The Marketing Mix is probably the most thrown around term in marketing, but like many commonly used phrases, there are plenty of people out there who have no idea what it actually means!

A Very Brief History

To understand the importance of this phrase in the marketing world, it is necessary to have a look at its history. In 1948 James Culliton used the term mixer of ingredients to describe the increasingly important role of the marketing manager. Five years later Culliton’s associate, Neil Borden, coined the term marketing mix in his 1953 American Marketing Association presidential address.

It wasn’t until 1960 that the Four P’s that make up the marketing mix were introduced by E. Jerome McCarthy. Then four years later, Neil H. Borden’s article The Concepts of the Marketing Mix popularised the term. Today, the marketing mix or the four P’s form the foundation of the marketing process.

The Four P’s

Product: The first of the mix is product. This, of course, refers to the physical product or intangible service that is being offered to the consumer. However, it is slightly more complex than that. Marketers consider the product not just as the tangible object but also the packaging, services, and the benefit that makes it of value. It also refers to the expected life cycle of the product and the points of difference between it and its competitors.

Price: Quite simply, this refers to the price a consumer pays for the product and how something is valued. There are many different ways to price a product based on the value of the product, the market and uniqueness of the product.

Place: Whether in store, online, or via phone, place refers to the way we purchase a product. This can also be referred to as the distribution channel. Often something that sells well online won’t be as profitable in a store and vice versa; it’s all about finding the right mix of place and product.

Promotion: Four distinctive rudiments make up the promotional aspect of the marketing mix:
1. Advertising

2. Public Relations

3. Personal Selling

4. Sales Promotion

As with each of the four P’s, what is important as a marketer is finding the right mix of promotional aspects for the product.

Extended Marketing Mix

More recently, three more P’s have been added to the mix to meet the needs of contemporary marketing. These extra aspects are primarily concerned with the consumer’s judgement of the service of product.

They include:

People: Referring to staff. Appropriate recruitment is a necessity to delivering good service. The skills of staff are a reflection of the product, making recruitment an important part of marketing.

Process: This is in reference to the efficiency of service and the processes that make good service possible.

Physical Evidence: While a service is intangible, there are physical cues that consumers pick up on and use to draw or confirm judgements. These include furnishings, brochures, packaging, uniforms, and more.