EVOLUTION OF MARKETING MIX FROM 4P TO 12P
MARKETING MIXES 4P, 8P, 12P
The development of brand identity and brand meaning that consumers see in the form of market positioning, as well as the development of basic brand elements, form the foundation of a brand equity. However, the dissemination and promotion of the brand, i.e. increasing awareness and creating an image, can only be achieved through a marketing mix. A marketing mix is a set of strategies, approaches, and tools used by a company to promote its products or services in the market
. Methodologically, for better understanding, the marketing mix is usually divided into main areas, for each of which it is necessary to determine the strategy or approach and choose the implementation tools.
The classic marketing concept is the 4P marketing mix
, which involves planning marketing actions in four key directions: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion
. However, over the past decade, the concept has been expanded to 7P, then 8P, and by some enthusiasts even to 12P. It should be noted that even in the 8P version, the content may differ significantly from the marketer or company, not to mention 12P. Depending on the business needs and the marketer's vision, the following directions for planning marketing efforts are added to the classic 4P: People, Partners, Process, Physical Evidence, Performance, Positioning, Public Relations, Proof Points
, etc.CHANGE DRIVERS
We believe that this expansion of the concept is related to two factors: firstly, objective global changes in technology and social life, and secondly, the development of marketing as a scientific discipline.
The main factor that triggered changes in almost every aspect of our lives is the development of IT technologies and digitalization as a whole. The internet removes barriers to entry into the market in almost all consumer industries. It is no longer necessary to be a large international company with powerful TV advertising to get customers. It is enough to have your own website and an attractive product - customers will definitely appear through placement on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. The internet and the subsequent appearance of many small producers, direct communication between the producer and the buyer have caused truly tectonic changes in marketing - the rejection of intermediaries, service personalization, customization, and so on. The era of mass standardized production and sales has ended. Indeed, a paradigm shift in business has taken place
: Analog era
: "Mass needs - Mass production - Mass marketing through mass media - Mass sales through retail chains" Digital era
: "Individual needs - Limited production - Limited marketing through digital channels - Direct online sales"
As a result, we have experienced and demanding consumers who can no longer be satisfied with mass-produced products. Increased competition and a variety of needs have forced even large companies to rethink their approaches to marketing and branding in general.
NEW APPROACHES TO MARKETING MIX
Firstly, modern marketers agree that the classic 4P concept is no longer sufficient for a brand success in the market
. Modern marketing must also take care of other aspects of the company activity, as they also have a significant impact on the brand equity and the company success. For example, marketers have realized that with the spread of product individualization and deepening direct contacts with the consumers, employees of the company and its partners/intermediaries begin to play a special role. Communication with customers in support chats, on social media pages, by phone - all of these become an integral part of the marketing mix. So, 2 more elements were added to the 4P - People and Partners. For many other reasons, other elements of the marketing mix are being reconsidered as well, increasing the total number to 12P or even 15P.
Secondly, marketers have identified certain criteria that all elements of a modern marketing mix, whether 4P, 8P, or 12P, should ideally meet
- The elements of the marketing mix should ideally create positive impressions of the process. In other words, marketers should not only reinforce in the consumer's mind the attributes and advantages of the brand, but also plan the process of interaction between the consumer and the brand in such a way as to elicit positive emotions from the consumer during the process, such as joy, satisfaction, entertainment, appreciation of beauty, learning something useful, self-confidence, etc. Nowadays we are not just selling a product with a set of associations, but filling the time that the consumer spends searching, evaluating, choosing, purchasing, servicing, and interacting with the brand with positive experiences.
- The elements of the marketing mix should be as contactable or interactive as possible, providing the consumer with the opportunity to contact brand representatives with any questions or concerns and receive advice or answers. That is why we see the possibility to start a chat on almost every website and the proliferation of QR codes leading to a messsenger almost on every element of the marketing mix - the consumers should have the opportunity to express their opinion, ask questions, report a problem, etc.
- The elements of the marketing mix should provide the consumer with a certain number of choices - varieties of the product itself, possible accessories, certain actions within the marketing activity, etc. - to create so-called mass customization. That is, even when buying a standardized product, the consumer should have a set of options for self-expression, feeling their own individuality, etc.
- The elements of the marketing mix should lead, with the consumer's consent, to the personalization of the relationship between the consumer and the brand. The consumer is encouraged to have a personal account, page, or wallet where the entire history of the relationship with the brand is stored, which significantly increases the level of trust and relationship with the brand. Loyalty programs are most commonly used. Companies use various tools to personalize the consumer's experience, such as personalized offers, special promotions, exclusive content, etc.
To sum up, digital technologies have completely changed the everyday life of consumers, which could not but find its reflection in the marketing mixes of enterprises. In the following article, we will analyze the classic marketing mix according to the 4P concept
, disclose the most popular strategies and practices for each direction of the concept, taking into account the new realities.
Achieving the commercial objectives of a company through effective marketing requires a deep understanding of the market situation, consumer needs, the ability to analyze and explore alternatives, and a creative approach to problem-solving. Our company has extensive experience in defining optimal marketing strategies for our clients' businesses, creating a strong brand and market positioning, as well as developing a marketing mix and implementing the chosen strategy. You can familiarize yourself with the services and solutions our company offers on the "Services
" and "Solutions
" pages, respectively.