The New Marketing Mix
"If you're trying to create a company (or any gainful endeavor), it's like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion." ~ Elon Musk
If you are involving in any marketing effort for your business, you must be familiar with the 4 Ps of marketing. This marketing mix has been the bedrock of marketing model since it was first introduced in 1960. However, a lot has changed and evolved over the last five decades.
The conventional marketing mix for product or services (including McCarthy's 4 Ps ) are:
Physical Environment / Evidence (I prefer the word "Environment"!)
Because customers are changing their attitude toward buying differently, it is imperative for a nimble marketer to adapt as the market changes. Here are additional 14 new ingredients for today's marketers to consider:
It is important to know your customer -- such as gathering information and data about a customer at every point of contact, in order to effectively profile them and create a “single view” of each individual customer. Having a customer-centric approach to marketing will ensure that you understand your target audience, what his or her needs are, what messaging and communication platform is most relevant to the individual based on the behavior and preferences.
Customers have different preferences when it comes to engaging with a brand, acquiring a product or using a product. A successful campaign needs to be accessible on all relevant digital platforms (Web, Mobile, Social Media, Search). In addition, what a consumer sees on TV, hears on radio and sees on a billboard should be the same campaign that he or she experiences online (aka campaign integration).
Today's consumers have much higher expectations from businesses in terms of service levels and communications. Customers want and expect one-to-one attention and they want communications to be personalized to them. We are in the era of the “Social Media” call center. Consumers will now go to a brand’s Facebook and Twitter profile to post their complaint or query, this way they get quicker feedback, they don’t have to hold on to a phone call for long periods of time and they feel as if their voice has been heard.
Every campaign should connect with customers on a personal level and encourage them to participate and engage with the brand and the actual campaign. Marketers now have the opportunity to extend the story into the digital environment. Create brand ambassadors by giving them something to talk about and give them a reason to connect with you, putting a Facebook and Twitter logo on your add is no longer sufficient.
It is important to plan proactively and strategically for campaigns based on consumer and product insights. Reactive marketing is ineffective and expensive. Ensure sufficient planning and testing has taken place before implementing a campaign. There needs to be a long-term and short-term marketing plan or road map. Campaigns should happen because of a very specific business objective versus the scenario where a marketer has a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that says in a year there needs to be two marketing campaigns. Even the launch date should be based on a very specific insight, if you have all of this in place then you won’t worry about competitors launching campaigns that compete with your business as you have your roadmap in place and you can see the “bigger picture”.
It is important to prioritize campaigns and marketing communications based on strategic insights, consumer trends and business objectives. There should never be more than one campaign in the market with a different messaging & positioning. This results in clutter and the consumer not knowing what you are trying to tell them.
Sometimes, less is more, make sure that your campaign is practical and aligned to the target audience that you are trying to reach. Simplicity and convenience is key. Some of the most effective campaigns that I have come across are exceptionally simple.
Ensure that every campaign and communication to consumers aligns to the overall brand positioning strategy. There should be a seamless messaging strategy that ensures the positioning is consistent. So often there is no overarching brand positioning strategy which results in campaigns looking and sounding completely different. Managers aren’t sure what their brand positioning is and therefore consumers have no idea what your brand stands for. The “Celery Test” by Simon Sinek is the best metaphor for this that I have come across. Make sure you know what your “why” is and then stick to it.
Everything you do as a company and a business should help establish and secure your presence in the market. Consumers want to know your company in order to buy your products and services. This “presence” must also always align to your “why”, and be consistent with the brand positioning strategy. If you don’t have budgets to always have a presence in the market then make sure that when you do, you get the highest possible ROI (Return On Investment).
Customers are all different when it comes to their preference in dealing with companies and businesses. Some prefer to engage online, others prefer to use their mobile device, while others prefer to go to a physical store. Make sure you recognize the type of platforms and your target audience are using. If you are targeting an audience in a lower LSM (Local Store Marketing) and your insights show that their only access to the internet is a mobile device, don’t create a campaign that evolves around Facebook. Relevance is important when it comes to any campaign strategy, make sure your campaign is suitable and practical for the audience you are trying to reach.
There is a lot of clutter in the market and many different messages from companies and brands. Don't be afraid to push the boundaries with your campaign, do things differently and make sure your campaign stands out from the rest. Consumers appreciate campaigns that are innovative, that engage with them and are different from the ads that they come across every day.
Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and with this so are consumers. Consumer needs and trends can change on a dime. Therefore, it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve, and ensure your business is ready to meet these new demands.
If your campaign is to increase brand awareness, then how are you going to measure these? There should always be a set of objectives that can be measured in some form or another.
Customers will provide you with their details and preferences as long as you give them a reason and explain how it will benefit them.