What it is:
A marketing mix is a combination of tactics a company uses to promote itself or its products. Its origins date back to the 1960s.
How it works (Example):
A marketing mix is typically made up of "the four Ps": price, product, promotion, and place. It may also include packaging, positioning, people, or other factors. For example, if a company is providing a service rather than a product, there may be three additional P's to consider: physical environment, process, and people.
Price refers to how much the product is worth. This is a factor of production costs, competition, consumer demographics, supply chain, and pricing strategy.
Product refers to the item or service for sale. It is a factor of performance, features, design, competition, and production issues.
Place refers to where the product is sold. This is often a factor of Internet web site listings, shelf placement, signage, retail or wholesale channels, distribution, and geography.
Promotion refers to the work companies do to make people aware of the product or service. That might mean advertising, media coverage, contests, word-of-mouth, direct marketing, social media campaigns, or other efforts.
Physical environment refers to the service's evidence in the market -- either through a physical storefront presence or space in the minds of consumers.
Process refers to the system under which a company provides a service, collects payment for it, and pays expenses associated with it.
People refers to the individuals tasked with supporting the product, either as service providers, customer service, marketers, or in other capacities.
Cost, consumer wants and needs, communication and convenience are sometimes considered part of the marketing mix.
Why it Matters:
The marketing mix is essentially a plan for selling a product or brand, though some argue that it largely focuses on consumer products and services rather than industrial products and services. Nonetheless, the marketing mix allows companies to evaluate the feasibility and role of a product or service in the marketplace, find a way to distribute it well, price it right, and promote it effectively.