Understanding the Marketing Mix: The 4 P’s of Marketing
A marketing mix is a tool used to help companies understand what factors must be combined in order to meet their marketing goals and objectives. Eventually, this includes the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.
Jerome McCarthy first proposed the 4P’s in his 1960’s textbook, Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. These factors/elements have provided a standard method for defining marketing programs for over 50 years.
A product refers to any good that means to satisfy the needs and wants of a target market or a customer. It can be a tangible item, such as footwear or clothing, or intangible, like an experience or any service.
A product is a good or service that a business provides for sale to its target market. If you want to start a business you need to know what you are going to sell. While developing a product, the quality, packaging, design, brand, features, after-sales service, should be taken into good consideration.
Marketers must have a clear idea of what their products stand for, and what differentiates them from the competitive products before they can be marketed successfully. It’s important that marketers completely understand the product they are selling to the customers, how it meets the needs of their target customers, and what’s the secret sauce that makes their product stand above the competition.
First comes the product, and right after that comes a determination of its value amid target customers. Pricing strategy is both an art and science, it involves both market data and careful calculations, as well as cleverly balancing between pricing that is very high or very low, and understanding how skewing, either way might harm the brand.
If you price your product too low, you may lose potential customers who are wary of bargain prices and if you keep the pricing too high, you may lose the budget constraint market.
Price not only means the monetary value of goods but also efforts and the time any customer would be willing to expend to acquire the product. Determining this is a hugely critical factor in terms of revenue for any brand as it will have an impact on profits, supply chain, demand, and how much money marketers should spend on a promotional or marketing strategy. This is why this ‘P’ is one of the most important. If the product is priced too low or too high, the product – and company – could fail. Price is the only element in the Marketing Mix that produces revenue, all other elements represent costs.
The new age has introduced new hurdles when it comes to reaching potential customers. Place refers to providing customers access to the company’s product, and it also calls into play benefit and comfort for the customer. Marketing, through digital means or otherwise, is about having the right product, at the right price, in the right place, at the right time, in front of the customer.
Some key questions that marketers of the brand need to answer include:
- Where are the target customers shopping?
- Are they using mobile devices or desktops?
- Are they shopping for similar products in brick-and-mortar stores, or online?
- Where and how are they engaging on social media?
Customers likely engage with your brand or your specific products in a variety of places. It’s necessary to examine how each of these places affects the overall customer experience.
Now the challenge is, how to make an audience aware of the product? Within the framework of all P’s, promotion refers essentially to marketing communications, referred popularly as Marcom.
These communications use mediums such as public relations, advertising, email marketing, direct marketing, sales promotions, or social media marketing; think of it as any way marketers circulate required and relevant product information to their target customer base.
Promotion is the area that has seen the change and the greatest growth in the digital age. With the extraordinary access offered by B2C marketing solutions, marketers can now reach to the target customers and promote products more effectively and in an easier and efficient way, and with more personalization, thus leading to ever-increasing expectations and greater outcomes.
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