Marketing mix


The marketing mix

The marketing mix is one of the most famous marketing terms. The marketing mix is the tactical or operational part of a marketing plan. The marketing mix is also called the 4Ps and the 7Ps. The 4Ps are price, place, product and promotion. The services marketing mix is also called the 7Ps and includes the addition of process, people and physical evidence.

The marketing mix is . . . 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.

Kotler and Armstrong (2010).

The concept is simple. Think about another common mix – a cake mix. All cakes contain eggs, milk, flour, and sugar. However, you can alter the final cake by altering the amounts of mix elements contained in it. So for a sweet cake add more sugar!

It is the same with the marketing mix. The offer you make to your customer can be altered by varying the mix elements. So for a high profile brand, increase the focus on promotion and desensitize the weight given to price.

Another way to think about the marketing mix is to use the image of an artist’s palette. The marketer mixes the prime colours (mix elements) in different quantities to deliver a particular final colour. Every hand painted picture is original in some way, as is every marketing mix. Let’s look at the elements of the marketing mix in more detail. Click on the links to go to the lesson on each element.

Price

Price is the amount the consumer must exchange to receive the offering .

Solomon et al (2009).

The company’s goal in terms of price is really to reduce costs through improving manufacturing and efficiency, and most importantly the marketer needs to increase the perceived value of the benefits of its products and services to the buyer or consumer.
There are many ways to price a product. Let’s have a look at some of them and try to understand the best policy/strategy in various
situations.

Place

Place includes company activities that make the product available to target consumers.

Kotler and Armstrong (2010).

Place is also known as channel, distribution, or intermediary. It is the mechanism through which goods and/or services are moved from the manufacturer/ service provider to the user or consumer.

 

Marketing Mix
The Marketing Mix

 

Product

Product means the goods-and-services combination the company offers to the target market.

Kotler and Armstrong (2010).

For many a product is simply the tangible, physical item that we buy or sell. You can also think of the product as intangible i.e. a service.

In order to actively explore the nature of a product further, let’s consider it as three different products – the CORE product, the ACTUAL product, and finally the AUGMENTED product.

The Product Life Cycle (PLC) is based upon the biological life cycle. For example, a seed is planted (introduction); it begins to sprout (growth); it shoots out leaves and puts down roots as it becomes an adult (maturity); after a long period as an adult the plant begins to shrink and die out (decline).

The Customer Life Cycle (CLC) has obvious similarities with the Product Life Cycle (PLC). However, CLC focuses upon the creation and delivery of lifetime value to the customer i.e. looks at the products or services that customers NEED throughout their lives.

Promotion

Promotion includes all of the activities marketers undertake to inform consumers about their products and to encourage potential customers to buy these products.

Solomon et al (2009).

Promotion includes all of the tools available to the marketer for marketing communication. As with Neil H. Borden’s marketing mix, marketing communications has its own promotions mix. Whilst there is no absolute agreement on the specific content of a marketing communications mix, there are many promotions elements that are often included such as sales, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, online communications and personal selling.

Physical Evidence

(Physical evidence is) . . . 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.

Zeithaml et al (2008)

Physical Evidence is the material part of a service. Strictly speaking there are no physical attributes to a service, so a consumer tends to rely on material cues. There are many examples of physical evidence, including some of the following buildings, equipment, signs and logos, annual accounts and business reports, brochures, your website, and even your business cards.

People

(People are) . . . All human actors who play a part in service delivery and thus influence the buyers’ perceptions; namely, the firm’s personnel, the customer, and other customers in the service environment.

Zeithaml et al (2008).

People are the most important element of any service or experience. Services tend to be produced and consumed at the same moment, and aspects of the customer experience are altered to meet the individual needs of the person consuming it.

Process

Process is) . . . The actual procedures, mechanisms, and flow of activities by which the service is delivered – this service delivery and operating systems.

Zeithaml et al (2008).

There are a number of perceptions of the concept of process within the business and marketing literature. Some see processes as a means to achieve an outcome, for example – to achieve a 30% market share a company implements a marketing planning process. However in reality it is more about the customer interface between the business and consumer and how they deal with each other in a series of steps in stages, i.e. throughout the process.

PEST Analysis

PEST Analysis

What is PEST Analysis?

It is very important that an organization considers its environment before beginning the marketing process. In fact, environmental analysis should be continuous and feed all aspects of planning.

Political Factors.

The political environment revolves around the current government in a particular country in which we manufacture or trade, and also laws/legislation operate within your home market as well as overseas. If your government is socialist then perhaps there is a policy to tax more and to invest in the public sector. On the other hand if you have a more conservative or Republican government then the free-market is left to take control, taxation is less and there is often a smaller public sector.

The political arena has a huge influence upon the regulation of businesses, and the spending power of consumers and other businesses. You must consider issues such as:

1.How stable is the political environment?

2.Will government policy influence laws that regulate or tax your business?

3.What is the government’s position on marketing ethics?

4. What is the government’s policy on the economy?

5. Does the government have a view on culture and religion?

6. Is the government involved in trading agreements such as EU, NAFTA, ASEAN, or others?

Economic Factors.

The economic environment is a direct influence on all businesses. Obviously if you are studying marketing there is a huge element of economics within the topic itself, and you should be no stranger to the principles of economics. As we saw from our lesson on the marketing environment there is a macroenvironment, and internal environment and the microenvironment.

More specifically you’ll be at looking elements such as where a business is in terms of the current business cycle, and whether or not you are trading in a recession.

Marketers need to consider the state of a trading economy in the short and long-terms. This is especially true when planning for international marketing. You need to look at:

1. Interest rates.

2. The level of inflation Employment level per capita.

3. Long-term prospects for the economy Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, and so on.

PEST Analysis

Sociocultural Factors.

The sociocultural environment embodies everything which is social and cultural within a nation or society. There are plenty of examples of society and culture on the marketing teacher website, so we recommend that you go to our lesson store and look through some of the consumer behaviour pages. Some notable examples would include the influence of learning, memory, emotion and perception, motivation, lifestyle and attitude and consumer culture. Have a look at the six living generations in America, social environment and class, the impact of your birth order on how you behave as a consumer and take a look at the eight types of online shoppers.

In a more general sense consider influences such as the increase in life expectation of Western consumers, and demographics which is the study of populations.

The social and cultural influences on business vary from country to country. It is very important that such factors are considered. Factors include:

1.What is the dominant religion?

2.What are attitudes to foreign products and services?

3.Does language impact upon the diffusion of products onto markets?

4.How much time do consumers have for leisure?

5.What are the roles of men and women within society?

6.How long are the population living? Are the older generations wealthy?

7.Do the population have a strong/weak opinion on green issues?

Technological Factors.

Technological

Technological factors are a multifaceted influencer. Let’s just think about the sorts of technology that you come in touch with almost daily. Smart phones such as Android and iPhone are now common – all – garden, and we are used to being able to access information and communication technology instantly no matter where we are. During studies or at work we have access to information on quick PCs and over the Internet, with faster broadband connections arriving in many parts of the world.

Technology also surrounds business processes. As we saw from our lesson on the functions within an organisation all departments use information technology or technology in one form or another. Our manufacturing operations will use technology to produce goods and services. Our logistics and warehousing functions use forklifts and lorries as well as order tracking technology and software. The customer service department will use communication technology to talk to customers but will also have access to internal systems, such as technology to simplify credit control and stock control for example. There are many, many more examples of technology.

Technology is vital for competitive advantage, and is a major driver of globalization. Consider the following points:

1. Does technology allow for products and services to be made more cheaply and to a better standard of quality?

2.Do the technologies offer consumers and businesses more innovative products and services such as Internet banking, new generation mobile telephones, etc?

3.How is distribution changed by new technologies e.g. books via the Internet, flight tickets, auctions, etc?

4.Does technology offer companies a new way to communicate with consumers e.g. banners, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), etc?

The organization’s marketing environment is made up of:

  • 1. The internal environment e.g. staff (or internal customers), office technology, wages and finance, etc.
  • 2. The micro-environment e.g. our external customers, agents and distributors, suppliers, our competitors, etc.
  • 3. The macro-environment e.g. Political (and legal) forces, Economic forces, Sociocultural forces, and Technological forces. These are known as PEST factors.