This Week in the News: Marketing Mix

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Copyright: stuartphoto / 123RF Stock Photo

In this week’s edition of the news, we’re talking about the marketing mix — you know, that old staple of marketing often called the 4 P’s. Earlier this week, I posted an article on why the 4 P’s are still essential in today’s tech-charged world. Be sure to check that out as well.

Let’s start with this one from the Huffington Post:

Earned Media More Essential Than Ever in Today’s Marketing Mix

By Jennifer Risi

Based on a survey conducted by her employer, Oglivy, Jennifer finds traditional media the most trusted source of news for journalists, while social media may be the most frequently used.

The rise of social media gets most attention today, but the survey gave credence to old-fashioned newspaper and wire services, such as AP and Reuters. When asked where they primarily obtain their news, social media was the most common answer (35%), beating out newspapers (33%), newswires (12%), and TV and radio (11%). But when it came to questions of trustworthiness and influence in driving purchasing decisions and business outcomes, traditional media ranked number one.

Jennifer refers to a different kind of marketing mix — the blend of owned media, paid media, and earned media. Owned media are your own social media sites — things like your website and pages on social platforms. Paid media refers to advertising, whether online or off. Earned media refers to mentions you earned organically through recommendation, PR campaigns, and behaviors like sponsoring events.

In measuring the influence of each of these forms of media, the superiority of earned media for both lending credibility and motivating consumers is evident in the survey finds and supported by a study by Nielsen.

Again, from Jennifer:

The power of earned media for the strategic communication of a brand’s key messages should not be underestimated, as it lends brands the third-party credibility and validation today’s savvy consumer seeks out prior to making purchasing decisions.

Social media is part of my marketing mix

By Victor Sachs

On the FT Advisor blog, Victor makes a case for including social media within the marketing mix.

While Victor is a financial advisor, his recommendations hit the mark for many small businesses considering jumping into the social media (or digital marketing) arena.

As part of my marketing mix, I do value social media. It is quick, simple and very cost-effective and by typing a hashtag plus a key word (for example, #autoenrolment) you can see all messages about that subject and join in the discussion.

Integrating Your Marketing Mix

By Michelle Kabele

I ran across this article on Ezine articles (after stumbling upon a website that copied her article, which is really bad form, illegal and kills your site).

Michelle says:

Think of your marketing calendar like that big box of grill parts. You have all these areas of “marketing” that you want to explore: special events, print advertising, direct mail campaigns, website promotions, e-mail blasts, and maybe even some trade show attendance or display booth. Separately, each component may drive sales, but when linked together, they deliver a knock-out punch. Let’s say you want to drive more sales through your website. You’ll need to combine a traditional tool, like direct mail, to hit those people who aren’t actively surfing Use the piece to drive them to your website, where you have a targeted landing page that hits their nerve center and solves their problems. If you rely solely on your website to draw traffic on its own, you’re missing those other leads that could have been grabbed through an integrated approach!

So, again, we have a different definition of the marketing mix — amazing how many folks don’t know the true definition of the marketing mix. If they did, they’d make a different argument as to why their version of the marketing mix is superior to the existing 4 P’s version.

Despite this, her argument holds water — and is great advice for marketers.

You need a variety approach to marketing and a variety of different media to share your message. Integrating across these various media is a critical element in achieving marketing goals. That said, social media is fundamentally within the promotion aspect of the marketing mix — unless you’re doing more listening than talking and uncovering unmet consumer needs to guide innovation.

She also gives great advice in terms of using a marketing calendar to ensure integration across marketing (promotional) activities:

A marketing calendar allows you to map out your basic monthly marketing programs and guides you on a path of focus. Creating structure is key to your success. By writing down all your individual goals for each month in one place (by using a dry erase board or pencil and eraser), you can tweak and fine tune the plan while it’s in motion – applauding and repeating the programs that are successful and re-adjusting or removing those that aren’t.

Michelle makes the case for using analytics to track success (and failure), which I applaud. Too often, businesses forget the importance of monitoring performance as a tool for reaching goals.

Live experiences are driving marketing spend

By Brea Carter

I included this piece not because it really understood the implications of the marketing mix, but because it covers an often overlooked element of the promotional mix — live events. (Plus, it’s another example of an article ripped off by other sites).

Live events are hard whether you’re talking about virtual events (like webinars, conferences, and podcasts) or real life events (like concerts, parties, and conferences). Time consuming to plan, challenging to pull off, and expensive, live events have a huge impact on your marketing.

James Hunt, managing director of GMR marketing says:

The volume of people that live experiences reach versus other channels such as TV advertising has previously been a concern for some brands. However, the authenticity of live experiences really resonates with the modern consumer. By leveraging the rich and often personalised content generated at events, they are more willing to engage, share and advocate brands within their personal networks.

While, Paul Saville of Wasserman Experiences highlights the impact of events on millennials who are more experiential consumers than past generations:

Gone are the days of mere awareness raising; today, building brand advocacy with the millennial demographic, which values experience above all else is a common agenda for brand owners, and experiential hits that sweet spot.

Personally, I feel there’s an over-emphasis on content (video, text, images, etc) and not enough emphasis on events — especially events with a purpose — but that’s just me. I try to suggest events to my clients, but often run up against budget constraints and the inability to accurately track the ROI of events.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on using events as part of your promotional mix.

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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media.