The Marketing Mix
Marketing strategy is integrated with the marketing program, or marketing mix. The marketing mix traditionally includes variables such as price, product, promotion, and place. For this reason, the marketing mix deals more with implementation, and is not defined specifically as part of marketing strategy. Marketing mix is frequently used in combination with strategy to help marketing managers promote their product and/or service and it provides a useful framework for decision-making.
The customer is the target of all marketing efforts. There are many possible ways to satisfy the needs of target customers and these variables are organized into the marketing mix or “the 4 P’s” (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion).
• Product: A product is the need-satisfying offering of a firm including physical goods or services
• Price: The price is the amount of money that is charged for “something” of value.
• Place: The place is the making of goods and services available in the right quantities at the right locations.
• Promotion: Promotion is the communicating of information between seller and potential buyer or others.
The Product area is concerned with developing the right “product” for the target market. This may involve a physical good, a service, or a blend of both.
The important thing to remember is that the good and/or service should satisfy some customers’ needs (Perreault, 2002).
Place is concerned with all the decisions involved in getting the “right” product to the target market’s place. A product isn’t much good to a customer if it isn’t available when and where it’s wanted.
The third P (Promotion) is concerned with telling the target market or others in the channel of distribution about the “right” product. Sometimes promotion is focused on acquiring new customers, and sometimes it’s focused on retaining current customers. Promotion includes personal selling, mass selling, and sales promotion (Perreault, 2002).
In addition to developing the right Product, Place, and Promotion, marketing managers must also decide the right Price. Price setting must consider the kind of competition in the target market and the cost of the whole marketing mix (Perreault, 2002). A manager must also try to estimate customer reaction to possible prices. If customers won’t accept the price, all of the planning effort is wasted.
All four Ps are needed in a marketing mix. The four Ps must be productively combined, so that a company develops the best mix for its target market. In other words, each decision must work well with all of the others to make a logical whole.
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