Marketing Mix and the Four P's

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The Marketing Mix and the Four P's

The marketing mix is what most marketing people call "the 4 P's" and it consists of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. "Some people will increase the marketing mix to the "five P's", to include people. Others will increase the mix to "Seven Ps", to include physical evidence (such as uniforms, or facilities) and process (i.e. the whole customer experience e.g. a visit to Disney World)" (Marketing Teacher, 2000). The marketing mix is a very important aspect of any marketing strategy and contains "the controllable variables the company puts together to satisfy the selected target group" (Perreault and McCarthy, 2004, Ch 2).

The Product is the need satisfying item or service which the company provides to the consumer. After a period of development the product is introduced into the market; it gains more and more customers as it grows; "eventually the market stabilizes and the product becomes mature; then after a period of time the product comes up against some of superior its competitors, and it may go into decline and is eventually be withdrawn from the market if it cannot withstand the competition" (Marketing Teacher, 2000). This is what is known as the product life cycle.

The Price is the amount of money that is charged for the product. When a company determines price it must take into consideration such things as the cost to produce the product. There are many ways to price a product. Companies can use a high price when the product is unique to the market or when they hold the competitive advantage. Penetration pricing is the act of setting the initial price low in order to attract a large share of the market. Once this achieved, the price is increased in order to make a profit. Economy is a no frills pricing where prices are kept low on mainstay items such as those sold at the grocery store.

The Place is the making of goods and services available in the right quantities at the right locations. "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 Teacher, 2000). There are many types of intermediaries such as wholesalers, agents, retailers, the Internet, and direct marketing. It is important to provide exposure of the product and to have it presented in the appropriate market.

The Promotion is the communicating of information between seller and the potential buyer. This includes all of the tools available to the marketer for marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotions, sales people, and publicity. Just think of all the promotional material people are exposed to on an everyday basis. Television ads, radio ads, billboards, newspaper advertisements are among a few. All of these components of advertising and promotion whether subliminal or not attract a customer to a product and lead to an eventual sale.

People are the most important element of any service or experience. Services tend to be produced and consumed at the same moment, and elements of the customer experience are altered to meet the individual needs of the person consuming it. Consumers love to buy things from people they know and trust so it is a good idea for the salespeople to have proper training in customer satisfaction.

Physical evidence includes uniforms and the facilities and is an important indicator of how concerned the company is with the comfort level of their consumers. Process includes the whole journey or experience that the consumer experience. If the process is a good one, consumers are sure to come back for more along with passing the good news on to friends and acquaintances.

All four P's are necessary for a proper marketing mix. They should all be tied together and one P is not more important than the other. If fact, they should all be determined at the same time. Marketing mix planning consists of developing a...
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