What is the Marketing Mix?
Professor E Jerome McCarthy first used the term Marketing Mix in the 1960's. He suggested that it contained 4 elements, which are now commonly referred to as the 4 P's, which are used to describe the position of a product in a marketplace. They are the variables that marketing managers can control in order to best satisfy a customer in a target market. The 4 P's are:
Product The product is the physical product or service that it is offered to the consumer. Product decisions include aspects such as function, appearance, packaging, service, warranty etc. 2.
Price The price is the amount the customer pays for a product. Pricing decisions take into account profit margins and the prices of competitors. 3.
Place Place represents the location a product can be purchased. Place decisions are those associated with channels of distribution that serve as a means for getting the product to the target customers. 4.
Promotion Promotion represents all the communications that a marketer may use in the marketplace. Decisions taken are those related to communicating and selling to potential customers.
The extended marketing mix consists of the 4 P's and 3 extra P's, or the 7 P's of Booms and Bitner. It is a marketing strategy tool that expands on the number of controllable variables. The original 4 P's were directed at, and useful for tangible products. The 7 P's model is more useful for service industries.
People Anyone who directly or indirectly comes into contact with the customer can have an impact on overall satisfaction. To the customer the people involved are generally inseparable from the business. 6.
Process This is the processes involved in providing a service and the behaviour of people, which can be crucial to customer satisfaction. 7.
Physical evidence The service is intangible because unlike a product it can't be experienced before it is delivered. It is the ability and environment in which a service is delivered. Because it is intangible customers are at greater risk when deciding whether to use a service, so to reduce this risk, and improve success, potential customer are offered the chance to see what the service would be like with the use of testimonials, demonstrations etc.
The extended marketing mix (7Ps) The marketing mix is the combination of marketing activities that an organisation engages in so as to best meet the needs of its targeted market. Traditionally the marketing mix consisted of just 4 Ps. For example, the chocolate manufacturer Cadbury:
Produces a wide range of products that would appeal to different customers
Offers a range of chocolates at value for money prices, depending on the customer they are targeted at
Sells the chocolates through appropriate outlets such as supermarkets and newsagents, i.e. in the right places, and
Supports the marketing of the chocolate through appropriate promotions and advertisements.
The marketing mix therefore consists of four main elements: product, price, place and promotion.
Getting the mix of these elements right enables the organisation to meet its marketing objectives and to satisfy the requirements of customers. In addition to the traditional four Ps it is now customary to add some more Ps to the mix to give us Seven Ps. The additional Ps have been added because today marketing is far more customer oriented than ever before, and because services now play a far more dominant role in industry. These 3 extra Ps are particularly relevant to the service industry but can also be applied to places selling products. The three extra Ps are:
5. People (provision of customer service) - customer service lies at the heart of modern service industries. Customers are likely to be loyal to organisations that serve them well - from the way in which a telephone query is handled, to direct face-to-face interactions. Although the 'have a nice day' approach is seen as a bit corny, it is a...
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