Marketing mix was first time introduced by Neil Borden in his article “The Concept of the Marketing Mix” published in 1964. According to Borden he was inspired by James Culliton, who called the Marketing Manager as “mixer of ingredients”. In Neil’s retrospective article, he combined the ingredients in to the “The four Ps of marketing”. Theses marketing mix 4Ps Include Product, Price, Place and Promotion. These elements are crucial part of marketing plan.
Marketing Mix 4Ps
Product is the first P in the 4Ps of marketing. Product is anything that is offered to a market to satisfy the needs of target customers. The product may be tangible or intangible, organizations and places that aims to satisfy the needs. The marketers must understanding that there are three levels of a product i.e. the core product, the augmented product and the actual product.
You might sell a tangible product for example a mobile device or provide intangible services i.e. law firm. Being a marketer you should answer the questions like what is the unique selling proposition of product, what is the quality of your product, how you understand your target market, what is your actual product (name, packaging, style and parts).
During the Product development process, product mangers make several product decision. These decision directly or indirectly affect other marketing mix variables. For example, a well-known perfume brand Jean Patou launches Joy De Jean Patou of perineum quality. The premium product attribute will affect other variable of the marketing mix i.e. pricing decisions, placement and promotion as well. The basic understanding of your product help you to take related mix decisions.
Price is the amount a customer will pay if he want to obtain the product or service. Once you understand and develop a product for the target group of customer the next step is to make pricing decisions. Since pricing is important element of marketing mix it can be affected by overall marketing strategy, advertising campaigns, profit margins, and product supply and demand in the market. If any of these variables alter, then product pricing decision will also change accordingly.
The product perceived value by customers is another consideration when price a product. Keep a bird eye view on your customer, how they see your product in the market and set price accordingly will be a great success.
Other considerations that can affect your pricing decisions include your competitor price, targeting, and positioning and value chains. Keep in mind the above details, there are different pricing strategies which can be adopted when pricing a product.
Placement is known as distribution channels. Marketing Mix Place comprises all those activities to make the product available to target group of customers. Placement strategy allow companies to analyze what is the best suitable channel for a product. Consumer products will need a wide distribution, premium products on the other hand will need selective distribution channels. Today websites and other online platforms are suitable places for products and services to convert potential customers into actual customers.
In the overall marketing mix, promoting a product is a challenging task for marketers. Marketers try to find out the most relevant mediums to share product information and build brand awareness in the mind to consumers.
The promotion comprises different activities like ATL Marketing i.e. Television, Radio, Newspapers BTL marketing i.e. Email, social media, telemarketing and door to door advertising. Other activities include sales promotion and public relations. These activities are known as the integrated marketing communication.
Buzz and word of mouth marketing strategies are considered informal communication. It tells your customers the main benefits of product and how it can satisfy their needs. Basic understating of time factor is very important because promoting a product or service at the right time can boost up your revenue stream. Always look at your competitors’ promotional strategy as well.
Using Marketing Mix 4Ps
The 4ps of marking is a useful tool that let you introduce new products in the market place. The 4ps model define and analyze the new or existing brands and products to optimize your marketing mix strategy. Following are a series of questions managers should answer during this process.
- What type of products and services you are offering in the market or what is your product unique selling proposition
- Looking at your competitors mix strategy. What are their marketing mix decisions (product price place and promotion) and how their products are perceive in the market. Always try to differentiate your products and services that of competitors.
- Who are your customers and what they want. What is the perceived value of your products in consumers’ mind? It will help to take accurate decisions about elements of marketing mix.
- Where your potential customers are making a purchase of your products and services.
- This is not a one time activity, keep asking question on regular basis and make changes until you are satisfied from your marketing mix.
The 4Ps of marketing mix is well known models that play a vital role in the overall business strategy in terms of product, price, promotion and place (distribution). Your company marketing mix has a great influence on segmentation target and positioning of your products and brands.
In the above marketing tutorial we have discussed the 4Ps of marketing that only cover the product mix. In case you are service provider then 3 more Ps will be added to this model i.e. people, physical evidence and process also known as services marketing mix.