The marketing mix is an important and well-known marketing concept. The marketing mix covers the tactical part of any marketing plan. This concept is also called 4Ps and 7Ps of marketing. The 4Ps are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. On the other hand, 7Ps are 3 additional Ps processes, People and Physical evidence known as service marketing mix.
Every marketing professional should understand the concept, if don’t, can miss the important ingredients that affect the marketing plan.
The concept of marketing 4ps was created by Jerome McCarthy in 1960. E. J McCarthy marketing mix is the most widely accepted framework in decision-making process. The 4Ps model gives organizations different choices to bring their product or service to the market.
Definition of Marketing Mix
The set of controllable tactical marketing tools – product, price, place and promotion – that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market.
Philip Kotler and Gray Armstrong, 8th Edition
In the business world knowing a target market is very important for marketing professionals because it gives you an idea of what you really want. But if you don’t, it can keep you away from your goals.
You can understand this concept by cookies mix. Mostly ingredients of a cookie are butter, sugar, eggs, milk, fruit extract, baking powder and salt. But you can alter the marketing mix elements according to your choice.
The same concept applies to the marketing mix. You can variate the mix elements according to the needs wants to offer to your costumer. For examples some brands focus on product differentiation, some on price and some brands focus on promotion.
Marketing Mix 4 Ps
Here we will discuss each marketing mix element in detail.
Marketing Mix – Product
Product means the goods-services combination the company offers to the target market.
Philip Kotler and Gray Armstrong, 8th Edition
A product is anything that is offered to a market to stratify the wants and needs of a target group of people. The product may be tangible or intangible, services, organizations and places.
You must keep in mind the nature of a product, for example, there are three different types of products – Core product, Actual product and the third one is augmented product.
The product you offer must be in accordance with the demand of the market. It will help the markets to analyze the product development process of PLC in detail.
The Product Life Cycles PLC have certain four phases, for example, introduction phase, growth phase, maturity phase and finally decline phase. You can better compare it with the human life cycle from birth to young to mature and to death. If one product declines the marketers must have other products within different PLC phases to maintain the level of demand for the product.
When marketers develop the right product, they must answer the question, what the customer wants? how and where they will use the product? what product attributes are important? i.e. name, look and product differentiation from competitors etc.
Marketing Mix – Price
Price is the amount of money customers have to pay to obtain the product.
Philip and Armstrong
Price is an important component of marketing mix and marketing plan. It directly affects the firm’s sustainability and profitability. Product price adjustment greatly influences the overall marketing strategy, sale and demand for the product.
A company just started its operation, it is new in the market and has no reputation associated with its products and services, it will be difficult to charge high prices from the target market.
A company product price and cost are interrelated. The company goal is to reduce product cost by embracing technological advancement in manufacturing. Pricing is a source of creating a perception of products and services in the consumers’ minds.
Most of the time, low prices mean inferior goods while high prices mean superior goods in the consumers’ minds as compare to competitors pricing. When a marketer sets product prices, he must consider the perceived value of the product. These are the pricing strategy when setting the prices
- Pricing at premium
- Market penetrating pricing
- Market skimming pricing
- Bundle pricing
- Economy and psychological pricing
Marketing Mix – Place
Place includes company activities that make the product available to target consumers
Principles of Marketing 9th Edition
Place is an integral part of the marketing mix definition. When marketers position and distribute the product must choose a place that is accessible to target customers.
Placement is also known as intermediary or distribution. Placement is a process through which products and services are moved from manufacturers to consumers.
The more you understand the target market the more you will better place your products and services. Another advantage of understanding your target market is to better select positioning and distribution channel that suits your market. For example if your are dealing in consumer products you will opt wide distribution but if you have premium products to distribute, you will need a selective distribution to find the potential customers.
There are 5 distribution strategies
- Direction Distribution
- Indirect Distribution
- Insensitive distribution
- Exclusive distribution
- Selective distribution
Marketing Mix – Promotion
Promotion is a very important component of marketing strategy in terms of increasing sales and brand recognition. A promotion mix means allocation of resources within five primary elements
- Public Relation and Publicity
- Sales Promotion
- Direct Marketing
- Personal Selling
Advertising is a paid communication strategy. This mix is used to create awareness and convey your message to the target market. There are different sources to transmit information like television, radio, newspaper, magazines and journals, outdoor advertising and online advertisement like website, emails etc.
Public relations are mostly not paid communication. PR is marketing planned efforts to establish harmony and understanding between company or public. This strategy includes press releases, social events, conferences etc.
The marketing promotional strategy means making special offers to attract the customer to buy the products and services. Sale promotion consists, contests, prizes, coupons and loyalty programs.
Direct marketing doesn’t involve any distributors and intermediaries. The company directly communicates with customers.
Personal selling is another effective way where the salesperson acts on behalf of the company. Mostly they are well trained and know all the techniques of personal selling.
Service Marketing Mix 7 Ps
The 7 Ps marketing model also service marketing mix is associated with service industry and the extended version of 4 Ps marketing mix Model.
Here we will discuss the extended form of 4Ps that is 7Ps of marketing Model.
Marketing Mix – People
People are the important component of marketing mix definition and related to the service and experience. Service is something that is produced and consumed at the same time.
The company employees are also considered important because they are directly involved in delivering services to target customers. A company must hire the right people and trained them to deliver the outclass services to target customers.
Analyze your target market and find out whether there are enough people who are willing to buy different types of products and services.
when a company have outclassed people, it is the business competitive advantage over its competitors that can influence the company position in the market
Marketing Mix – Process
Process is one of the important elements of 7 Ps of service marketing mix. According to marketing experts, processes are inputs, throughputs and outcomes where value is added to achieve the targets.
The execution of services is greatly influenced by the company systems and processes. The advancement of technology can help companies to in-place processes that minimize the cost of product and service.
Companies deliver value through people, processes and physical evidence, take feedback and alter the services mix if needed. Companies retain customers and offer services to them.
Marketing Mix – Physical Evidence
First, I must say services in marketing are intangible.
“The environment in which the service is delivered and where the firm and customer interact, and any tangible components that facilitate performance or communication of the service”.
In the service market, the physical evidence is important to ensure the service is successfully delivered or not.
The ambient conditions consist of atmosphere, music, climate, mood, sound and smell. All these elements help you to consciously and unconsciously experience the service.
Another example of physical evidence mix is corporate image and branding. When you think for sports, you think of Adidas, Under Armour or Reebok.
When you think of fast food, you think of KFC and Pizza Hut.
Most of the time these brands are market leaders and customers know their presence very well in the marketplace.
4 Cs of Marketing Mix
The 4 Cs of marketing mix is a business tool which was developed by Robert F. Lauterborn in 1990. The 4 Cs model is a consumer-oriented due to its focus on consumers. Following are the components of 4 C’s.
Consumer. In this marketing approach, the company focus is consumer oriented rather than product oriented. The marketers should focus on consumers’ needs and wants to provide high value.
Cost. Cost evaluate the amount of money a customer is willing to exchange for satisfaction. If think about consumer perspective the price becomes the cost.
Convenience. The marketers offer the product should easily be available to the customers and consumers. Convenience means strategically place the product on many sales points.
Communication. It is the last element of 4 Cs marketing mix. While using this approach marketers don’t promote but communicate the value they offer to the customers.
Marketers can use 4Ps, 7Ps or 4Cs of marketing mix and it greatly influences the marketing plan.
Once you familiar with the concept of marketing mix you can not only achieve financial objectives but also customer satisfaction and brand recognition. This approach will lead you to become a good business owner and marketing manager.