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The Marketing Mix: What is the 5th P of Marketing?

One of the ways to develop and execute a marketing strategy and plan is through the Marketing Mix, a framework for marketing that consists of 5 necessary components.

Oct 19, 2022

There is a common misconception that marketing a product or service is centred around promotion, but that is not true. In reality, there are several aspects and forces that work around marketing that make it so effective for some brands, and not so much for the others. Picking the right strategy is vital to helping your business propel to success. One of the ways to develop and execute a marketing strategy and plan is through the Marketing Mix, a framework for marketing that consists of 5 necessary components.

What is the Marketing Mix?

The Marketing Mix is a concept for marketing based on 4 Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. These elements provide a framework for marketing strategy for goods and services. Originally developed by Notre Dame professor Edmund Jerome McCarthy, the four Ps categorised the challenges that marketers and brands faced while developing marketing activities.

Recently, there has been an introduction of a fifth P – People. Altogether, The Marketing Mix consists of the five pillars of a successful marketing campaign (e.g. new product launch) which reaches the right audience at the right time. By leveraging the steps and developing a product or service around these five elements, brands are able to understand the needs of their consumers and optimise their activities to truly connect with them.

Before we dive into this new fifth P, let’s take a look at the original 4Ps of the Marketing Mix and how you can apply them to your business.

Product – What are you selling?

So you have created a wonderful product, and now you want to make it available to customers. But the important question is: do your customers feel the same way as you do?

The first step to success is a great product. This could be anything from retail goods such as a handbag, to services like consulting, or even applications or softwares. It is also worth taking a step back to look at what makes your product great or unique, and how this can be communicated to consumers.

Knowing that a certain product or service is in demand may have led you to creating a product to serve their needs. However, chances are that the saturated market presents stark competition. It is crucial for marketers to highlight any special qualities in order to truly stand out.

Looking at data can help you decide what your audience finds special and useful. To build something that people really want, an important tool you can leverage is feedback. For example, start off by running a competitor analysis to find out what they can offer and why consumers are choosing them. From there, you can find your Unique Value Proposition – in other words, what makes you different.

Another great thing about feedback is that it can be used during any stage of a product life cycle, be it planning, designing, beta launch testing or even post-launch to find any areas for improvement.

Price – How much are you selling it for?

At first glance, price seems like the most obvious concept: any business is out to generate revenue. The caveat is finding the ‘right’ price. Given how saturated most markets are, charging premiums are generally for market leaders or name brands.

Price can also be a USP of your business, for instance, selling FMCG goods to consumers at a low cost can help you generate more sales. On the other hand, pricing your products at a lower rate than what the market decides is ‘reasonable’ may end up cheapening your brand.

To put things into perspective, imagine a diamond necklace retailing for $100. Would you buy it? Brands have to find a balance between brand perception and profit to create the best value for them and their customers. It is important to know how much customers are willing to pay and their price sensitivity.

On the flip side, brands can use a lower-than-market price as a tactic to build consumer trust, but only if this can be justified. Marketers nowadays are discovering that content marketing can be a valuable tool to educate and inform their consumers. The trick here is to focus on transparency in order to convince your consumers that a low price does not equate to low quality.

Place – Where can customers find you?

A great product at a reasonable price will be useless if customers do not know where to find you. Picking the right places for your marketing plan not only helps attract the attention you want, but makes the product readily available for purchase.

One rule to follow is: pick a location where your customers are, instead of making them come to you. Your product could be the best in the market, but if it’s inaccessible, you are essentially limiting your consumer base.

Marketers need to understand where their customers are, by asking the important questions: Where do they live? Where are your competitors? What distribution channels are doing better than others?

Some people may think that placing their product or brand marketing campaigns on the World Wide Web makes it accessible to all. But in reality, the Internet is segmented and some demographics exist on there more than others. To highlight the importance of location, 62.8% of Instagram users in 2021 are aged between 18 to 34 years old, while only 2.1% are above 65. On the contrary, television has the highest view rate from adults aged 65 and above. For businesses that are manufacturing products for the elderly, this means that Instagram may not be the best place to run campaigns.

Promotion – What strategies do you use?

With so many channels and methods to promote your offer, it can be hard to pick a place to start. This category comprises elements from advertising to public relations, social media marketing, email marketing and many more.

Creating a Customer Journey Map can help visualise the touchpoints and key events in a potential buyer’s journey to realise motivations and areas of friction. By utilising this information, you can better understand the user experience of a customer with your brand. These touchpoints can then be optimised to produce the best return on investment by choosing the right form and amount of promotion required.

To get an idea of the motivations and potential areas of friction, you have to find out customer preferences and behaviours. For instance, do they prefer being contacted for sales coupons through SMS or email? Would they rather watch a two-minute long video tutorial or view an infographic? These are all questions you can ask before building a promotion strategy.

The 5th P: People – Who are you selling to?

Perhaps one of the most essential aspects of the Marketing Mix, albeit a relatively new concept, is its people. If you have realised by now, identifying the right customer profiles and their needs is fundamental to building the first 4Ps. At its core, your business and brand activity should be built around the people you want to serve – your target audience, employees, and everyone involved in the marketing process.

You can first start off by asking: who are you trying to reach? What kind of messaging will work best for them? What are their specific pain points that your product or service can address?

To effectively develop a comprehensive marketing plan that encompasses the needs of your people, it is vital to understand your audience needs and wants. Having the right data provides marketers with a solution to knowing their audience on a deeper level. After all, valuable and comprehensive market research is imperative to picking effective marketing strategies.

You may think that your organization only needs to satisfy its customers, however, your employees are an important asset to your business. These are the people that implement your strategy, carry out marketing efforts to improve brand perception, achieve target objectives and ensure customer satisfaction. Essentially, your employees are a great asset, and you want to attract and retain the best.

Understanding your customers through data

In a rapidly-evolving world, consumer behaviours and sentiments are constantly changing. To keep up, brands must continuously adapt by having the right data and information to make informed decisions to satisfy their customers. For any business, the key to success is through its people. helps businesses better understand their target consumers through their AI-powered consumer research platform that can give you actionable insights in as little as 24 hours. Whether it’s to build your Customer Journey map or to identify the media consumption behaviour of your target consumers, does it accurately, quickly and most of all, affordably.

Reach out to us today to us today to find out how we can help.



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