Marketing managers around the world have been utilizing the “marketing mix” for years. The term was coined in 1949 by Neil Borden, a professor of advertising. E. Jerome McCarthy provided the framework for the marketing mix in 1960 with the 4 P’s model—product, promotion, price and place (distribution). Since then, there have been many variations, including the 7 P’s model, which added three drivers to include physical evidence, people and partners. A founder of Creative Solutions created the 4E’s Model—earn, engage, evolve and energize, which is an adaptation of the 4P’s providing a lifecycle dimension to the marketing mix.
When in doubt, test. This is especially true with direct response products and services as your investment can be self-liquidating. Consumer research, whether primary, secondary or focus groups, is a sunk cost to be recovered by informing a smarter strategy and execution over time. Direct-to-consumer experimental design test costs are reduced by the in-market response. You not only get the benefit of learnings, you subsidize the research costs through collecting revenue from responders. Additionally, traditional research surfaces attitudes, beliefs and intent, while in-market testing captures actual behavior.