What are these 7Ps you speak of?

The Extended Marketing Mix

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The marketing mix was originally made up of the 4P’s; product, price, place, promotion. This framework was appropriate for products, with the extended marketing mix evolving for services, adding processes, physical evidence and people.

Now with a more in depth understanding of the increasing importance of customer service in any sale, the extended marketing mix is being applied across the board. It is an effective framework for conducting a marketing audit for your business and identifying areas for improvement. So what are all these P’s?

Firstly, let’s start with the basics. 

Product distinguishes what is being received and how. This element outlines what a business is selling, how it is being sold and the benefits the product will have for consumers. Products can be broken down into 3 levels; core, actual and augmented. These levels outline the core benefit of using the product, the actual product and its packaging, and the additional offerings like warranty, installation and after-sale service. For example, Apple sells the iPhone 13 Pro with the core benefit of communicating from anywhere. The actual product is a mobile device, available in 4 colours, with a 6.1” sized screen, all packaged up in a nice white box with the Apple logo. The augmented product includes free delivery, one year of complimentary AppleCare+ and 90 days of 24/7 support. 

Price is the value that a customer gives up to obtain a product or service. It is often an important consideration in the decision making process. Pricing strategies are commonly a defining factor for products and services. When we think of Apple, their premium pricing meets the no-discount pricing strategy defines the company. Whether or not the iPhone 13 Pro is better than a competitor product, it is seen as superior based on it’s starting price of $1,699 and the overall perception of the Apple brand. We wrote a blog about the importance of price - check it out. 

Place considers where the product is being sold? Perhaps it's on a website, social media or in a brick and mortar store. Apple Stores are experiences in themselves, setup for product interaction and play. They’ve also created a brilliant online customer experience through their engaging website and the Apple Store app for instant purchase. This has made it even easier for Apple users to get their hands on the latest gear. 

Promotion is the information and advice that persuades target customers to buy a product or service and encourages them to take action. “Oh. So. Pro.”, “a dramatically more powerful camera system. A display so responsive, every interaction feels new again. The world’s fastest smartphone chip. Exceptional durability. And a huge leap in battery life. Let’s Pro.”, “Whoa.”. Apple are experts at weaving compelling messages that sell their products. They largely utilise commercials and print advertisements to promote their product, as well as event like product launches that boost their corporate image. 

And now we’ll extend the mix. 

People are those who provide the direct interaction between customers and the brand. Businesses look for different skill sets depending on their product or service, but generally high interpersonal skills and positive attitudes are a must. Apple stores are staffed with employees who provide detailed product specifications and information to convince people to make a purchase. They add to the overall experience with the brand when purchasing in store. 

Physical Evidence is the tangible evidence of a service’s quality. Apple stores are prominently located in key locations in each city. They put their innovations on display in carefully designed buildings for an interactive experience. Their packaging is distinct and unique to their brand, designed to provide an experience when unboxing your new iPhone, with perfectly packed accessories. 

Processes are about how you will meet expectations and deliver the product or service. Without strong processes, it would be challenging to provide quality products and services. Apple begins with design, everytime. All Apple products have a carefully engineered look and feel for a unique customer experience. They then build and test, and provide a seamless purchasing experience for overall customer satisfaction. 

Have you thought about what a successful marketing mix looks like for your business? By assessing the product, price, place, promotion, people, physical evidence and processes behind your product or service, you can find your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to improve your offering and your marketing. KEO takes the time to look at each element of the marketing mix when working on a client marketing strategy to identify what messages we can communicate and how we might improve a customer experience. Take the time to work on your offering and marketing by using the Marketing Mix framework.