A General Discussion
Logic: Marketers have four tools to use to develop an offering to meet the needs of their targeted customers.
Collectively they are called the marketing mix.
Marketing Mix: You may have heard of the "four Ps" of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. Collectively these are called the marketing mix. More comprehensively they are viewed as: • product, service, or program - something of value you are offering the customer, client, or park visitor • price - what the customer, client, or park visitor pays (direct costs are financial, indirect or alternative costs are such things as time it takes and the things people give up if they choose your offering) • place, distribution, location, or accessibility - where the transaction takes place, perhaps in a park • promotion or communication - this is how you inform the target market about the benefits in your marketing mix Collectively these are the tools organizations uses to develop offerings to satisfy their target market(s) ... the only tools at their disposal. Remember: If your marketing mix doesn't meet their needs they will not be satisfied - and if they aren't satisfied you are unlikely to meet your objectives.
The marketing mix should be viewed as an integrated and coordinated package of benefits that reflect the characteristics of customers and various targeted publics and satisfy their needs, wants, and expectations. Note that the elements of the marketing mix should be integrated because each element of the mix usually has some impact, direct or indirect, on the other three. For example, if you improve the product or service you probably have to change the price because it costs more to produce. Although you may not have to change where the product is delivered to the customer, you will almost certainly have to change the promotion or communication with the customer because you need to tell the customer about the changes you have made in the product and how the changes will make it more desirable and satisfying. One problem in many organizations is that different divisions may be responsible for different elements of the marketing mix. This happens even in well managed organizations. The result is that the offering is confusing to the target market. Lack of communication among divisions makes this problem worse. And if they don't share the same view of organizational objectives, the problem is worse still.
Product: The product, service, or program includes both tangible and intangible elements. The tangible, of course, are those things that the customer can see, touch, feel, taste, or smell. The intangible include such things as the image of the offering ... which includes the image of the organization making the offering, the psychological aspects of pricing (high price to many customers is equated with high quality - and vice versa). Price: The price is what the customer pays. It includes direct and indirect costs as well as opportunity costs. The benefits of the product have to be great enough to warrant the price. Price includes all costs associated with the product, service, or program. Place: The place is where the customer receives the product, service, or program. The place of delivery, including all of its resources, is part of what the consumer buys. A place that meets his or her needs better may be worth more. The place may be a park, a visitor center in the park, or an interpretive exhibit along a trail. In setting its strategy, the organization must determine how much the target market is willing to pay for atmosphere and physical resources of place. Promotion:Promotion includes all forms of communication you use to communicate the benefits of your offering to the target market(s). The objective is to persuade the customer in such a way that he or she recognizes that your offering is uniquely qualified to meet his or her needs. The term promotion mix is commonly used to refer to the...