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    Define Marketing Mix

    And include in Definition Marketing Strategy

    Define marketing mix: your marketing plan needs a clear mix definition for your products and/or services. What is marketing mix? Why is it so critical to your plan? Defining a mix plan that is specific to your business is important for use in building strategies, programs and action plan examples (for implementation) and tactics. (This is page 2 of 2 on marketing mix.)

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    Understanding the importance that mix has in defining and building your marketing strategy will help you build a stronger and more successful marketing program.

    Define marketing mix means that you need to define each element - product, price, promotion and place (and if your business sells services instead of, or with, products then you need to also consider the elements and significance of physical evidence or packaging, people and positioning).

    And you need to understand the relationship between these elements and how they can help you create targeted strategies and action plans to successfully market your products or services.

    Think of marketing mix as the foundation of your marketing plan: the elements (product, price, promotion and place) needs to be strong enough from which to launch your plan.




    What is Marketing Mix? The 4 Ps of Marketing Mix:

    These 2 Ps are Promotion and Place/Distribution (the other 2 Ps, Product and Price, are discussed on Part 1 of 2 see link in the additional reading below).

    Promotion

    Promotion includes a number of marketing tactics focused on communicating with your market. Ensure that all your communications cover the most important aspects of your product: the who, what, where, when, how and why buy story.

    • Consider direct mail targeted specifically to your market.

    • Consider digital media and/or online marketing, particularly if your target market shops online (e.g. buy advertisements through the big name search engines).

    • Consider traditional media advertising: print, radio, television. And also consider non-traditional media: how about a car wrap? This is an image or graphic that is created to wrap a car in advertising; if you sell primarily to a local market this is a great way to get your name out there (please go to the professionals to do this). You can also pay a monthly fee to put the graphic on other non-company vehicles.

    • Consider building your brand and communicating by building a strong public relations program: talk to your industry's media, participate in your local community; have your business sponsor or participate in charity events (please do not do this with only the intent to grow your business: yes, you can raise your profile but the primary focus should be on doing good in this category of communications).

    • Attend industry (and non industry if there is a relationship) trade shows and events but only participate with a trade booth if you can put together a strong 'show and tell' with great images, take-aways and a good story to tell. Consider partnering with a non-competing business at the trade show and share the costs; because this venue can be expensive. Participate in an event with measurable goals: for example, you want 200 new leads; you want 30 sales by the end of the weekend; and so on.

    Promotion (Cont'd.)

    Build a strong and consistent product identity and brand that you use regularly throughout all of your marketing communications. Communicate through a variety of tactics; it doesn't have to be all the tactics listed here but do try to use several communication tactics for a broader and deeper reach.

    • Put together printed materials: such as point of purchase displays, catalogs, brochures, business cards, letterheads, folders and all the other materials necessary to communicate with your market.

      Make sure that your printed materials reflect the value of your product. In other words, if you have a low cost, low price product then a basic print program will be fine.

      However if you are trying to sell a high cost, high price and high value product your print program (and for that matter, the entire promotions program) needs to reflect that value or customers will have a hard time buying the brand value.

    • Develop a social media campaign that takes your promotions on-line; also develop your website with content that encourages customers to take action (ask for more information, online shopping cart, etc.).

      Make sure that you also develop your website to have a mobile (phone) presence.

    • Promotion also includes your selling activities: business to business selling and business to consumer selling will need to be considered separately.

      You need to build a good customer-focused sales story for your sales effort and staff. Connect the products' features and advantages to the benefits for customers.

      Ensure that customers clearly understand the benefit and the solution you bring to them.

    Define marketing mix for promotion that fits with the overall mix strategies, objectives and tactics.

    Place

    Place describes the how and the where of taking your product to market. In the place segment of 'mix' you need to make decisions about which distribution channel you will use.

    • Will you sell business to business: such as a manufacturer selling to a distributor or a manufacturer selling to another manufacturer?

    • Will you sell business to consumer: such as a retailer to a consumer?

    • Will you sell your products with your own sales force or will you contract the sale of your products out to agents or distributors?

    Place

    Place describes the how and the where of taking your product to market. In the place segment of marketing mix you need to make decisions about which distribution channel you will use.

    • Will you set up multiple locations? Will there be a main warehouse or localized inventory at stores? What kind of inventory level do you need to support your sales plan?

    • Will you sell online: some or all of your products?

    • How does your target market geography affect your distribution or place decisions?

    These are all questions that must be carefully and thoughtfully answered before you decide your place marketing mix strategies.

    And to define marketing mix and build a stronger program, analyze action plan examples for mix from other industries to ensure that you are on the right track in the definition of marketing strategy.)




    Define Marketing Mix in relation to Strategy:

    The Four P's of your marketing mix are the foundation of your marketing plan and to truly develop effective strategy you need to develop a strong mix program and then implement it.

    Note: Marketing services is the same, but also different, than marketing products.

    Marketing services extends the 4 Ps of Marketing, to the 7 Ps of Marketing by adding some additional elements of mix.

    Marketing strategy can be challenging and time consuming to develop and create. Your plan development must include the strategy and objectives you need to handle the product, price, promotion, and place elements of your marketing mix.

    For a new product (or service) to succeed and to achieve planned sales results, small business owners must understand how to define marketing mix in the context of the marketing strategy plan. And then you must build a strong marketing mix program using action plan examples and tactics (for without action plans, the mix elements will not be effective).

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    Additional Reading:

    Understand Competition Analysis and how to manage your competitive tactics.

    Conduct an Industry Analysis to learn more about your marketplace.

    Build strong Market Strategies to win more market share.

    Or for more on how understanding market share will help your business compete, read about how to Define Market Share and What is Market Share.

    Why is Product Differentiation a Necessity to your Marketing Plan?

    Find out the Importance and Definition of Marketing.

    Return to Marketing Mix, Part 1 of 2, from Define Marketing Mix, Part 2 of 2..

    Or return to More For Small Business Home Page.

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    Marketing and Life–Cycle

    Marketing is a requirement for all businesses: without marketing strategies and tactics your business will struggle to survive.

    Not all marketing activities are planned: you might be building your brand recognition through a social media campaign (that's marketing); you might be conducting market research to analyze your competitors and/or segment and target your potential market or to develop the most desirable features, advantages and benefits of your products or services (that's all marketing).

    Marketing is pretty all–encompassing; and a challenge for many business owners. The additional challenge is recognizing that the different stages of your business life–cycle: start–up, mid–cycle, mature or late–in–life.

    During start–up you need to develop your marketing strategies to grow sales; for example, you might want to use a market penetration pricing strategy to build sales quickly.

    During mid–cycle, you need to grow your customer base (often through lead generation) and that need requires different marketing strategies, such as cold calling on prospective clients, email marketing, newsletter and blog sign ups and distribution (all to grow your list of prospects).

    During the mature cycle, you need to build your marketing efforts around your brand; your competitive advantage can be in your reputation, history, and identity and on what differentiates your business from your competitors.

    Marketing your products and services is not something that you do once (such as a marketing plan) and then never change or do again. You need to be continually researching and building your strategies and tactics to be ahead of the market, and ahead of your competition.

    The market is constantly evolving; ever more rapidly with the impacts of globalization and technology. You need to invest resources into marketing to ensure that you build and sustain your business.

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    Outsource Your Marketing

    If you need support in your marketing efforts, or if you'd like a review of your marketing plan, contact us for more information on our marketing services.

    If marketing is not your core strength, or if you don't have enough staff to commit to developing your marketing efforts (and acting on the plan), outsourcing your marketing strategy and implementation will allow you to concentrate on developing your business.

    Start with a marketing plan that includes the necessary research, strategy development and implementation action plan. We provide you with the plan tactics, budget, schedule and key performance measurements.

    Execute the plan yourself or have us at Voice Marketing Inc. manage the execution for you.

    Once the plan is implemented, we report on the actions we've taken, the performance of the tactics employed, and on the results.

    You'll feel confident that your business marketing is being effectively managed and continually evolving.

    We specialize in providing services to small business owners and understand that marketing efforts must be customized for each business' unique needs.

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