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The Modern Marketing Mix

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The 4 P’s (Product, Price, Promotion and Place), also known as the “Marketing Mix,” form the basis of classic marketing theory. For more than half a century, these four concepts have served as the pillars on which businesses could lay out effective strategies and plans. Making an impact in today’s digital world, however, requires a bit more flexibility. The foundations behind the 4 P’s still ring true, but modern businesses need to adapt them in order to make the most of a customer-centered market.

Today’s consumers are more informed than ever before with 81% researching a product online before making a purchase. Staying ahead of the game means catering to their different needs, desires, and purposes in a way that other businesses don’t. Consider how your product or service answer questions, solve problems or otherwise meet your prospects’ wants or needs better than anyone else. Use the answers to these questions to create a unique selling proposition.

In today’s economy, consumers are more budget-conscious than ever before with 80% valuing competitive pricing over any other store feature. The price prospects are willing to pay relates directly to their perceived value of your product or service. How well does your business balance the two? To find out, use analytics and metric tools to track consumer behavior and campaign performance. With careful, regular analysis, you can forecast customer demand and lay out strategies accordingly – and quickly and easily adjust to improve revenue.

There are more opportunities for promotion today than ever before. Email, social media and mobile devices present new ways to reach out to prospects while generating a tremendous tangle of data. Handling this information seems overwhelming, but don’t fret. Automated marketing software helps you to track and measure all that data. When analyzing this data, ask yourself these questions: How well do prospective clients respond to each promotional activity? How often do they open and view your content offers? In other words, when you speak, do they listen? Paying attention to what works and what doesn’t will inform your strategy, allowing you to create better, more focused and more personalized marketing programs.

Placement is about understanding how your customers utilize each type of distribution channel and when. Basically, how do you keep your product visible, accessible, and available to your prospects? Ask yourself if your clients prefer to make purchases online or in a brick-and-mortar store? If your customers are like most, 62% value the option to make purchases online. No matter what the answer, answering questions like these sets the basis for accurate supply strategies (transportation, warehousing of goods and method of delivery) and helps anticipate the impact of product availability on sales and on price.

Though their relevance may have changed, the 4 P’s of Marketing still form the root of an effective marketing program. Like any other, this program should be informed by your target audience – their needs, what they’re willing to pay for and how they can easily find your product. Once you’ve laid your basic marketing groundwork – the Who, Where, When, and How of your campaign – you can start thinking about the details of your brand’s image.

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