Learn everything about the 7Ps of Marketing mix, Understand why this concept is still relevant today and will be relevant for the foreseeable future. The 7Ps of Marketing is the Price, Place, Promotion, Product, People, Process and finally, Physical Evidence.
It originally started as 4 Ps, but as the world, and the complexities of marketing grew; 3 more were added to formulate an effective marketing strategy. The ‘P’s stand for each of the pillars of a marketing strategy, and together are a part of the concept called the ‘marketing mix’. The term ‘marketing mix’ sounds a little confusing, but in essence, it is a foundation model for businesses. More easily explained, it is the operational part of a marketing plan- the nuts and bolts of it.
Funfact, there are actually 9Ps of Marketing: The above 7+2 viz. Packaging and Payments. But the 7Ps are popular given their wide and timeless application in the World of Marketing. Anyway, let’s just straight in the post.
The 7Ps of Marketing: With Examples
We can understand this with the example of a rainbow. The 7 colours of a rainbow and the 7Ps in a marketing mix bear a resemblance. Just as not all rainbows have the same the composition of the VIBGYOR colours, the same way every marketing plan is unique and contains varying amounts of the 7Ps of the marketing mix. The components are explained in the following points
One very important aspect of any product/success being a success in the market is the price at which it is marketed. The first colour of the marketing mix rainbow is one of the determining factors of what the people will see. Marketers tread very carefully while setting a price that is a win-win situation for both the company as well as the consumers.
There are several pricing models. One of the most famous ones is Competitive Pricing Strategy as is used by Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola’s main aim is to penetrate the markets and achieve the highest market share without compromising on its customer base and product positioning. Thus, the company charges its consumers what its competitor Pepsi is charging. It’s a simple, yet highly competitive strategy as the name suggests.
It is the channel through which your company’s goods/services get moved from the manufacturer to the consumer. Your good/service will need to be brought into the market through a mechanism, and ‘place’ is exactly that- a way for your offering to be seen by the correct audience. An example of this element of the marketing mix can be the numerous branches of McDonald’s all over the world. Almost every country in the world either has a McDonald’s franchisee, or knows of it. And each country has its unique menu, with the standard guarantee of tasty food, served fast, at low prices.
This is the P that starts it all. The need for this P to be known, positioned, and showcased gets the marketers working hard at strategies. ‘Product’ is the offering that your company has for the market whether it is a tangible good or intangible good (services). The product development has various stages, and it is instrumental in being the deciding factor in many strategies. Various aspects of a product like the product life cycle, the type of need it services, and its positioning come into play with this P.
We can consider the example of Starbucks here, which was solely established to make good quality coffee and coffee beverages accessible to people. Starbucks’ approach to marketing is very focused on its product and the quality of the product provided to its customers.
Directly speaking, the mainstream meaning of the word ‘Promotion’ also applies here. The essence of promotion lies in the activities that a marketer does in order to showcase the product in the market in the right sense. Promotional activities involve multi-channel, multi-level marketing communications in the technical sense. In a more simplistic sense, these activities are the communications that the companies indulge in like advertising, direct calling, using social media channels, as well as print media. There are many instances of how promotional activities have set a product apart from its competitors in the industry. One such is the launch of Sony Xperia Z3 Dual in 2014 as an underwater pop-up store.
The Physical Evidence
Physical evidence is a part of the product. If your product is a tangible offering, then all of its material cues (packaging, business cards, brochures, company branding) will be taken notice of, by the consumers. However, these tangible cues are also attached to a product that is intangible. The example can be, every time you encounter a FedEx delivery vehicle, you’ll immediately recognize it because of its purple and orange color scheme. That’s how they’re set apart from all the other delivery companies.
All the people involved in the making, distributing, and selling of your company’s product are also essential. Mostly, services (intangible offerings) have marketing mixes which are focused on the people presenting the product. The employees you have in the store, the delivery personnels, the sales executives, all of it and more leave a lasting impression on the people. Hotels like Taj, Hyatt, JW Marriott are known for the people that work there to serve the consumers. These brands have established themselves and built loyal customer bases due to the kind of people they employ.
Process involves all the ways the company and its customers can engage in order to facilitate the product to reach the consumer. It’s a map of how the company and its offerings are accessible to the market. It isn’t just a means to an end, but a roadmap of the company’s operations.
Here again, we can consider Starbucks as it has so many different ways in which the company operates- joint ventures, retail store licensing operations, food service accounts, depending on which country they’re operating in. They have an interactive website in order to collect customer feedback and suggestions, which also tells people how accessible the company is for the consumers.
Now, rounding up these 7 colors of the rainbow. We see that all these aspects ring in something essential for the business to gain competitive advantage. Though every product, every industry will have a unique marketing mix, the underlying structure will always be based on these 7 elements.
The 9Ps of Marketing you say?
Well yes, in the recent times, there appears to have introduced 2 more Ps vs earlier mix, now making the concept 9Ps of Marketing mix. We’ll keep this one short given you’ve gotten the gist. The 8th P is Packaging. Why? Given how connected the packaging has become to a customers journey, we cannot really let this one go, can we? Take the example of Paper Boat, the reason it connects so well is because of the simple packaging.
The 9th P of Marketing is Payments, it talks about the initiatives that companies can undertake in order to make your payment procedure a little more simple. That is introduce one click payment, EMI options, etc.
Anyway, that is all.
And well, the Author
No, this isn’t the 10th P of marketing. However, we believe, given the world has evolved today, there must exist a new P, a new dimension of Marketing. Something around Data Analytics, maybe, Programming? eh?
Anyway, the piece was written by Mahek Mirchandani, a co-author at Casereads. We’ve uploaded 10+ MBA starter concepts to kick start your MBA journey, directly click here.
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