If you want to start selling your products and services, I’ve got the perfect guide for you! How to Develop a Marketing Mix Strategy is written by Jay Conrad Levinson (the author of “Guerrilla Marketing”) and his son Ted Levinson. It was originally sold as an online course, with people paying thousands of dollars to get the materials. Now the materials are free, and you can read it on our blog!
How to Develop a Marketing Mix Strategy is an engaging book that provides marketers with a thorough understanding of the core concepts needed to develop and implement a successful marketing mix strategy. Topics covered in How to Develop a Marketing Mix Strategy include:
What is a Marketing Mix?
The marketing mix refers to the various elements of your company’s offering in the market.
It is a varied “mix of ingredients” used by your business to achieve its objectives by marketing its products or services effectively to a particular customer group.
Why is the Marketing Mix Important?
In your day-to-day business activities it’s difficult to turn your attention to the big picture, especially when you’re putting out fires left and right.
Your marketing mix provides a roadmap for your business objectives. It keeps you on track, while keeping your target market in the forefront of your mind.
Your marketing mix will help you make sure your business is marketing the right product, to the right people, at the right price and time.
Marketing Mix Elements
When perfected and synchronized, the core elements of a marketing mix provide a well-rounded approach to marketing strategy.
Product refers to what your business is selling – product(s), service(s), or both. The bulk of the work in this element is typically done by product marketers or managers.
Nailing the product element of the marketing mix means doing extensive research and development, understanding the need for the product, developing a product launch plan and timeline, and educating customers and employees – especially salespeople – on the product’s purpose.
Price refers to the price point at which you’ll sell your product(s)/service(s) to consumers. Arriving on this dollar amount requires consideration of multiple pricing strategies, analysis of similarly priced products in your market, and insights from consumers through surveys and focus groups.
Price speaks to positioning in the market, the speed at which you want to penetrate your market, and your company’s revenue goals and profit margin.
In the marketing mix, place refers to where your product or service will be sold. For tangible products, this will include physical locations such as your own store, or a retailer where your product will be resold.
It can also include the other methods where your products can be purchased, like online or over the phone.
Promotional activities are those that make your target market aware and excited about what you’re selling.
While this does include paid initiatives like commercials and advertising, promotion also entails organic initiatives like word-of-mouth marketing, content marketing, and public relations.
Marketing Mix Examples from Real Businesses
Fintech companies are everywhere, but how many of them focus on organic and non-GMO agriculture?
As sustainable agriculture becomes more top of mind, brands like Mercaris help support agriculture companies looking to stay ahead in the market. Beyond delivering a service, the company identified a niche and launched a business with few direct competitors.
They offer a monthly subscription-based service that arms agricultural companies with the market intelligence needed to compete in the space. This includes detailed reports on food production, commodity prices, and market shifts.
Not long after Airbnb launched, users filed complaints of racism from their hosts and expressed reluctance to use the platform’s services. The company implemented measures to appease these concerns. However, it brought attention to an important issue.
It’s this uncertainty that allowed Noirbnb to enter the market. The brand tapped into people of color’s desire to feel safe and welcomed in their temporary home while traveling – then, they used it as their unique selling position (USP).
The brand even plays on Airbnb’s name – which is now a household one – to indicate that they offer a similar service that’s been adapted to cater to travelers of color.
This online retailer of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses is known for its stylish yet affordable glasses. Warby Parker‘s pricing, which starts at $95, undercuts many of its competitors, making it a popular go-to for consumers.
The brand’s pricing strategy is based on public perception. In interviews, the founders revealed that originally, they were going to price their frames as low as $45. However, after considering how low prices for items like glasses can be perceived as low quality, they doubled the price to settle at a number that was still competitive.
A brand’s pricing strategy can have an important role in how it’s perceived in the market. So, it’s important to consider what that perception is and if it’s the one you want to put out there.
When Canva entered the market, it was every small business owner’s dream. You could design any marketing material you wanted for FREE, what more could you ask for?
Eventually, the brand introduced premium versions of its platform. Catering to businesses ranging from small to enterprise-level, they added features like high-quality stock visuals, social media publishing tools, marketing campaign management, and large cloud storage.
Hu, short for “Get Back to Human,” is a dessert company that specializes in making organic, paleo chocolate bars free of the junk ingredients we find in big-name products.
The brand has made its products available from multiple major retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods. They also have a virtual storefront on Amazon. If stock ever runs out there, you can always purchase their products through their website.
Hu has made its product accessible through multiple channels, maximizing its earning potential while expanding its brand awareness.
The Lip Bar
Vegan beauty brand The Lip Bar leverages influencers and celebrities to promote its products and increase its brand awareness. Recently, the brand partnered with beauty influencer Raye Boyce to announce its expansion into Walmart stores and its nine latest products.
The Lip Bar places women of color at the center of its products and collaborating with a Black influencer known for her love of lipsticks is in perfect alignment with the brand’s identity.
Beyond a robust social media presence, the company also has a blog on its website with content that appeals to audiences across the buyer’s journey.
Some brands launch a product then promote, while others promote then launch.
Avant-Garde Vegan, an online brand created by UK-based chef Gaz Oakley, grew his business on social media – namely YouTube. Oakley gained popularity posting recipes for healthy, vegan dishes and soon became a go-to resource for new and established vegan consumers.
Eventually, Oakley released his first product, a cookbook. Now the brand sells both cookbooks as well as merchandise.
The reason why this strategy works particularly well is that it focuses on adding value instead of selling. Oakley gained his audience’s trust and loyalty through consistent and quality posts on social media.
Once he introduced a product, many of his followers were ready to make a purchase. It’s a long-term strategy that can have a big payoff if executed well.
Steps to Develop a Marketing Mix Strategy for your Small Business
Now that you are aware of what a marketing mix is made up of let’s walk you through the steps of developing a marketing mix strategy for your brand.
The first step towards a marketing mix strategy is to create SMART goals and objectives. Brands must understand what their end results are. Depending on your brand strategy, these goals can be either more customers, creating brand awareness, or increasing profits for sales. Moreover, your marketing strategy should have a clearly defined time frame within which the goals are achieved.
Define your Budget
It is imperative that you define and allocate a budget for your small business. The amount of money that you would be spending on product research, innovating new products, and working on product promotion. Allocating a budget is extremely important when defining your marketing mix. Unless you don’t define a budget, it is impossible to carry out the project activities in harmony.
Establish a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
A USP is a marketing strategy that defines how the users will benefit from your product or service. Your Unique Selling Proposition must clearly define how your product/service is solving a problem and how it is unique in the market.
Define your Target Market
For effective communication, it is important to understand and define your target market. Any marketer worth their salt knows that they cannot market to everyone; all businesses must select a segment of the market that’s most likely to purchase its offerings.
Businesses can do that by developing buyer personas; a detailed profile of the types of consumer who is most likely to purchase your product. You can do that by considering the following factors:
- Demographic (Age, Income, Education Level, Gender, Religion, Marital Status, etc.)
- Geographic (Continent, Country, Urban/Rural, etc.)
- Psychographic (User status, hobbies, lifestyle, political views, etc.)
- Behavioral/occasional (seasons, holidays, events, etc.)
For small businesses, defining their target audience is essential to success. If you market to the wrong people, you are not going to sell anything. What is more, you need to know your customers are so that you can market to them effectively.
Take your Customer Feedback Seriously
Customer’s advice is valuable information that can help you make improvements in your product/services. Creating questionnaires is an efficient way to store valuable feedback. Here are a few questions that you can ask customers:
- What are your thoughts regarding the product quality?
- Are you satisfied with the customer care?
- Is our product/service meeting your needs?
- How can we make improvements to our product/service?
Work on a Product Description
When defining our product, make sure that you highlight the unique features that make your product stand out from the rest. This is how you can show your products worth to your customers.
Be aware of Distribution Channels
Defining a distribution channel is just as important as your product design, promotion, and other aspects of marketing. A distribution channel plays a big role in how you will conduct sales and what profits you will earn. Your distribution channel depends on the kind of product you are selling. However, generally, the distribution options are as following:
- Selling through wholesalers.
- Selling through retailers.
- Selling directly to consumers.
Define a Pricing Strategy
An important part of the marketing mix equation is to define your pricing strategy. The first thing you need to do is research your customer’s prices so that you are not charging your customers more money. It is also important to understand the price bracket that your target audience is willing to pay. Going above, it will simply not sell your product.
Choosing a Technique to Promote
Promoting your product is defined by various aspects. Some of these are listed as follows:
- Selling directly to the targeted audience.
- Selling through exhibitions/press release/sponsoring deals etc.
- Selling through advertisements on the TV/Radio/Social media.
Using Inbound Marketing Techniques
The marketing mix is incomplete if you are not using inbound marketing techniques. These techniques comprise marketing through digital marketing tools and techniques such as content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, blogging, etc.
A Marketing Mix Strategy is a marketing approach – also called a “4P” approach – where the firm identify its marketing problems and solutions by thinking about four key elements: product, price, promotion and place. In the video below, Jon Miller from Bodog Entertainment Group Ltd , presents a case study on how to develop a Marketing Mix Strategy.