The term marketing mix is everything a marketing term should be: relevant, enduring and memorable. Neil Borden, then-president of the American Marketing Association, coined the phrase back in 1953 after hearing an associate describe the role of marketing manager as a “mixer of ingredients: one who sometimes follows recipes prepared by others, sometimes prepares his own recipe as he goes along, sometimes adapts a recipe from immediately available ingredients, and at other times invents new ingredients no one else has tried.”
Throughout the years, marketing-mix thinking has evolved. McCarthy introduced the four Ps of price, product, promotion and place, then Lauterborn proposed the four Cs of consumer wants and needs, cost, communication and convenience. More recently, Oglivy & Mather offered up the four Es of experience, everyplace, exchange and evangelism and Al Ries suggested the four Ms of merchandise, market, media and message.
These checklists are useful and certainly can be helpful in developing an effective marketing mix. But we should not forget the original definition of the term marketing mix, which is as valid as ever. At its essence, it is about choosing the right ingredients, using those ingredients to create recipes that satisfy, and tweaking the approach as tastes and appetites change.
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