You might wonder why some businesses with little social following or engagement make a profit in this digital age. Or, perhaps you’ve thought “that business has thousands of followers, they must be doing well” when in reality they struggle to get any sales from their social media. This is all to do with something we call the marketing mix.
To be precise, the marketing mix is what we refer to as the ‘factors and media that are used to market your business ‘. It’s true that advertising (or promotion) is often a big part of the mix, but other components also make this up too, else it would be called ‘The Advertising Mix’! Many assume that marketing is only advertising, but as you’ll find in the example below that’s far from the truth.
Let’s take for example a company that sells paper. Whilst they’ll invest in advertising, the biggest player in their mix is likely their sales staff. Having the team members nurture business to business relationships with buyers is where they generate their biggest income. This can then encourage repeat purchases as their clients develop a relationship with the salesperson who perhaps offers discounts or is a point of contact for queries.
From the pie chart graphic below, you can visualise how key sales is to the company’s mix. You might be thinking, ‘Why are sales even considered a part of the marketing mix?’ However, as this is an investment in getting the brand’s product to customers, it is in fact a form of marketing.
In comparison, an e-commerce business for personalised office equipment could also use sales staff but might have a larger proportion of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media advertising. It’s likely, that as an e-commerce business, they’ll need to have customers coming through their website to generate revenue.
In addition, the process to personalise products is likely more streamlined and efficient on-site in comparison to person-to-person, so using digital methods to get people on site would be far more beneficial.
You’ll see that although these two businesses would be able to market to the same audience, those requiring office suppliers, their mixes vary based on the products they sell.
Selling paper could be considered a push, as the sales staff would need to upsell their product and convince the potential buyer why they are the best. On the other hand, personalised office supplies may be something that colleagues could gift each other, hence being more of a pull to their business than a hard push.
The office supply company’s mix could change seasonally. Perhaps during the Christmas period, they have a larger focus on their conversion led channels (PPC and SEO) where they include the phrases ‘Secret Santa Gifts’. They could also incorporate more content themed around this idea on social media.
Just from these two examples, you can see how marketing mixes work and vary massively. Sectors and businesses don’t have a ‘one size fits’ approach in marketing, and from what we’ve seen in this example, even brands that are in similar fields to one another could be completely different in their mixes.
We hope this has given you some more information on marketing mixes. If you’re a business that looks at your competition, confused about how they work, take a broader look into their other efforts and understand how you could improve your mix.
For help developing your marketing mix strategy, please get in touch with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org