Marketing mix and its application is a challenge for most business owners. The main reason is that most of them are innovators and marketing mix is not a strength. They tend to shy away when it comes to marketing mix and sales, in fact they are not too good at it, and tend to give it to someone else to do.
You consider paying someone to solve your marketing mix problem. Or you have paid someone to get your website up and running but nothing is happening. Does this sound familiar to you? Do you know that about 73% of websites are static websites? The reason is that business owners do not have a good enough idea how to take their marketing mix and digitise it and create an interactive website.
Interested to find out how to align traditional marketing mix with digital marketing. Then keep on reading.
What is digital marketing
Digital marketing is the use of the internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, display advertising and other channels to reach consumers.
We consider traditional marketing to be part of digital marketing which is a complete new way of approaching customers and new ways of understanding how customers behave compared to traditional marketing.
Digital marketing goes beyond the internet or online marketing, to include Short Message Service (SMS), Simple Notification Service (SNS), search engine optimisation (SEO), electronic or interactive billboards and other online ads (such as banner ads) to promote products and services.
Digital marketing the preferred channel
The importance of familiarising yourself with digital marketing has never been more significant than it is today. In fact, the Global Digital Outlook Study for 2017/2018 found that 43% of worldwide marketers are increasing their investment in digital marketing.
Digital marketing or Inbound marketing and internet-based channels have become the preferred method of marketing for many companies across the world today. In the past, businesses turned to public relations outreach, TV and print ads, outbound calling, etc. to try to build an audience as well as creating a larger awareness of their brand. These “outbound” tactics make up what is now often referred to as traditional marketing.
Believe it or not, digital marketing and traditional marketing mix methods are not really opposed to each other. Outbound marketing is still alive and well. OK, perhaps not well, but it is alive. Many of its primary tactics are still viable by themselves, and in some cases, they’ve converted into the strategies of digital marketing.
Before we get into how traditional marketing can be integrated into internet marketing, it needs to be clear how the two strategies differ. In this blog, we’re going to look at four main topics:
- Inbound vs. Outbound marketing
- Traditional vs. Digital marketing channels
- Traditional marketing philosophies
Inbound vs. outbound marketing
For decades, outbound marketing was the primary method of advertising for businesses all over the world. Outbound marketing involves serving up an advertisement or promotional piece to the masses. Think of television commercials and billboard ads.
Inbound marketing, meanwhile, offers the opportunity to make personal connections with potential customers, and it primarily takes place on the internet. It starts with optimising the company’s website and then using google, social media, search and other channels to try to lead people to the website. Once on the website, visitors will have a chance to go through a “sales funnel” that leads to money eventually exchanging hands.
Traditional vs. digital marketing channels
Traditional marketing largely concerns outbound methods, while the more modern digital marketing deals mostly with inbound tactics. To clarify which methods, fall where, let’s break down the differences in traditional and digital marketing channels.
- Radio and television
- Publications (magazines, newspapers, journals)
- Self-produced printed material (brochures, flyers, etc.)
- Telephones (telemarketing, cold calling, etc.)
- Face-to-face (such as conferences, trade shows, etc.)
- Websites and blogs
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Search engines
- Videoconferencing and webcasts
Traditional marketing philosophies
So, let’s look at traditional marketing. Anyone with a traditional marketing background who understands how traditional marketing principles apply to the Internet will have a significant advantage over someone who came up in the digital age.
The two parties have much to learn from each other, but there is already is a lot of overlap, and some traditional marketers have even evolved and adapted to the ways of the internet.
The 7 P’s marketing mix
This is where the 7 P’s of traditional marketing came in handy. Traditionally, these considerations were known as the 4 P’s — Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
As marketing became a more sophisticated discipline, a fifth ‘P’ was added — People. And recently, two further ‘P’s were added, mainly for service industries — Process and Physical evidence.
These considerations are now known as the 7 P’s of marketing, often referred to as the 7 P marketing mix.
Let’s look at each of the 7 P’s in more detail:
There is no point in developing a product or service that no one wants to buy, yet many businesses decide what to offer first, and then hope to find a market for it afterwards. In contrast, the successful company will find out what customers need or want and then develop the right product with the right level of quality to meet those needs now and in the future.
The perfect product must provide value for the customer. This value is in the eye of the beholder — we must give our customers what they want, not what we think they want.
- A product does not have to be tangible — an insurance policy can be a product
- Ask yourself whether you have a system in place to regularly check what your customers think of your product, your supporting services, etc, what their needs are now and whether they see them changing
A product is only worth what customers are prepared to pay for it. The price also needs to be competitive, but this does not necessarily mean the cheapest; the small business may be able to compete with larger rivals by adding extra services or details that will offer customers better value for money. Your pricing must also provide a profit. It is the only element of the marketing mix that generates revenue — everything else represents a cost.
Thinking of price as ‘cost’ to the customer helps to highlight why it is so important.
- Price positions you in the marketplace — the more you charge, the more value or quality your customers will expect for their money
- Existing customers are generally less sensitive about price than new customers, a good reason for looking after them well
The place where customers buy a product, and the means of distributing your product to that place, must be appropriate and convenient for the customer. The product must be available in the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity, while keeping storage, inventory and distribution costs to an acceptable level.
- Customer surveys have shown that delivery performance is one of the most important criteria when choosing a supplier
- Place also means ways of displaying your product to customer groups. This could be in a shop window, but it could also be via the internet
Promotion is the way a company communicates what it does and what it can offer customers. It includes activities such as branding, advertising, PR, corporate identity, sales, special offers and exhibitions. Promotion must gain attention, be appealing, communicates a consistent message and above all else give the customer a reason to choose your product rather than someone else’s.
- Good promotion is not one-way communication, it paves the way for a dialogue with customers
- Promotion should communicate the benefits that a customer obtains from a product, and not just the features of that product
- Whether your promotional material is a single sheet or a complex brochure, folder or catalogue, it must grab the attention of your customers. It should be easy to read and enable the customer to identify why they should buy your product
Promotion does not just mean communicating to your customers. It is just as important to ensure your internal stakeholders are aware of the value and attributes of your products.
Anyone who meets your customers will make an impression, and that can have a profound effect — positive or negative — on customer satisfaction. The reputation of your brand rests in your people’s hands. They must, therefore, be appropriately trained, well-motivated and have the right attitude.
- It is essential to ensure that all employees who have contact with customers are not only properly trained, but also the right kind of people for the job who provides it
- The level of after sales support and advice provided by a business is one way of adding value to what you offer and can give you an important edge over your competitors
Traditionally, adding the sixth and seventh P’s would be for service industries. However, they are worth considering for products too, especially in B2B.
The process of giving a service, and the behaviour of those who deliver are crucial to customer satisfaction. Issues such as waiting times, the information given to customers and the helpfulness of staff are all vital to keep customers happy.
- Customers are not interested in the detail of how your business runs. What matters to them is that the system works
- Many customers cannot separate the product or service from the people? Is your service efficiently carried out? Do your people interact in a manner appropriate to your service?
This part of the process is the first experience of a company that many customers have. There’s no value in making the rest of the company run perfectly if this part is faulty. Therefore, this ‘P’ could be a great source of competitive advantage if used wisely.
A service can’t be experienced before it is delivered. This means that choosing to use a service can be perceived as a risky business because you are buying something intangible.
This uncertainty can be reduced by helping potential customers to ‘see or feel’ what they are buying. Case studies, testimonials, opportunities to evaluate your service can provide evidence that an organisation keeps its promises. Facilities such as a clean, tidy and well-decorated reception area can also help to reassure. If your premises aren’t up to scratch, why would the customer think your service is?
Each of the ‘ingredients’ of the marketing mix is a key to success. No one element can be considered in isolation — you cannot, for example, develop a product without considering a price, or how it will reach the customer.
Think what opportunities, you have to integrate a traditional marketing process or your marketing mix into a digital marketing process.