In this blog, we look at re-discovering the marketing mix and what the inclusion of digital marketing really means. We then guide you towards a digital marketing strategy that has meaning and produces real business results.
Clear definitions are important
Clear definitions are important, aren’t they? When we speak about something, it’s really important to define exactly what we’re talking about. Then we have context and clarity. Then we know how to act, or in some cases, who to blame.
During a recent rugby match, Simon Zebo – Irish international rugby player and British Lion – reported that he’d received some unacceptable verbal abuse. From an elderly person.
There’s that definition problem again.
Aren’t old people supposed to be genteel wise old sages, smelling faintly of TCP, doling out Werther’s Originals and tales of ‘when I were young’…?
Given the circumstances, you might instead picture a cantankerous, jingoistic, property-hoarding, Brexit voting Baby Boomer; handing on a ruinous legacy whilst clinging on to that 5-bed detached – bought 40 years ago for £23.50.
Uh, what do you mean by elderly exactly?
To clear things up, Simon helpfully goes on to dig into the definition:
‘An elderly man’ he explains, ‘40 plus’…
Hang on Simon – elderly?! Wow. Haven’t you heard the phrase “life begins at 40”? Just wait until he’s got a ‘normal’ job, a clutch of kids, 2 Labradors and a Millennial mortgage around his neck.
Then he’ll feel elderly, even when he is still only 40.
Re-discovering the marketing mix
So, while most of us remain unsure which demographic to blame for this unacceptable behaviour, it reminds us of a definition problem for those engaged in digital marketing.
Without defining and understanding digital marketing, it remains nigh-on impossible to create a deliverable strategy. Without strategy, it will be difficult to produce meaningful results.
Look up some articles on the subject. ‘In the past’, you will read, ‘we had the 4 P’s, but now we have digital marketing…’ Hey?
‘Improve your marketing mix with digital: engage an influencer, get tweeting, post some images on Instagram…’ Come again?
The inference is: Get stuck into digital marketing, don’t worry about definitions or strategy, just get doing it!
Alas, we wish it really was that easy – but of-course it is not.
So, where to start?
Step 1: Define and Shape Your Digital Marketing Mindset
The first step to re-discovering the marketing mix is getting to grips with the correct definition and mindset of digital marketing within context. Then you will have the chance to produce meaningful digital marketing.
“Remember that marketing is the same as it has always been; it’s just the medium that has changed,” says marketing strategist Minal Sampat.
Good point. The medium has changed for those who now use digital. But it’s still just marketing and the marketing mix, whether you use 4 P’s, 7 or even 11 (yes really!).
We’ve previously discussed the importance of keeping up your skill sets in the new digital age, and of not getting left behind. You can catch up with that blog here.
But while keeping up with skill-sets, we must also be aware of mindset. Digital marketing represents a change in mindset in how we market to people, through the marketing mix, using digital tools. Tools that can enable us to reach customers in real-time and a cost-effective manner.
Step 2: Rediscovering the Marketing Mix
The marketing mix was first proposed by marketer and academic E. Jerome McCarthy in the 1960’s. Like all models, it provides a framework for marketing decision making, organised under the four broad headings of:
Product – what services or products are offered for sale
Price – decisions surrounding the pricing of products or services
Place – physical location or distribution channels of sales
Promotion – methods and means of communicating sales messages to customers
The marketing mix principle is simple in theory and is designed to focus thoughts on putting the right product or a service in the right place, at the right time at the right price.
The difficult part is doing this well, because implementing is always more difficult than planning, but planning comes first.
Over time, as service industries grew, the 4 P’s have been extended to the 7 P’s, referred to as the extended marketing mix and have added 3 more to the mix:
Physical Evidence – evidence of product or service in the marketplace
People – environment of service delivery and customer interaction
Process – procedures and processes by which service is delivere
Step 3: Integrate Digital Marketing Within the Marketing Mix
So now we’ve started on our journey in re-discovering the marketing mix, we can integrate digital into the equation. But how will this affect the marketing mix?
Here’s our non-exhaustive suggestions:
Product – products and services now include digital products and digital enabled services
Price – pricing can be assessed and updated real-time, less overhead costs for eCommerce
Place – digital product delivery (mobile, web, social media – responsive to each means)
Promotion – methods include SEO, social media, PPC advertising, em
advertising and online PR
Physical Evidence – online content is consistent and recognisable with overall branding
People – social media marketers now commonplace, marketers now need digital skills, brand advocacy actively encouraged
Process – improved communications, enhanced eCommerce platforms
ail marketing, affiliate marketing, display
Step 4: Select your Methods and Get Digital
So, what now? Just get posting and tweeting? No, not just yet. Social is not digital marketing. It is a powerful tool, but just one method to use as part of our overall strategy.
Why are many discussions of digital limited to which social media channels to use? Digital marketing consists of much more than a handful of platforms that seem unassailable today, but come tomorrow?
Your digital marketing strategy needs to be bigger, it needs to include an assessment of all digital methods and tools available.
Maybe all this is new to you, maybe not. Either way, any digital marketing strategy needs to include at least the following digital marketing techniques and tools:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Content marketing (blogging & article writing)
Downloadable products and offerings (eBooks, Whitepapers, Webinars)
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) e.g. Google Adwords
Website design & strategy
Step 5: Select Your Team (and train them if needs be!)
So, now we know what we need to do and what to look for – now we can get going.
But before you start – Don’t just dump digital on Maureen. She hasn’t been trained. She doesn’t understand the tools we’ve just listed and will misunderstand how they work. We’ve warned you about this before with Slick Steve and his one-liner Twitter quotes.
But don’t rely on Merrill either just because he’s the office Millennial. He’s great with tech, but he hasn’t got a clue about branding or messaging – yet.
Use people who understand marketing communications in re-discovering the marketing mix; people who understand your brand. If you don’t have the skills, get some training.
Maybe you’ve realised you do need some training? Did you know @Business_Wales offer FREE digital marketing and social media training. Have a look here and book!
Have we got you thinking about rediscovering the marketing mix and delivering some meaningful digital marketing? Perhaps you’re not sure where to begin? If so, we can help! WebAdept have been producing digital marketing solutions and strategies for 20 yrs. Get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you!