Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What is the extended Marketing Mix?

The original marketing mix concept, dating as back as the late 1940s, focused on 4 main tactical marketing tools that, when combined together aim to reach the company’s target market in the best possible way. These marketing mix variables are:

Product – either it is tangible or intangible, here the product you are selling will be analysed in detail in terms of its lifecycle, in terms of its product levels (core, actual and augmented – to be looked at in detail in a future post) and product market opportunities.

Promotion Includes all the ways used to communicate, promote and sell your products either it is through advertising, sales promotion, public relations or personal selling.

Place/Distribution – Where and when your customers will be able to find your products/services, in which quantities and delivery times.

Price – Having the right price is very important to the success of the product and needs to be in-line with the overall marketing strategy, the product’s image and the market demand.

These 4 tactics are both applicable to tangible and intangible products however, services marketers have found there was a gap in their strategies when using the traditional marketing mix and verified to be more efficient to extend this model to include 3 additional Ps:

People – Everyone involved directly or indirectly in the delivery of a service is very important as they reflect the company’s image as perceived by the customer. As a result, service knowledge and appropriate training to all company members, are key factors for the company’s success.

Process – Processes are systems used within the company to assist in the service delivery. These can be processes for handling enquiries, orders, complaints, identifying customer needs or any others.

Physical evidence – It is related to all tangible, such as the decoration of the location where the service is being delivered, or intangible goods, such as past customers experiences, that help to communicate and deliver the service.

All variables together form the so called extended marketing-mix or the 7 Ps. They must be monitored on a frequent basis to ensure that the strategy is in-line with the market demand and consumer expectations, and the good combination of all 7 Ps will help marketers improve their results and marketing effectiveness.