Very few people realise that marketing encompasses a wide range of activities, including consumer needs assessment, marketing research, product development, pricing, and distribution, among others.
Marketers understand and interpret marketing in relation to their own activities, and everyone has a different perception of marketing. Marketing is more than just selling or promoting a product. In reality, they're only one part of the marketing equation.
Various definitions of marketing have been offered by different people at different times. As a general rule, these marketing definitions all fall under the larger concept of "marketing is consumer and profit-oriented." According to Philip Kotler :
“Marketing is the analysis, planning, implementation and control of carefully formulated programs designed to bring about voluntary exchanges of values with target markets for the purpose of achieving organizational objectives. It relies heavily on designing the organisation's offerings in terms of target markets needs and desires, and on using effective pricing, communication, and distribution to inform, motivate, and service the markets.”
Marketing's primary goal is to generate interest in your company's product or service. Through market research, analysis, and an understanding of your ideal customer's interests, you can achieve this goal successfully. Product development, distribution methods, sales and advertising are all aspects of marketing.
( Want to know more about marketing, then you can sneak peek at our blog on Marketing Analytics )
The 7P’s of Marketing
You may be familiar with the 4Ps of marketing:
According to Canadian author Jerome McCarthy, the marketing mix is the "dialogue between business units and their present and potential customers that takes place during pre-selling, selling, and post-selling stages."
The 4 Ps, also known as the communication mix or the promotion mix, were once considered a fundamental aspect of business marketing efforts.
But over time, the 4 Ps, while an excellent framework for product development and design, had become outdated and in need of an update to stay relevant in the modern market.
For the newly expanded marketing mix, Booms & Bitner added three new P's in 1981. (not just physical objects).
So, in addition to the 4 Ps (product, price, place, and promotion), three more Ps were added. They are:
7Ps of Marketing
HubSpot, founded in 2006, is an example of a company that employs the 7P’s. Today, Hubspot has more than 86,000 clients in 120 countries. It's clear that HubSpot provides their customers with value that encompasses all of the 7Ps.
As a first step, you should evaluate your product to determine if it is suitable for the current audience, useful, and in demand. Here, you'll want to make a comparison between your product/service and the needs of your customers. New product introduction can then be worked out.
In the next step, you'll want to evaluate your prices. You may need to lower them to help your products sell, or vice versa, depending on your situation. As a result, you'll be able to better determine how to improve your marketing campaign.
In addition, it's important to find the best places to sell your products online. If you're interested in email marketing or catalogues, or even telemarketing Be sure to only use those options which will increase your profits, as not every location is suitable for all types of businesses.
The next step is to determine the most effective marketing techniques. It's up to you to evaluate all of your options, choose the best one, and then alternate it because even small changes can have a negative impact on your product's sales.
These sales anomalies occur, for example, because some marketers believe that the most important P, people, was left out. Your customers/clients or your team of employees could be referred to as these people.
Physical evidence, such as buildings and uniforms, plays a crucial role in your marketing communication efforts and is the third P.
Companies with employees who wear clean and pressed uniforms, for example, will be viewed more favorably than companies with employees who appear to have slept in their uniforms. You're sending a message to your customers that your company is careless and unorganized.
Another important aspect of your company's operations involves the steps necessary to deliver your products to your customers, which is known as the "process." Your employees will appreciate being able to look at a visual map of their progress, which you can prepare in advance and present.
In relation to marketing, where does the marketing communication mix fall?
Promotion is the answer to this problem.
When companies want to achieve their marketing goals, they use a marketing communication mix consisting of advertising, personal selling, publicity, public relations, etc. Using a variety of communication channels, it is directly responsible for delivering your promotional message. Now let's take a closer look at what a marketing communication mix is!!
( Also read : The 4Ps of Marketing )
What is a Marketing Communication Mix?
To promote services or products to a target audience, the marketing communication mix refers to a set of tools used to promote them. What makes communication unique is the list of principles and factors that go into marketing those products and services, as well as how they are implemented. Now let's look at the elements of marketing communication mix used to promote them.
Marketing Communication Mix
In a paid, indirect way, customers are informed about products and services via television and radio. One of the most popular forms of advertising is public relations, which makes it possible for a company's product and service information to be easily communicated to a large target audience with little effort on their part.
We are all aware of the influence of advertising on our purchasing decisions. Broadcast advertising, or ATL, is the most common type of advertising, while direct response advertising, or BTL, uses print and digital media (out of home advertising).
Market leaders depend heavily on advertising. Advertising is more likely to be used by companies with deep pockets or a large number of competitors in the market. As well as being unique, the advertising message itself must also be so. Advertising messages that are unique and compelling have a stronger connection with their target audience than those that are not.
( Recommended blog: Internet of Behaviour )
2. Sales and promotion
Several short-term incentives are included in the sales promotion in order to persuade customers to initiate the purchase of goods and services. Sales promotion tools include rebates, discounts, paybacks, Buy-one-get-one-free schemes, coupons, and more. According to the industry, there are many different ways to run sales promotions and many different tips and tactics.
For consumer durables, free services and value addition (free installation) outperform trade discounts in the FMCG(Fast moving Consumer Goods) sector.
Sales promotion also involves giving the consumer a reason to buy the product, in the form of a discount. Also included may be the provision of incentives for dealers and distributors to help move the product. Sales promotion has lower costs and requires less capital because it gets the product moving.
Increasingly, sales promotions are used as a marketing tool, especially with the rise of E-commerce and online sales. As if on cue, you'll see a 'Online Sale' every other day, where customers can buy impulsively. On-line retailers can move huge quantities of products across the country or region they are selling in because of a temporary discount.
3. Personal selling
When salesmen approach prospective customers directly to explain the products and services they offer, this is the traditional method of marketing communication. You can communicate directly either verbally (face to face) or in writing (via emails and text messages) and it is considered one of the most reliable modes of communication.
When it comes to converting a lead into a prospect, and ultimately a paying customer, personal selling is the second most popular method of doing so. Today, many large corporations and even smaller businesses are focusing on personal selling.
An employee of the company's marketing department will often be present in a branded retail outlet when you enter it. Having their own brand promoter on staff ensures that the customer will receive more attention from the company. Because the company's salesman has been hired specifically, he'll also have a better understanding of its product and its competitors' products.
Alternatively, the retailer's own salesman would have promoted any brand on the shelf instead of a third-party brand promoter. But because he has so many brands and products to sell, the retailer's salesman may not be as knowledgeable as the brand salesman.
He becomes overburdened and forgets the features of the products he's selling as a result. In conclusion, if a company wants to communicate the benefits of its products, persuade and convert the customer, then personal selling with hand picked and trained executives is the best option.
( You can also sneak a peek at our blog on Marketing Intelligence )
4. Public relation
People talk about your products or services when you use public relations, because it creates a buzz and encourages others to do the same. In the days leading up to the release of a movie or the launch of an upcoming product, news about the movie or product is published in the newspapers.
The same is true for public relations. Since its inception, social media has grown to become one of the most important platforms for public relations campaigns. You'll see a lot of news about what's trending.
The same goes for press conferences, face-to-face interactions with consumers, newspaper advertorials, and community involvement.In spite of this, digital marketing is used by large and small businesses alike because it helps the brand reach its target audience.
PR turns brand messages into stories that appeal to the media and target audiences by turning them into compelling stories. News, strategies, and campaigns are amplified through partnerships with newspapers, journalists, and other relevant organisations to create a positive view of the company.
Not everything, however, can be shared via public relations. Basically, they're trying to figure out which stories they think could be turned into a successful PR strategy. It's therefore best to steer clear of anything that is perceived as too "salesy." In order to create a great PR campaign, you need to find a public interest, current event or trend.
As part of the communications mix, public relations plays a vital role. As a result, a strong brand image can be built, and a brand can release information slowly, keeping the public's attention.
In order to create a positive brand image in the market, the companies engage in a number of social activities. Activities that companies undertake, such as building public restrooms, donating some of their purchases to child education, and organising blood donation camps are examples of this.
5. Direct Marketing
Emails, faxes, and mobile phones are used by the companies to communicate directly with prospective customers without involving a third party in the process, thanks to the technology. In the last few years, digital marketing has been putting a lot of pressure on television and newspaper ads. To date in 2016, digital marketing has nearly surpassed television advertising in terms of spending, and is the most popular form of advertising among all media.
Because digital advertising is accessible to even small businesses and less expensive than traditional television advertising means that even smaller businesses can participate. As a result, digital advertising generates much more revenue than television or radio or newspaper. In spite of this, digital marketing is used by large and small businesses alike because it helps the brand reach its target audience.
The personal connection that the brand makes with the consumer is the key attraction of digital marketing. Social marketing allows brands to enter your private space, such as your email box, your Facebook wall, or your Twitter feed. Brands that execute successful campaigns can actually walk away with a large number of digital followers as a result of their efforts.
( Must check: Big Data in Facebook )
When it comes to marketing, these are the spokes of the wheel.
1. Social media
Although relatively new, social media has changed the way we communicate by offering 'the next big thing.' As part of the direct marketing section of the communications mix, it can be used to advertise, retain and gain customers, gather feedback about products or services, and as a customer service tool.
2. Identity & Image of a Brand
Your company's visual appeal is referred to as your brand identity or corporate image. It's all there, from the company logo to the colours used in it.Consistent branding across all marketing collateral tends to be viewed more positively. Businesses with a consistent image are perceived as more serious and well-organized by customers than their counterparts, who tend to use a variety of marketing collateral.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to sponsoring. With major brands and especially in sports, sponsorship is a common occurrence. As a result, it is frequently used to attract new communities and align with them.
An effective marketing and communications tool, sponsorship requires a thorough understanding of your target audience, as well as the setting of clear goals.
( Also read : Social Media Marketing )
4. Product packaging
In terms of marketing and communications, packaging can be considered a component of both. As the company's last point of sale, packaging can make or break a brand's reputation.
In addition to visual design and product writing, packaging can also communicate effectively through its size and shape, as well as the materials it is made from. A customer's decision could be influenced by any of these factors.
5. New variables/innovations
Today's communication tools are vastly superior to what was available ten years ago - or even five years ago for that matter. You should always keep an eye out for new developments and releases that could revolutionise the way you communicate with your target audience.
6. Events and Experiences
In order to reinforce their brand in the minds of customers and create a long-term association with them, several companies sponsor sports, entertainment, nonprofit, or community events. There are signs of the event's sponsor on the playground, player's jerseys, trophies and awards in the entertainment shows as well as stage banners and hoardings.
7. Interactive Marketing
Consumers can now interact with companies online and have their questions answered. Interactive marketing has recently gained in popularity as a marketing communication tool. Among the most successful interactive marketing campaigns is that of Amazon.
( Related blog - Big Data in Amazon )
Customers have the option of choosing what they want to buy and can see what they've chosen or ordered in the recent past. Customers can also ask questions on a variety of websites, such as answer.com, and receive answers online.
8. Word-of- Mouth Marketing
In addition to being one of the most widely used communication tools, it allows customers to inform others about the goods and services they recently purchased.. A brand's image is determined by the customer's perception of the brand and by what he tells others about the brand. Because it's free, word-of-mouth marketing may be the least expensive form of advertising a business can engage in.
However, it is also one of the most difficult forms of advertising because you have no control over what is said about your business by whom.
Examples include new social media platforms (networking, video, messaging), gaming platforms, forums, and mobile apps, among others.
Let’s sum up
We've covered a lot of ground when it comes to marketing. When it comes to marketing a product to a large audience, it's even more difficult. When developing a marketing strategy, it's important to keep in mind what customers like and dislike about products and services. Who is your target audience and what is the best way to promote?
As a marketing professional, you must understand the importance of scheduling, pricing, distribution channels, and a good promotion plan when it comes to marketing strategy.
However, you must also have a thorough understanding of the market, taking into account the services offered by your competitors, and acting accordingly to that understanding. I hope that I've been able to shed some light on your knowledge of the marketing communication mix. Read our articles to learn more about upcoming trends and technologies.