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Be a Marketing Mixologist

Many people are aware of the term “mixologist”.  Some people mistakenly think  it’s a synonym for “bartender”.  Not so!  A true mixologist is a bartender who tinkers and plays with the various elixers at their disposal to come up with the next Alabama Slammer, Sex On The Beach or Singapore Sling.

In a tight economy such as this, no – forget that – in ANY economy, business owners and marketing professionals need to become Marketing Mixologists.

Traditionally the Marketing Mix has consisted of the four P’sProduct (what are you selling), Price (how much are you selling it for), Place (where are you selling it) and Promotion (how are you telling people about it).  OK, so I’ve over simplified the definitions of the four P’s a little, but you get the point.  With that basic understanding of what a marketing mix is you can now start to tinker.

Some of the four P’s have more room to tinker than others.  For example, there may be a very limited number of things you can change about your particular widget to make it better or more competitive.  But the point is have you done everything you possibly can, looked at it from every angle, understood how you match up to your competitor down to the smallest detail.  Is there something about your product or service that you can tinker with to give yourself a competitive advantage?

Similarly, what can you look at from a price perspective?  And be careful here, I’m not just talking about lowering your price or cutting your margin.  Yes, that is certainly one solution to examine, but maybe there are other options.  If your widget or service is quite frankly the best widget or service in town why not charge a premium price?  Sometimes coming in at a higher price can set you apart from the muck of all the bottom feeders who have an inferior product or service.  You certainly make your messaging more challenging because you have to spend time explaining why you’re so much better, but it can be done.  Case in point…BOSE!

Place is another of the four P’s that has less tinkering room than the others.  But that doesn’t mean there’s no room to tweak things either.  For example, would it be more cost effective to regionalize your distribution rather than have it centralized?  Or vice versa?  Or maybe you can do like Walmart does and reduce your warehouse needs through more efficient “just in time” delivery methods.  Again, look at it from every angle to see if there are things you can tweak.

Finally, you have promotion.  Here’s your most stocked side of the marketing bar.  The promotion channels you have at your disposal are vast and diverse.  And make no mistake, I’m not just talking about the different ways you can advertise, I’m talking about all the ways you can communicate your message to your target audience.  Advertising just so happens to be one of those ways.  Beyond advertising you have event marketing, all of your sales and marketing collateral, the way you answer your phones, how your sales and support staff dresses when they’re out in the field, what your invoices look like, the interactivity of your website, and on and on and on.  Now start thinking about the combinations of all of those things that you should be considering and your head might just pop right off.

Hopefully you can understand that marketing is not just throwing an ad in the paper.  It is a science.  And if you don’t do it right you might just take a swig of that tequila/rum/lemonade/cherry juice concoction you just made and burn more that just your throat when it goes down!

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