4Ps of Marketing6th February 2020
The four major ingredients of the marketing-mix are described below:
A product is any good or service that consumers want. It is a bundle of utilities or a cluster of tangible and intangible attributes. Product component of the marketing- mix involves planning, developing and producing the right type of products and services. It deals with the dimensions of product line, durability and other qualities.
Product policy of a firm also deals with proper branding, right packaging, appropriate colour and other product features. The total produce should be such that it really satisfies the needs of the target market. In short, product-mix requires decisions with regard to
- Size and weight of the product
- Quality of the product
- Design of the product
- Volume of output
- Brand name
- Product rang
- Product testing
- Warranties and after sale services, etc.
Price is an important factor affecting the success of a firm. Pricing decisions and policies have a direct influence on sales volume and profits of business. Price is, therefore, an important element in the marketing-mix. In practice, it is very difficult to fix the right price. Right price can be determined through pricing research and test marketing.
A lot of exercise and innovation is required to determine the price that will enable the firm to sell its products successfully. Demand, cost, competition, government regulation, etc. are the vital factors that must be taken into consideration in the determination of price. Price-mix involves decisions regarding base price, discounts, allowances, freight payment, credit, etc.
Promotion component- of the marketing-mix is concerned with bringing products to the knowledge of customers and persuading them to buy. It is the function of informing and influencing the customers. Promotion-mix involves decisions with respect to advertising, personal selling and sales promotion. All these techniques help to promote the sale of products and to fight competition in the market.
Advertising is a major tool used to communicate a message (called advertising copy) through; newspapers, magazines, radio, television and other media of advertising. Advertising component of the promotion-mix requires several decisions with regard to the theme of advertising, the media to be used, the advertising budget, etc. Large firms employ advertising agencies and specialists to run advertising campaigns and to prepare individual advertisements.
Personal selling is an effective means of communication with consumers. It involves direct face-to-face contact between salesmen and consumers. Sales managers plan, direct and control the efforts of individual sales persons.
Advertising cannot aim directly at the prospect to win his patronage. Therefore, personal selling is required to complement advertising. Personal selling is particularly useful when the product is of a technical nature or where goods are to be sold to industrial and commercial establishments.
Sales promotion consists of all forms of communication with the customers except advertising and personal selling. Free samples, prize contests, premium on sale, displays, shows and exhibitions, etc. are the main techniques of sales promotion.
No single method of promotion is effective alone and, therefore, a promotional campaign usually involves a combination of two or more promotional methods. Growing competition and widening market have made simultaneous use of more than one promotional method all the more necessary.
Combination of two or more methods in a single promotional campaign requires an effective blending of promotional inputs so as to optimize the expenditure on each. There is no one ideal promotional-mix that fits all situations. While devising a promotional-mix nature of product, type of customers, the promotion budget, stage of demand, etc. should be taken into consideration.
This element of the marketing-mix involves choice of the place where products are to be displayed and made available to the customers. It is concerned with decisions relating to the wholesale and retail outlets or channels of distribution.
The objective of selecting and managing trade channels is to provide the products to the right customer at the right time and place on a continuing basis. In deciding where and through whom to sell, management should consider where the customer wants the goods to be available.
A manufacturer may distribute his goods through his own outlets, he may employ wholesalers and retailers for this purpose. Irrespective of the channel used, management must continuously evaluate channel performance and make changes whenever performance falls short of expected targets. In addition, management must develop a physical distribution system for handling and transporting the products through the selected channel.
In the determination of distribution-mix or marketing logistics, a firm has to make decisions with regard to the mode of transporting of goods to middlemen, use of company vehicles or a transporter, the route over which the goods are to be moved, type of warehouses where the goods are to be stored, etc.