To effectively market a product or service there are four things you need to get right: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. These four elements are known as the marketing mix or the 4Ps. The four marketing mix elements should be viewed as one unit and structured to support each other; Otherwise a firm's marketing strategy will be confusing and unco-ordinated. This article provides you with a quick introduction to each marketing mix element and provides links for further marketing mix information.
The diagram below shows the four factors which make up the marketing mix; product, price, place and promotion
Marketing Mix Product Strategy
Product is part of the marketing mix because it is the item offered for sale so its features and design need careful consideration. Whether the firm is manufacturing the product or purchasing the product for resale, they need to determine what product features will appeal to their target market. When an organisation is considering introducing a product into a market, they should ask themselves the following questions:
Who is the product aimed at
What benefit will customers expect from it
What will be its advantage over competitor products? Or its unique selling point?
How does the firm plan to Position the product within the market?
The answers to these questions will help a firm design, package and add value to its products. Apple has an excellent marketing mix strategy in particular a very popular product strategy. Their products are carefully built, with well thought out design backed up with their iconic Apple logo.
Price is part of the marketing mix because if you get the price wrong you will not sell your product. There are lots of different pricing strategies but every strategy must cover at least your costs unless the price is being used to attract customers to the business (loss leader pricing). A product is only worth as much as people are prepared to pay for it. The amount your target market are prepared to pay for your products/services depends on product features and the target market's budget. You will also need to consider competitor pricing and factors within your marketing environment. Samsung's marketing mix pricing strategy involves them using a number of different pricing strategies for the different types of products they sell. Samsung sell many different types of phones at different prices, this is called product line strategy and it is a very popular way for Samsung and other firms to use their marketing mix.
Marketing Mix Place Strategy
The Place element of the marketing mix is about where the product is made, where the product is stored and how the product is transported to the customer. The place for each of these things should ensure that the product gets to the right place at the right time without damage or loss. The ideal place will be
Convenient for the customer and the business
Accessible for the customer if it is the place where the product is sold
Low cost or free for the customer if it is the place where the product is sold
A successful product or service means nothing unless the benefit of such a service can be communicated clearly to the target market. Promotion is any activity to raise awareness of a product or to encourage customers to purchase a product. Advertising is a form of promotion but not all promotions are advertisements.
Promotional activities for consumer sales will be different to promotional activities for business to business sales. The following things will influence how a firm chooses to promote its product:
Promotional campaign purpose
The budget for the promotional campaign
Legal rules about what you can promote and how
The target market for the product
The marketing environment in which the firm operates
Retailer Tesco PLC's marketing mix promotional strategy is very varied. They use a combination of above the line advertising supported by campaigns on social media and clever use of YouTube.
The ideal marketing strategy for a firm selling services, includes the traditional marketing mix and three additional elements: people, process and physical evidence. Companies like Virgin Atlantic have a clever service marketing mix strategy. Well trained staff make sure that customers are taken care off so they return to use their services. Click on the attached link to learn more about the 7Ps: Service Marketing Mix
A massive increase in internet sales has changed the way the marketing mix is implemented by firms. Amazon has a fantastic marketing mix strategy online. Varied ranges of products at different prices, quick delivery, and a well funded promotional campaign has made them into one of the largest internet firms. This is because Amazon has a well balanced marketing mix. The following link will take you to an article explaining how the marketing mix can be used for online marketing Marketing Mix and The Internet
Environmental Marketing Mix
An increased focus on environmental issues, has contributed to a rise in the demand for environmentally friendly products and services. The spotlight on sustaining the environment has created new terminology such as “carbon footprint” and “offsetting”. Tesla has been a major disruptor within the car industry. The Tesla electric car aims to turn the car industry upside down. Tesla's marketing mix is all about making sure that all their 4p's consider environmental concerns. This has been the main appeal to the Tesla brand.
Many organisations have adapted their marketing strategies to capitalise on the consumer appetite for Environmentally Friendly Products. Click on this link to read more about how the marketing mix can be used to market environmentally friendly products and services.
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