The marketing mix is the foundation of our marketing strategy. With time tested principles, we can build our strategy and the tactics we want to use to effectively market to our customers and build our business.
One of the most accepted marking mix theories is the 7Ps marketing mix. This is a marketing mix theory that was expanded upon from the original 4Ps marketing mix. As this is an extension, it provides extra marketing mix components to marketers, where it makes sense to use them.
Here, we will take a look at an overview of the 7Ps marketing mix.
What is the 7Ps Marketing Mix?
The 7Ps marketing mix is an adapted marketing mix theory, which has gained significant traction. It takes the original 4Ps marketing mix and expands the model to address additional marketing concerns for a business.
The 7Ps model contains the original 4Ps, which are product, price, place, and promotion. Then adds three additional Ps, which are people, physical evidence, and process.
The 7Ps model of the marketing mix is usually associated with being applied to service businesses, but there becomes increasing crossover for its application to many other types of business.
It was primarily formed as a response to the characteristics of a service business. Which state that service products lack ownership, they are intangible, experiences need to be consistent, services are perishable, and they are produced and consumed at the same time.
That being said, let’s take a look at the 7Ps of marketing in more detail.
What are the 7Ps of the Marketing Mix?
The 7Ps marketing mix take the original 4Ps and provide an expansion. It allows the incorporation of other areas of the business into the marketing strategy. The areas that get incorporated are areas that have a direct impact on the customer.
The 7Ps of the marketing mix are as follows.
A product is a good or service that satisfies a need or want of a target market.
A product is a solution to a markets problem. Which, can come in the form of a physical good, a digital product, or a service.
Another way to define a product is with Kotler and Armstrong. They say a “product means the goods-and-services combination the company offers to the target market”.
Price is what customers pay for a product or service. It is a measure of the value placed on a product, both by the buyer and the seller.
Also, price is a key component in the marketing mix. Being one the most direct ways of communicating value to a customer. Also, price is the one component of the marketing mix that has a direct impact on a product or companies revenue and profitability.
Thus, pricing is the act of determining the price of a given product or service. It is using the marketing mix and various pricing strategies and tactics to accurately convey the value of a product or service.
Place, as it pertains to the marketing mix, is the movement of a producers goods to the producers intended user. It is the distribution of your products within the market.
Place can also be called placement or distribution, but all three terms are referencing the same component of the marketing mix.
Another way to think about place is that it is the point of sale.
Place encompasses everything about distributing your product to your users. That means channels, inventory, logistics, market coverage, location, and transportation.
Promotion, as it relates to the marketing mix, is all the communication activities a company performs to inform its customers and prospective customers.
Promotion is how companies establish their brand, the company voice, communicate features and benefits, build awareness, and persuade customers and prospective customers.
Since promotion is everything to do with communication, it is often referred to as marketing communication. Thus, the mix of activities may also be referenced as the marketing communications mix.
Promotion is an essential component of the marketing mix and it contains its own set of components.
People, in the context of the marketing mix, are all the people within your organization. This includes employees, management, customer service, and the overall company culture those people bring.
The people component of the marketing mix encompasses people within the entire organization. But, the focus tends to be on the customer centric employees of the company. This is usually the outward facing employees.
Such as, sales representatives, customers service, and management.
The most common framework where people is included is in the service marketing mix. This is applying the marketing mix to service companies, where people are an essential component of the product.
As a component of the marketing mix, physical evidence is the location and environment where the customer purchases and/or consumes the product. It is the environment where the company and customer interact in the exchange of the product.
Originally, this was most pertinent to service products, but the lines have become blurred between service products and physical products. Companies of both service products and physical products want to control the physical evidence of the product, as it contributes to the overall customer experience.
Physical evidence is a way to control and add value through the presentation of intangible elements of a product.
Process, as a component of the 7Ps marketing mix framework, is the component of the marketing mix that deals with delivery of the company’s product. It is most pertinent to the delivery of service products.
Process encompasses all aspects of service delivery, customer service, as well as the overall customer experience.
Essentially, process is concerned with how you deliver your product to the customer. Then, how you handle servicing the customer during the use of your product.
Now that we understand what the 7Ps are and what they represent, it is time to take a look at the formation of the 7Ps marketing mix model. This will provide us a better understanding as to the intention of its application.
Who Created the 7Ps Marketing Mix?
Unlike the 4Ps marketing mix model, the 7Ps can be attributed to one creator. Although there were other proposed elements to the marketing mix prior to the 7Ps marketing mix, none of them gained traction.
In 1981, Booms and Bitner proposed the 7Ps marketing mix model. The focus of this model is service companies. At least how it was originally intended. But, as the line becomes blurred between physical, digital, and service goods, the 7Ps can be applied to a wide range of products.
With the 7Ps model available to marketers, it has continued to gain traction since its inception in the 1980s.
The History of the 7Ps Marketing Mix
As the marketing mix began to take shape from the 1940s through its first official proposal in 1960, there we many ingredients and elements marketers considered. In the original discussions, there were twelve different elements being considered.
Those twelve were eventually condensed to the final 4Ps marketing mix. But, if we consider that there were twelve that were originally being considered, that means there were some essential pieces being left out of the mix.
This is where the 7Ps marketing mix decided to address these concerns. By adding people, process, and physical evidence to the marketing mix, they were addressing concerns of many service businesses.
As the 7Ps model was one of the first evolutions and extension of the marketing mix, it shows that the marketing mix theory is dynamic. There continue to be marketing mix proposals that expand or adjust the original 4Ps marketing mix.
It is essential to understand the complete history of the marketing mix to understand how to best apply the marketing mix to your business.
How to use the 7Ps Marketing Mix
Marketing theory and principles are essential to developing a sound marketing strategy. They create the foundation that we can build and test tactics.
But, theory and no application do us no good. Thus, we need to look at how to apply our theories and strategies. That is why we will look at how to use the 7Ps marketing mix.
The 7Ps model is based on the characteristics of service marketing. These characteristics are that service products lack ownership, they are intangible, experiences need to be consistent, services are perishable, and they are produced and consumed at the same time.
That being said, to use the 7Ps marketing mix we should look at the following questions within each component.
Our product is the solution we are bringing to our customers. To effectively use this component, we should consider a few of the following questions.
- What skills do I have to provide a service product?
- What is the market need?
- What is my product?
When pricing our product, it is important to test and make informed decisions. Some of the questions we can ask to accomplish this are:
- What is the value of my product?
- How should I price my product?
- What is the price?
How we get our product to our customers and where is important. Here are some of the considerations we should make.
- Where should customers purchase my product?
- How do customers purchase?
How we communicate with our customers and the incentives we offer are critical to building awareness and loyalty. A few things to consider when building this component are the following.
- What communication channels do customers prefer?
- What message resonates with customers?
- Are there sales promotions that can be used?
The team we build to interact with our customers is an important element in our marketing mix. We should consider the following questions.
- Who should we hire?
- How should our people act?
The process by which we deliver our product ensures consistency and efficiency to our customers. A few considerations to make are the following.
- How should we ensure consistency?
- How should we deliver our product?
The environment that our customers consume our product is important. It consists of all the intangibles with our product. Some of the considerations should be the following.
- What should the environment be?
- How do we intangibly communicate value?
In order to apply the 7Ps marketing mix, these are some of the questions we need to ask in each component. This will provide the initial framework to effectively execute our marketing mix strategy. While not an exhaustive list, this overview is to help you start using the marketing mix.
The 7Ps marketing mix can help us address additional areas of value. With the three additional Ps, people, process, and physical evidence, we can execute a more comprehensive marketing strategy. With so many variables at our disposal to influence and provide value to customers, it makes sense to use as many as possible. This is why we can use the 7Ps marketing mix to provide more value to customers.