Marketing Contexts

Marketing in Different Organizational Contexts

The marketing mix and the services marketing mix should be adapted for different organizational and business contexts. The examples below consider the contexts of FMCG, B2B, services marketing, voluntary and not-for-profit marketing and online marketing. Try to think of your own examples for each business context.

Service Organization

Service organizations are more likely to use the services marketing mix, which is also known as the 7Ps of marketing. So let’s consider a well-known service organization and evaluate how it adapts and modifies the marketing mix. For this example let’s look at Bupa which provide healthcare such as hospital care, health insurance, health assessments, care homes, dental care and other health services. Bupa also has some B2B services to businesses.

  • Bupa’s products are all private sector health related services.
  • Pricing is relatively expensive in comparison with the public sector which tends to be subsidised through taxation in many countries, for example Spain.
  • The services are delivered through healthcare professionals and privately owned hospitals and dental surgeries. Obviously place/distribution depends on which service you are consuming and where you are.
  • Bupa invests large sums in marketing communications in order to attract business from a number of profitable segments. So the business would use TV advertising, newspaper advertising and direct mail campaigns amongst others.
  • The process begins when you first have a health assessment and might end if you are unfortunate enough to need to use your healthcare insurance.
  • People would include the individuals that manage your healthcare as well as those that actually deliver the service such as nurses, dentists and doctors.
  • Physical evidence is the building in which the healthcare is delivered.

Voluntary and not-for-profit organizations

Voluntary and not-profit-organizations also apply the marketing mix in a slightly different way. Volunteering might include helping to clear land the good of the whole community or visiting elderly people in your area to care for them. Not-for-profit organizations will often run on donations or government funding, since they are not free but instead aim to breakeven. Examples include charities and local voluntary groups. For this example let’s consider the Olympic movement. Okay the Olympics is well-known for attracting huge investment from brands for sponsorship. However the Olympics depends on volunteers for many of its activities including media, editorial and press relations, international relations and all of the activities that go on at competition venues and Olympic villages – from laundry to restaurants.

  • The product would be the service that is provided free of charge by each individual.
  • The price would be the value to the person volunteering after having done some good for the wider community.
  • The place would be the location where the volunteering was delivered such as at an event at the Olympic village.
  • Promotion would be how the individual actually registered interest to volunteer (and in the case of London 2012 this was by Internet), although the Olympic movement is a huge exploiter of the public relations machine, as well as other media.
  • The people are the volunteers, the athletes and the public.
  • The process would be how the volunteer was recruited, trained and their experience of volunteering. Would they do it again?
  • The physical evidence is represented by the venues themselves and the city in which the games are located.
  • Online Businesses

    Finally let’s look at how an online business would adapt the marketing mix for its own target market. In fact as you are more than aware there are very many diverse online businesses, and they themselves cross between the various organizational types from voluntary organizations to FMCG companies as we have considered above. The post-dot-com era has seen many new types of businesses such as the auction site eBay and online retailer Amazon. There will also be emerging social media businesses and time will tell as to the level and nature of their success – if any.

    The example we will look at here is the online business ASOS which is a very successful online clothing and fashion retailer.

    • Their products are the latest fashions as seen on screen! They market a very wide range of products including sunglasses, men’s and women’s clothes, and footwear.
    • Pricing is comparatively reasonable in relation to competitors. The company markets products similar but not the same as much higher priced branded fashion.
    • The goods are sold online.
    • Much of ASOS’s original marketing was done online, although more recently the other elements of the marketing communications mix have been used.

    These are all examples of how the marketing mix can be adapted to suit different marketing contexts and business sectors.


    FMCG stands for Fast moving Consumer goods. Examples of FMCG products would include chocolate bars, toothpaste, newspapers, razors and similar items. In essence these are products that are regularly bought by consumers – hence fast moving. There is little in the way of a buyer decision process once a person is brand loyal, and decisions tend not to be made by teams or Decision-making Units (DMUs). Here’s an example of how the marketing mix is applied and adapted to FMCG products.

    Wrigley’s chewing gum is an example of an FMCG product.

    • The product has a number of varieties for example spearmint and peppermint.
    • It is priced at a relatively low amount to ensure that the product can be regularly consumed as a day to day item.
    • The chewing gum is sold in a wide variety of retail outlets including supermarkets, local stores, vending machines, petrol stations and others.
    • The branding is developed and its marketing communications mix applies many tools for example sales promotion and television advertising.

    B2B Organization

    A business-to-business organization is one which markets to organizations and companies rather to consumers. An example of a B2B organization is Oracle, the owner of Sun Microsystems.

    Oracle provides databases, middleware, applications, and server and storage systems for many large organizations. Their slogan is ‘Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together.’ In this instance Oracle also use the marketing mix, but in a different way to Wrigley’s chewing gum.

    • There are many products and core lines which are sold off the shelf or more likely they are adapted the needs of particular businesses that Oracle deals with. Oracle tailors its products to the individual needs of its business customers.
    • Pricing tends to be premium or skimming since there is a lot of added value through service and solutions.
    • Oracle’s products are marketed directly to large organizations or via a series of selected partners whom are able to deliver the same customer experience.
    • Oracle’s uses similar marketing communications channels as Wrigley’s, although it is more likely to employ relations sponsorship to maintain Oracle’s brand profile.