Marketing mix refers to the factors that a marketer can manipulate to influence the demand for their product. Some people may think that influencing demand means only increasing demand. This is a mistake because occasions may arise when a marketer will have to act to reduce the demand for their product. When the product is scarce, for example.
Early marketing teachers presented the marketing mix as four elements: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. 4Ps in short. Later thinking held that these 4Ps are good enough for physical goods only and that there was the need to expand the marketing mix to care of services. Thus 3 new Ps were added to the marketing mix, making 7Ps for services. The additional 3 are Physical evidence, Process and People. An attempt will be made to relate the 7Ps of marketing to your e-business.
Without a doubt, product is the most important element of the marketing mix because people buy the benefits or solutions embodied in the product. In your retail store, you could see, touch, smell, even taste a product or hear the sound of a product. But on the world wide web, you cannot do this. As an e-business builder, you are limited to visual and verbal techniques for presenting your offering. You can only show a picture, drawing (static or animated) and describe the features and benefits of your product. And this must be done well.
It is easy for online shoppers to compare prices with a few clicks before they buy. Today there are shopping genies that facilitate this. This increases competitive pressure and implies that e-business builders must not only state their prices clearly but must also relate them to the value their prospective customer will get.
This has to do with location and making products available. On the internet, your store is as far from you as your computer screen. And you are heavily influenced by what you see. Therefore, the e-business builder should have a website that is convincing and professional so that shoppers will be confident to place orders.
This appears to be the most talked-about marketing mix element in internet marketing. It is the element that drives traffic (visitors) to the website. And sadly, when some people discuss marketing strategy they refer to promotion only. There are many promotools you can use. They include various types of advertising, press releases, publicity, buying leads, traffic exchanges, SEO techniques, article marketing and blogging. You should be guided by your skills set and budget in choosing your tools.
This is closely associated with the place element. Does your website give the impression of reliability and trust? If you would score high here try to include a physical address and other contact means, certification of bodies like BBB and proof that customers’ payment details are secure.
How easy is it to buy from you? How quickly does your order page load? Do prospects have to answer a ton of questions before or after ordering? How fast is delivery? E-products should be instantaneous. You need to think through some of these issues.
You may think that this is not relevant to selling on the internet. Big mistake. What about the attitude and behaviour of customer support staff. Experience with them may be crucial in determining whether you buy or buy again.
Take all these along as you set up your e-business in order to sharpen your competitive edge and win the business game – a robust top line and healthy bottom line.