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Long live the marketing mix. Testing the effectiveness of the commercial marketing mix in a social marketing context

Ville Lahtinen (Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Timo Dietrich (Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Sharyn Rundle-Thiele (Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 22 September 2020

Issue publication date: 1 October 2020

17250

Abstract

Purpose

The marketing mix has been extensively criticised by scholars and practitioners, which has led marketing scholars to redefine the original 4P concept, expand the 4Ps with additional Ps and develop new concepts to replace the marketing mix. However, there is very limited empirical testing assessing the effectiveness of the original marketing mix (4Ps).

Design/methodology/approach

This research applies a field experiment to assess whether the application of a full marketing mix (4P) is more effective than a promotion only campaign (1P) when aiming to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) intake of 6–13-year-old Finnish children. A total of 15 schools were randomly assigned to 4P, 1P and control settings. Data was collected from schoolchildren using the Day in the Life Questionnaire.

Findings

A repeated measures analysis involving 1,076 children demonstrated that a full application of the marketing mix (4P) is more effective than a promotion only (1P) campaign in increasing FV intake within children.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first empirical test of the effectiveness of the commercial marketing mix against a promotion only strategy in social marketing.

Keywords

Citation

Lahtinen, V., Dietrich, T. and Rundle-Thiele, S. (2020), "Long live the marketing mix. Testing the effectiveness of the commercial marketing mix in a social marketing context", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 357-375. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-10-2018-0122

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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