23 Jul

What Is A Marketing Mix And Do You Have One?

Published in: Blog
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What Is A Marketing Mix And Do You Have One? nychandsontech.com

Marketing mix is a word that I heard for over a decade while I worked in the television advertising world.  I even heard it when I became the Director of Media and Client Services at an internet start-up that was a lead generation organization.  I was charged with finding the right marketing mix for our clients.  Somedays that meant that we spent a lot of money on the name 'brands' and others it meant padding the plan with the lesser known but more niche oriented selections.  It was a balancing act that required a deft touch, attention to detail and the ability to negotiate and re-negotiate so that your client got what they paid for, your company turned a profit and the vendor walked away feeling like they won the negotiation.  Some days you won, some days you lost but in the end your marketing mix was what mattered most.

What is a marketing mix?  

In the simplest terms it is a combination of expensive and less profitable, break even and cheap but very profitable choices that are combined to hit the goals of the client.  The client doesn't care about your profit but your managers do so they will review your plan and make sure that the marketing mix works for the bottom line.  Once that has been approved it is a matter of negotiating with your vendors and sometimes those negotiations don't go according to plan so you end up revising your marketing mix, and a lot of times more than once.

What does this have to do with social media marketing?  Well it is quite simple.  We all know about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, G+, Vine, and YouTube.  But what about the social media platforms that are out there that cater to a particular facet of life.  These are your niche sites.  How about those social media platforms that have yet to be created?  Could they become the next Facebook?  Would they be a niche platform?  You and I don't know but you have to understand that it is coming and when that day comes your marketing mix is going to get thrown for a loop.  Planning is the key to a successful marketing mix execution so staying on top of breaking news and then reviewing, analyzing and testing platforms before putting them into the plan is going to be key.

The big platforms are what the television advertising world would refer to as the broadcast networks such as ABC, NBC and CBS.  These aren't glamorous.  They don't have the toe the line shows.  They have some failures and some successes but you need them in your marketing mix.  Why?  They bring all the eyeballs even if they are expensive.  Let's take the Super Bowl.  This is broadcast on a free network and routinely ranks as one of the top shows on TV year in and year out.  What does it cost to air a commercial during the Super Bowl?  Well that depends on when you want it to reach the public.  For example a pre-game commercial that is 3 hours before the game will cost less than one that is just before kick-off.  That kick-off commercial is going to cost less than the half-time ad.  Either way the commercial is going to be expensive but you need it in your marketing mix because no matter how many commercials you run on the Military Channel it will never reach the amount of people that the Super Bowl does.

Speaking of the Military Channel, this is where we get into discussions of niche cable networks.  These cable networks are cost efficient and can bring some eyeballs to the brand but what they really produce is frequency.  In order for cable networks to lure brands into spending money with them they have to guarantee viewers.  To do this they will air commercials in the first showing and then continue to air them in the repeats that you see on cable channels.  Ever watch the Food Network and see the same Diners, Drive-In and Dives REPEATEDLY?  Well this is because cable channels cannot afford to continue to produce first run shows and so they re-broadcast olders shows and it is in these shows that they continue to air the brands commercial.  These spots are 'free' but the first air is a paid spot.  When all is said and done the cost is smaller than the broadcast networks but the viewers is as well.  In social media marketing these are your niche sites.  Maybe you are marketing your brand in a forum on a triathlete site or on and Indian cooking site.  Low cost to entry but the number of people that see it is also small. Simultaneously you need it because those sites are where your target market is sure to be.

In television advertising there is a segment called syndication.  This is where you see repeats on channels like TBS, TNT, WB and Fox.  These shows first aired in primetime. The shows lasted long enough to go into syndication and the producer of the show is able to re-sell commercials in these shows.  You put them into your marketing mix because even though they aren't generating the eyeballs that they did in prime time people still watch them.  Don't tell me you don't stop what you are doing to watch a Seinfeld repeat or a Simpsons repeat even though you have seen it a few times.  There is a reason brands use these syndicated shows and it is because the cost can be efficient and the eyeballs are enough to warrant the spend but also because they air at times when people are likely to see them. Pre-dinner hours of 4-6pm and post Primetime hours or 9-11pm.  They are efficient and cost effective.  I have yet to see a syndicated social media marketing platform and I'm not sure it would work because why would somebody follow you if all they keep seeing are the same posts to the same networks over and over.  This is where television and social media marketing differentiate.

In social media marketing we want a human being behind the brand.  We want that brand to answer our questions in a prompt manner.  We want original content that is thought provoking.  With television the content is the show and the commercial is the message.  In social media marketing they are combined.

Regardless of whether you have ever put together a television or radio marketing plan if you are in social media marketing get ready to put one together because as technology changes and society becomes more in tuned to what they want and when they want it there is going to be a need for including those niche platforms into your marketing mix.

Do You Have A Marketing Mix For Your Brand Or Your Client's Brand?

Jason Bahamundi

Jason Bahamundi is a marketing specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas.  An MBA graduate from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY with a BS in Marketing from SUNY-Oswego Jason started his career in marketing in the television industry creating marketing plans for Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer, Clorox, Kraft and Darden Restaurants to name a few.

Jason is not only a marketing professional, but also an Ironman triathlete, which is to say that he knows no limits.  Being able to be creative on the fly is one of his assests and has benefited him and his clients along the way.

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