Any one marketing method alone isn’t going to work. It’s coming up with the right mix of multiple marketing methods that will lead to success. And, the mix has to be right for your individual business.
The term “marketing mix” is used to describe how businesses promote their products and services or how customers learn about a business’s products and services.
There are many methods to use. No one method works all the time but all the methods work some of the time. Developing a marketing mix is not unlike making a cake. Using flour alone does not make a cake. It takes other ingredients, carefully chosen, blended and handled to come up with a recipe for a cake that most people will like.
There are lots of methods one has to choose from when thinking about and discussing what the marketing mix should be. As with the ingredients that go into making a cake, any one used alone will not do the job. It is the combining and coordination of them that means each will be more effective than if used alone. To come up with the right marketing mix it may take trying different recipes until the right mix is found. Each business will have to choose the methods that are best for them.
When making the choices of what the ingredients are and how much of each needs to be used to make up the marketing mix, one has to take into consideration if the customer comes to the business (store, office, web site) if the business goes out to the customers (mail, e-mail, fax, letter, phone), or if customers might do either or both.
As a marketing mix or plan is being created, consideration for developing and designing what the public will eventually see or read has to be coordinated so that prospective customers get only one message. Too often, unfortunately, various materials for different methods are designed at different times and each because they are seen as standing alone give off mixed messages.
The two major factors that affect the marketing mix are:
1) Does the business sell products or services?
For businesses selling products, they need to take into account that they are providing the service of offering their products, as well as the services that support the product.
For businesses selling services, they need to put their menu of services into product formats. They, too, have services that go along with the outputs (nee products) of their services.
2) Is the business the distributor of their or other’s products and services? Is one selling to the end-users/customers? Is one selling to businesses that either buy and pass on what they bought? Or, does their business sell to someone who will convert it into something else that they sell?
The choices of what go into the marketing mix are different even though many of the ingredients from one may be right for the other. The two viewpoints are not exclusive of the other . . . they are mutually inclusive.
Marketing Mix for Businesses Selling to End-Users/Consumers:
Mass Media: Print, Broadcast, Internet, Direct Mail, Telemarketing, Fax & E-Mail, Public Relations Releases
Display Presentations (as applicable): Location, Building, Signage, Windows/Counters/Shelf Display, Printed Materials, Web Site, Attire, Business Environment
One-on-One: In person, Letter, E-mail, Fax, Telephone
Follow-up: In person, Letter, E-mail, Fax, Telephone
Marketing Mix for Businesses Selling to Other Businesses:
As a Supplier: through Agents, Brochures/Catalogues, Web Site, Trade Media/Shows/Organizations, Telemarketing, Direct Mail, and other formats for presenting ideas, information, services, and/or products.
Customers’ staff & management reacting to their wants, needs, and ideas
The Media: Newspapers, Books, Magazines, Movies, Radio, Television, Internet, and Public Relations Releases
3rd-Parties: Family, Friends, Associates, Acquaintances, Customers, Competitors, and Others in Their Industry
Once a marketing mix has been found that “tastes good” one cannot sit back and rest. What works today may not work tomorrow due to a changes in the business and the marketplace.
Copyright © 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Alan J. Zell, Ambassador of Selling, Portland, OR. All rights reserved.