience with your brand. In the case of a product-based business, this can include things like the packaging design or even print ads like flyers. Do you think a poorly designed flyer with flashy colors will capture the essence of a luxury fashion store? Not at all. These physical assets should talk for your brand. 

In the case of service-based businesses, physical evidence could be anything that customers encounter during the service. This includes the quality of products used to deliver the service, the etiquette of your customer service employees, the ambiance at your store, etc. In short, physical evidence in a marketing mix talks about any tangible asset that influences the customer experience. 

Kimp Tips: 

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Business card design by Kimp 

Remember that physical evidence of your business come in the form of the simplest of aspects like your store branding elements like:

  • The store signage
  • Business cards 
  • Brochures customers can access at the waiting area
  • Banners and other elements that reflect your brand colors and display your logo
  • Branded merchandise like stationery set at the reception or even your staff uniform 

Paying attention to these little details can make your marketing mix feel complete. Entrusting all these marketing designs to the same team is one way to maintain the strength of your brand identity. And that’s one advantage of working with a Kimp subscription where almost all your marketing and branding designs are covered. 

Design for all your 7 Ps of marketing with Kimp  

From talking about your product or service to letting people know where to find it, and further providing details like the price, talking about the people and the processes behind getting the product to your customers, design has a role to play everywhere. Because before making an actual purchase or experiencing the service you offer,  people form an opinion about your brand based on your marketing and branding designs. So, ensure that all these designs are aligned with your 7 Ps of marketing. For that, a designated design team will be the closest and most practical alternative to a more expensive arrangement like hiring an in-house design team. With Kimp subscriptions, you get to work with your own dedicated team of designers who help shape your brand’s marketing strategy with brand-relevant designs. 

Register now for a free trial.