An Introduction to Digital Marketing Using the Extended Marketing Mix: Place, Process, People and Physical Evidence.

Digital Marketing- Place Process People & Physical Evidence
This is the last in the series of my ‘introduction to digital marketing’ blogs. It focuses on the place, process, people and physical evidence elements of the extended marketing mix, demonstrating the relevance to the digital marketing domain. The following video explains the detail.

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In traditional terms, the ‘place’ element of the marketing mix refers to the point of storage, purchase and/or distribution of the product. You will no doubt be aware that marketing is not limited to a physical product: services and behaviour changes are also attributed to the marketing process. In this case the place is associated with the location where engagement with the consumer occurs. Taking these factors into consideration, the place element associated within digital marketing can relate to an organisation’s website, social media pages and apps.

The process element relates to engagement, procurement and delivery of the product or service. In digital terms, the ease of navigation through websites, apps or other related platforms becomes key. UX design or ‘user experience design’ is the main driver. I am sure we can all think of examples of sites where we were unable to find what we were looking for or e-commerce platforms where concerns about security exist.

Closely linked to the process is people, they remain an important part of the digital marketing mix: people can enhance the engagement process. Many global brands are now utilising celebrity endorsements on social media platforms to drive sales (the celebrity becomes the ‘people’ element). Within an organisation it is the staff (the ‘people’ element) who engage with the consumers on their social media platforms who have now become key in managing the brand’s reputation: training of these individuals is vital, they need guidance on what they can and shouldn’t say. You can also employ a ‘live chat’ facility on your website, here it is the virtual sales teams (the ‘people’ element) who engage with visitors, providing support, guidance or even ‘up-selling’.

Finally, there is the physical evidence element of the marketing mix. There are many platforms that individuals can use to review feedback or comment on a product or service. Tripadvisor is a good example: it gives potential customers a view of the experiences of others who have visited a given restaurant or hotel. It means brands need to maintain their desired image, it is also (or should be) a good way to monitor quality control.

Hopefully you have seen that the extended marketing mix is highly pertinent to digital marketing. The reality is both digital and traditional marketing are one and the same and should not be separated.

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Dr Alan Shaw is a Senior Lecturer and Marketing consultant focusing on a range of sectors. His main interests are in strategy development, social marketing, digital marketing, advertising, consumer behaviour and marketing application.

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