Marketing Mix: What is it and How Can You Use it to Grow Your Business?

The marketing mix has been around for a long time—since 1960, in fact, when marketing professor and author E. Jerome McCarthy first introduced it.

Our understanding of the marketing mix concept has grown and evolved in the last 60+ years, but the foundation that Mr. McCarthy built is still there.

In this article, we’ll explain what the marketing mix is, the elements of marketing mix you need to know about, and how to use the marketing mix to grow your company.

What is Marketing Mix?

Let’s start with a marketing mix definition…

According to Indeed, the marketing mix refers to the “methods, strategies and tools used to reach out to potential customers and drive sales.”

Company leaders need an effective marketing mix to understand their customers, develop viable ways to communicate with them, and, ultimately, grow their businesses.

But before you can create and use the marketing mix for your organization, you have to understand the elements that make it up, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

The 7 Elements of Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is made up of seven elements, four of which are known as the marketing mix 4 Ps, or, more commonly, as the 4 Ps of marketing. We’ll start by defining those:

The 4 Ps

The 4 Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. “Great,” you’re thinking. “What the heck do those terms mean for marketing professionals?” Let’s find out!

1. Product

“Product” refers to the things your company sells. As such, the “product” category also includes services, consultations, etc. Make sense so far? Good, let’s continue.

To get this element of your marketing mix right, ask yourself questions like:

  • What do my customers want from my products and/or services?
  • What features do my products and/or services have that meet these needs?
  • How will my customers use my products and/or services? What will this look like?
  • How are my products and/or services unique from other company’s products/services?
  • How can I make my products and/or services better so they appeal to more people?


2. Price

“Price” refers to the amount of money you charge for your products and/or services. Pretty simple, right? But there’s A LOT of psychology that goes into pricing strategy…

For example, higher priced products are generally considered to be higher quality—even if they aren’t. Conversely, lower-priced products are generally considered to be lower quality.

Also, It’s usually easier to break into a market with lower-priced products, but the margins are going to be slimmer, which can be tough on a company’s bottom line.

Is your head spinning yet? This is why finding the “right” price is so difficult. There are so many factors to consider! Luckily, by answering these questions, you’ll gain clarity:

  • What is the perceived value of your products and/or services?
  • What do your competitors charge for the same products and/or services?
  • How high/low can you make your price before people think you’re expensive/cheap?
  • Is your company new to the market or is it an established player?
  • Do you have the capital to lower prices until you’ve become an established player?
  • Are your ideal customers budget-conscious, or do they prefer premium offerings?


3. Place

“Place” refers to where your products and/or services are sold. Brick and mortar stores, ecommerce websites, your trunk at the back of a Walmart parking lot. You get the idea.

To nail the placement element of your marketing mix, answer these questions:

  • Where do people look for my products and/or services?
  • Do you sell to distributors or directly to the end consumer?
  • Do customers want to hold your products in their hands before buying them?
  • Where do your competitors sell their products and/or services?


4. Promotion

“Promotion” refers to the way you market your products and/or services to your target market.

Promotional channels include TV and print advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, display ads, SEO, PR, and deals and discounts.

How do you know which promotional channels to make a part of your brand’s marketing mix? Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Which channels does my target market use most often?
  • Which promotional messages are most effective for my kind of product/service?
  • What’s the best time to promote my products and/or services? Are they seasonal?
  • How do my competitors promote their products and services? Should I do the same?


An effective promotion strategy should also include webinar marketing. Create webinars and use them in your brand marketing efforts.

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The Other Ps

We’ve covered the 4 Ps. As it turns out, there are three more that you should consider adding to your marketing mix as well. They are people, process, and physical evidence.

5. People

“People” refers to your customer-facing employees. If someone on your team has contact with a current or potential customer, they fall into this category.

Your employees represent your brand. As such, it’s really important that you hire quality workers who understand your vision for your company and are excited to help you fulfill it.

To make sure you employ the right people, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this person qualified for my open role?
  • Do they have the personality required to succeed?
  • Do they understand the vision I have for my business?
  • Will I and/or my team enjoy working with them on a daily basis?

Once a person joins your team, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I happy with their performance?
  • Am I giving them opportunities to improve their skill sets?
  • Do they understand my products and/or services on an intimate level?
  • Are they pushing my company forward or holding it back?

6. Process

“Process” refers to the ways in which you deliver your products and/or services to customers.

The better your processes are, the happier your customers will be. So it’s important to get this part of your marketing mix right. Nail it by answering these questions.

  • Do my processes make life easier or harder for my team?
  • Do my processes elevate the customer experience or hurt it?
  • If my processes are subpar, why? What makes them underperform?
  • Are their tools I can invest in to streamline and improve my processes?
  • Are there other people/companies I can partner with to improve my processes?


7. Physical Evidence

“Physical Evidence” refers to tangible proof, as in the tangible proof a customer needs to make certain your business is legitimate and trustworthy.

This includes proof of purchase elements like receipts; your brand’s physical storefront, website, and logo; the “Thank You” email you send them after a purchase; the physical packaging your products are shipped in; and even the results you help customers achieve.

Are you thriving in the “Physical Evidence” category of your marketing mix? Let’s find out:

  • What physical evidence of my company do I provide to customers?
  • Is this physical evidence enough to generate sales at a consistent clip?
  • Is my physical evidence consistent? Does it all connect to, and support, my brand?
  • What can I do to provide more physical evidence and help customers trust me more?

How to Use the Marketing Mix

Now that we know what the marketing mix is and the elements that it’s composed of, let’s talk about how to, you know, actually use this information to propel your business forward.

Follow this simple, five-step process to develop your own marketing mix:

Analyze Your Product

Take a look at your product or service. Why would someone want to buy it? What does it do for them? What problem does it solve? Can you articulate these challenges into words?

This is very important. If customers don’t need your offering—or, at least want it badly enough to hand over their hard earned money in exchange for it—they won’t buy it. So before you do anything else, make sure you understand the value you provide.

Understand Your Audience

Next, take a moment to analyze your audience. Who are they? What problems do they face and how does your product/service help them overcome these challenges?

Just as importantly, where do these people generally look for solutions to their problems? The local big box store? Amazon? Somewhere else? Make sure your products and/or services are sold in specific places that your target audience actually feels comfortable shopping at.

Choose a Price For Your Product

As mentioned earlier, pricing is hard. But it must be done! So do your business a favor and study your industry, your competitors, and the unique customer base you serve.

What is your target market willing to pay for your kind of offering? And can you give your business and edge by going a little above or below this number? Find a price that your customers will accept and supports the brand image you want to cultivate.

Build a Marketing Strategy

Now it’s time to build a marketing strategy.

Fortunately, as long as you’ve taken the time to analyze your products and/or services, understand your customer base, and choose a competitive pricing model, your marketing plan should start to come together on its own—at least, to some degree.

Why? Because by understanding the things you sell and the people who want to buy them from you, the marketing channels and communication strategies you use will become clear.

Revisit Your Marketing Mix

Finally, re-analyze your marketing mix from time to time.

Does everything still fit together? Is your mix still producing favorable results? Has anything about your industry changed? What about the customers you serve?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, make the necessary adjustments. If the answer is “no,” understand that things will change eventually. Prepare yourself for it.

Wrapping Up

Marketing mix is an important concept. Fortunately, you now have a deep understanding of what it is and how to use it to propel your company forward!

We encourage you to take what you’ve learned about the marketing mix 4 Ps (as well as the other Ps mentioned above) and apply that knowledge to your business. We’re confident you’ll enjoy the extra clarity you gain and the additional success it helps you achieve.

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