The article is going to highlight how marketing mix elements can create a marketing strategy. For that to happen, you need to understand the marketing mix elements from a consumer perspective.
Marketing mix elements to make a better marketing strategy
Marketing strategy means how you are going to achieve a business marketing goals. The answer to the question ‘How’ is your business strategy. The challenge is that you need to answer the question ‘how’ in a different or better way to beat the competition.
Creating an effective marketing strategy depends on carefully designing the marketing mix elements. Whoever is able to manage the marketing mix from the perspective of a customer would have a better marketing strategy.
Here is the list of marketing mix elements:
- Physical evidence
A good marketing strategy would manipulate the above marketing mix elements to create a successful differentiation or competitive advantage. Like always, I repeat again you need to focus on creating marketing programs in light of the customer solutions. You must think and plan from the perspective of a customer. Please, read the concept of 4Cs.
A marketing strategy of some companies is mostly driven by good value pricing. The strategy has created a competitive advantage.For example, the Chinese mobile phone companies such as Huwai, Xiaomi, and Oppo are using such a marketing strategy.
These Chinese companies are almost matching the competition in terms of features, at the same time they are able to give better prices. The strategy has won them a lot of market share worldwide.
It is possible that a single marketing mix element plays a critical role in a business success in a given market. It can be an interesting brand communication or the power of distribution network.
Giant companies like Nestle and Coca Cola have built superior distribution systems apart from their robust communication programs. We see their aggressive advertising campaign as that is often right in our faces but these corporations draw a lot of strength from the distribution networks.
Understanding the Consumer is at the heart of Marketing Mix Strategy
As the marketing mix elements makes up the marketing strategy, therefore, at the heart of your strategy is the consumer.
Whether it is a decision about creating a product or raising awareness about the product, you need to have a solid understanding of the consumer behavior.
Consumer behavior is a specialized area within marketing. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the psychology of a buyer. However, I’m giving you heads up that research in human behavior or psychology provides the basis for a successful marketing programs.
Small businesses often ignore understanding the consumers in-depth because they feel that doing such an investigation only makes economic sense for a big company.
You don’t need to spend tons of money, you can simply begin with your own observation and intuition about the target consumers.
For example, one of the marketing strategy, that I often recommend on this site to friends, is Niche. In order to do that you need to begin with the consumer i.e the demographics. We call this process, segmentation.
Before you decide on the niche strategy, you need to observe or study the customer groups i.e segmentation.
In the segmentation process, the customers are divided based on age, income, life style, status, region, and gender etc.
Conducting a thorough segmentation helps you refine a marketing strategy. Remember, marketing strategy is the “how-you-solve-the-customer’s-problem” part of marketing or business.
Your starting and ending point is the consumer. Get to know her. That’s how a great marketing strategy is crafted. Please, stop thinking about your product or idea too much , think about what it can do for the customers.
if you develop this attitude in the marketing room of your business, you are likely to save yourself from a lot of troubles.
SMEs can Design a better Marketing Mix Using Online Marketing
No doubt, it is impractical to copy the traditional execution of a marketing mix program designed by a big corporation. A corporation has vast amount of resources at its disposal. Their communication program alone can amount to a billion dollars in spend every year.
It means the odds are heavily stacked against you, especially if you are running a business in the same industry where giant corporations dominate. Neither a small business can advertise in the mass media nor they can afford to establish a strong distribution network everywhere.
What do the small and medium size business do then?
Answer. Go online. Build relationship with customer by solving their problems
With the advent of digital technology, things are changing fast in favor of small & medium size businesses. For example, in the older days you could not afford to advertise on Radio and Television because that was way too expensive for you. Your business was cornered and it was hard to get out of the rat hole.
But now you can.
You can reach the target audience(customers) through online marketing. The number of people online is increasing rapidly.
Now you have got almost an equal opportunity as a small business owner to communicate your brand message without breaking the bank. If you are smart and tech savvy, you might as well give a big corporation a run for their money. Note, this might not be true for every industry.
Besides, it is always very hard to assess the return on investment using a traditional marketing communication. It is hard for the marketing manager or the entrepreneur to assess the effectiveness of the marketing mix elements being employed.
For example, it is generally very difficult to know how much business was generated by the Radio ad or the ad in the newspaper.
However, this is not the case with online advertising where you can determine the investment and the ROI to the very cent of a dollar.
For instance, running an ad campaign with Facebook and Google can not only help you track each dollar spent, but also can help you know how many calls were generated by the ad campaign. This model of online advertising is called Pay Per Click.