The definition of marketing mix is simple. It is a marketing tool that combines a number of components in order to strengthen and solidify a product's brand and to help sell the product or service. Companies have to come up with strategies to sell their products, and coming up with a marketing mix is one of them.
It was in the late 1940s when the term “marketing mix” first emerged. Marketer E. Jerome McCarthy came up with the first of the theories for marketing mixes.
This was called the Four P's, representing product, price, promotion and place. In the 1990s, however, the definition of marketing mix became the four C's.
These four C's vary but are based on either Lauterborn's theory (consumer, cost, communication, convenience) or Shimizu's theory (commodity, cost, communication and channel). Most recently, a new theory was proposed: people, processes, programs and performance.
All these components are considered part of the marketing mix theories because the creator of the theories believes that these are things that companies have to consider when marketing their product or service.
For example; in the Four P's, when looking at “product,” the company has to consider the type of product, the life cycle, and having a product mix. When talking about “price”, the company has to look at the perceived value of the product or service and adjust their prices to fit their target market.
The 4 C's are similar to the 4 P's, with place corresponding to convenience (the distribution of the product, where and how it is sold) and promotion corresponding to communication. Promotion/communication is where the seller creates a dialogue with customers via advertisements, press releases, personal selling, direct mail, etc.
To use any marketing mix, all you need to do is consider the criteria in relation to your product or service, your company, and your customers.
For example; when talking about Promotion, ask yourself where and when you can promote your product? How can you maximize your reach? How are your competitors promoting their products? This goes for all marketing mixes.
The importance of a marketing mix is that companies are reminded that there are a lot of factors to look into in order to succeed in business. It isn't enough to promote–one should see to it that the product is of good quality, is sold at a price that matches its target market and quality, and that it is easy to acquire.
For example; if you want to promote your product online, it would make sense to be able to buy it online as well.
After coming up with a marketing mix, consult with customers about the plans. You can conduct discussion groups or encourage online interaction. After testing and improving your mix, execute the marketing mix.
Also, remember to evaluate the results every so often in order to keep everything current, fresh and exciting for customers. Use market research and maximize technology in order to make the most out of your mix!