The Mix...no, we're not talking about drinks. Or even cupcake or brownie batter. Sorry. But if you hang in there, I'll serve brownies at the end. As for the drinks...geez, peeps, it's only Monday! And not even noon! Well, maybe by the time you're reading this, in which case I hope you are enjoying your drink, whether mixed or not.
Today's mix is The Marketing Mix. Yes, with caps. Because it's that important. The Marketing Mix is the foundation of marketing. And what we'll be primarily focused on for this series of tutorials. It's what you, as a writer or blogger or businessperson or just a person who barters, really need to know. If you want to learn more after that...well, let's just start here and you can decide what you want later.
The Marketing Mix consists of five ingredients with the main ingredient - the flour or vodka or what-have-you - at the center being the Customer. Surrounding the Customer are the "4 Ps" (from the marketer's perspective) or "4 Cs" (from the customer's perspective). As you can see in my handy-dandy graphic, the 4 Ps/4 Cs revolve around the Customer, like planets in a star system. (Their orbits overlap because they often overlap. But if it's not done well, they'll crash, which I don't think is good in a star system.)
Because the Customer is the focus - the sun (if you don't like the mix analogies [or you do like mixed analogies, hahaha]).
I'll say it again, a little differently:
The World Revolves Around the Customer
The marketing world, that is. Without the customer, there is no point to anything. You MUST have a customer. You must have a reader (even if it's only your mom or bff or even yourself) or a buyer or someone you're trying to get to do something. And it's that person you're trying to make happy - you're trying to serve their desires or needs or both in exchange for something for you (money, time, brownies...).
Everything else in the mix (those little orbiting balls up there) serves the customer. And this is why marketers must look at the 4 Ps from the customer's perspective, creating the matching 4 Cs:
- Product / Customer's Needs & Wants - This is your book or your blog or your service or widget or whatever it is you're providing to meet someone's needs and wants. It is often YOU, yourself. As the marketer, you see it as a product - a thing or action that you're offering. The customer sees it as something that will meet their needs and satisfy their desires.
- Price / Cost - This is pretty obvious. As the marketer, you decide what price you need to charge to cover your investment and make a profit (if you so desire - in business, you desire, trust me, something has to pay the bills). The customer wants to know what it's going to cost them to have their needs and desires met by your product.
- Place / Convenience - This is not only where your product is offered, but also where you're going to reach the customer. For the customer, it's all about how convenient it is to find (and buy) your product.
- Promotions / Communications - This is what most people think of when they think of marketing - the ads, public relations, online marketing, social media, etc. (But you're going to be smart enough to know now that marketing is oh, so much more). If Place is where you reach customers, Promotions is how you reach customers. For customers, it's all about the communication - how they find out about your product, who tells them, how they can receive updates and additional information after they buy, customer service, etc.
So let's say you want to go see the new bloody vamp movie out, but your date (spouse, girl/boyfriend, best friend, kid, dude who hangs out at the laundromat, whatever) is not so much into fangs. But you really, really want to see this one and your date really, really wants to spend time with you. So you have a customer (your date) and a marketing mix:
- Product - You (not the vamp movie with that sexy hunk of meat, because that's your desire, not your customer's) / Customer's Needs & Desires - Special time with you
- Price - Time with you / Cost - Having to see that annoying star with all that fake-looking make-up all over the screen again
- Place - Theater / Convenience - It's at least playing in the one close-by with the wide seats
- Promotions - You convince your date to see your movie by appealing to his/her desires. You identify all the benefits your date will get, whether real or perceived (because, really, how special is time together in a dark theater???). You reach out to your date, communicating how this product actually meets his/her needs and will exceed his/her desires. (And you do it differently than if your customer was, say, your mom or grandma.) Communication - Your date hears all the good things that are worth the exchange, you continue making your date happy with popcorn and excellent service and you follow-up by asking how he/she enjoyed the movie. If you did a good job, they won't respond by saying, "You are never picking the movie again." or "Next time, I'll go see my own movie. Alone."
Next time*, we'll delve into Product, which is, next to the Customer, the most important ingredient. Because if you have a crappy product, you won't get very far. And for most of you, the product is what you have the most control over.
Thanks for coming! Brownies for everyone! If you have any questions, please ask. If you're utterly confused, please let me know. Because it all makes sense to me, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
*Note: Next time will be in 2 weeks because next week is Virtual Release Party and Blog Tour!!! Woohoo!!!