Introduction to The Marketing Mix
In this lesson, you will learn about the marketing mix and how the 4 Ps help in determining a company’s marketing mix programme.
The marketing mix definition is simple. It is about putting the right product in the right place, at the right time, and at the right price.
The marketing mix and the 4Ps of marketing are often used as synonyms for each other. However, they are not necessarily the same thing.
“Marketing Mix” is a general phrase used to describe the different kinds of choices organizations have to make in the whole process of bringing a product or service to market.
The 4Ps is one way – probably the best-known way – of defining the marketing mix, and was first expressed in 1960.
The 4 Ps of Marketing
The task of marketers is to discover accurately what their targeted customers want and then to develop appropriate market offerings by effective applications of the marketing mix.
The difficult part is doing this well, as you need to know every aspect of your business plan.
Marketing decisions generally fall into the following four controllable categories:
A product is an item that is built or produced to satisfy the needs of a certain group of people. The product can be tangible or intangible as it can be in the form of a good or service.
You must ensure to have the right type of product that is in demand for your market. So during the product development phase, the marketer must do extensive research on the life cycle of the product that they are creating.
It is essential that marketers create the right product mix – it may be wise to expand your current product mix by diversifying and increasing the depth of your product line.
In developing the right product, you need to answer the following questions:
• What does the customer want from the product/service?
• How will the customer use it?
• Are there any necessary features that you missed out?
• What’s the name of the product? Does it have a catchy name?
• What are the sizes or colors available?
• What does the product look like?
• How is the product different from the products of your competitors?
The price of a product is basically the amount that a customer pays to enjoy it. Price is a very important component of the marketing mix definition.
It is also an important component of a marketing plan as it determines your firm’s profit and survival. Adjusting the price of the product has a big impact on the entire marketing strategy as well as greatly affecting the sales and demand of the product.
If a company is new to the market and has not made a name for themselves yet, it is unlikely that your target market will be willing to pay a high price. Although they may be willing to pay more in the future, it is inevitably harder to get them to do so during the birth of a business.
Here are some of the important questions that you should ask yourself when you are setting a product’s price:
• How much did it cost you to produce the product?
• What is the customers’ perceived product value?
• Do you think that a slight price decrease could significantly increase your market share?
• Can the current price of the product keep up with the price of the product’s competitors?
Placement or distribution is another important part of the mix. You have to position and distribute the product in a place that is accessible to potential buyers.
This comes with a deep understanding of your target market. Understand them inside out and you will discover the most efficient positioning and distribution channels that directly speak with your market.
There are many distribution strategies which we will cover in-depth later.
Here are some of the questions that you should answer in developing your distribution strategy:
• Where do your clients look for your service or product?
• What kind of stores do potential clients go to?
• How do you access the different distribution channels?
• How is your distribution strategy different from your competitors?
• Do you need a strong sales force?
• Do you need to sell online?
Promotion can boost brand recognition and sales. It is comprised of various elements like:
• Sales Organization
• Public Relations
• Sales Promotion
Your combination of promotional strategies and how you go about promotion will depend on your budget, the message you want to communicate, and the target market you have defined.
In creating an effective product promotion strategy, you need to answer the following questions:
• How can you send marketing messages to your potential buyers?
• When is the best time to promote your product?
• Will you reach your potential audience and buyers through ads?
• Is it best to use social media in promoting the product?
• What is the promotion strategy of your competitors?
Adapting Your Marketing Mix
Marketing managers must decide how to adapt their marketing strategy to local conditions. At one extreme is a globally standardized marketing mix worldwide. Standardization of the product or service, communication, and distribution channels promises the lowest costs.
At the other extreme is an adapted marketing mix, where the producer or service provider holds that consumer needs vary and tailors marketing mix programmes to each target group.
Glocal marketing (characterized by both local and global considerations) recognizes that there needs to be a balance between local and global marketing activities. In other words, glocal consumer segments are where consumers seek products and services of a global quality but which reflect local lifestyles.
Although many companies have tried to launch their version of a world product/service, most products/services require at least some adaptation as consumer behavior can differ dramatically across markets.
For example, Coca Cola is sweeter or less carbonated in certain countries.
The table below summarizes some pros and cons of standardizing versus glocalisation of the marketing mix.
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