The Methods Used by New Firms to Make Strategic Marketing Decisions

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THE MARKETING MIX IS AN OLD TOOL. NEW TENDENCIES AND THEORIES WORK BETTER NOWADAYS

Many firms use a variety of methods to make strategic marketing decisions in order to grow, compete, be first-positioned or just high-positioned, or to maintain themselves in the market. But there is one method, which is very applied by companies to make relevant decisions. It is usually called the marketing mix of the four P’s. A variety of testimonies and opinions to show that the four P’s, according to my opinion, must not be used anymore will be explained in the marketing theories that have been proposed and created through the times First of all, The marketing mix of the four P’s is a method proposed by Jerome McCarthy in 1960 that consists on segmenting the marketing into four very important variables or factors that, if the companies know how to manage them rightly and pay as much attention as necessary to them, can make them develop and perform very well against the competitors. Those concepts are: Product, that is the goods and services the company offers; Price, which is how much you charge for your product; Place, refers to distribution channels used to get to the customers; and Promotion, that refers to advertising, i.e., how you let people know what you have got.

This picture above, taken from the book “Marketing Management, Millennium Edition (Kotler, 2002; p. 10)”, clearly shows the marketing mix of the four Ps, including into each P some other factors and variables that have to deal with them. It is also possible to call those factors as submixes of the Ps. To make something else clear, as it is seen in the central part of the picture, there is an oval that contains the concept of “target market”, which refers to the group of customers the company decides to aim its marketing strategies to in order to attract and conserve as many clients as possible. The target market is very important, as you should know how your market behaves, especially all the stuff referring to culture. Something that is obvious for the marketing teachers, researchers and experts is that the marketing strategies cannot be the same for the entire world, so the choice of the target market hugely affects the mix. Here is a statement from Philip Kotler: “For example, in India you sell a cigarette at a time, not a package. The biggest mistake companies make often is to assume that the way they sell a product in their own country is the way to put it in another country” Let us have a look at the origin of the marketing mix. Neil H. Borden (1964), a worldwide known expert in marketing, started using the concept of Marketing Mix from a study that Professor James Culliton (1948) made about marketing costs for manufacturers, where Culliton refers to the marketing manager as a “decider”, an “artist”, or, more precisely, a “mixer of ingredients”. When Culliton mentions ingredients, he talks about a list 12 things he considered as essential elements of the marketing mix, which are: Product, price, channels of distribution, branding, personal selling, advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing, physical handing and fact finding and analysis. Those 12 elements were synthesized into the McCarthy’s four Ps (Páramo, 2004), which was the real base of what marketing research is today. There is another point of view from Albert Frey (1961), who came with another point of view about mixing most of the ingredients from Borden (1964) and Culliton (1948) that comes in two groups: The Offering, that consists of product, packaging, service, brand and price; and the Methods and Tools, that comprised of distribution channels, personal selling, advertising and sales promotions. Later, Lazer and Kelley (1962) proposed a way to mix the marketing ingredients into 3 groups: Good and services mix, distribution mix and communication mix (Páramo, 2004). What gave life to the marketing mix were 3 events occurring during the time they were established, exactly around the...
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