Marketing Mix.6th February 2020
The marketing mix refers to the set of actions, or tactics, that a company uses to promote its brand or product in the market. The 4Ps make up a typical marketing mix – Price, Product, Promotion and Place. However, nowadays, the marketing mix increasingly includes several other Ps like Packaging, Positioning, People and even Politics as vital mix elements.
According to Borden, “The marketing mix refers to the appointment of efforts, the combination, the designing and the integration of the elements of marketing into a programme or mix which, on the basis of an appraisal of the market forces will best achieve an enterprise at a given time”. According to Stanton, “Marketing mix is the term used to describe the combination of the four inputs which constitute the core of a company’s marketing system-the product, the price structure, the promotional activities and the distribution system.”
Thus marketing mix is the combination of the product, the distribution system, the price structure and the promotional activities. The term marketing mix is used to describe a combination of four elements-the product, price, physical distribution and promotion. These are popularly known as “Four Ps.”
These four elements or sub-mixes should be taken as instruments, by the management, when formulating marketing plans. As such, marketing manager should have a thorough knowledge about the four Ps. The marketing mix will have to be changed at the change of marketing conditions like economical, political, social etc. Marketing mix is developed to satisfy the anticipated needs of the identified markets.
A marketing mix includes multiple areas of focus as part of a comprehensive marketing plan. The term often refers to a common classification that began as the four Ps: product, price, placement, and promotion.
Effective marketing touches on a broad range of areas as opposed to fixating on one message. Doing so helps reach a wider audience, and by keeping the four Ps in mind, marketing professionals are better able to maintain focus on the things that really matter. Focusing on a marketing mix helps organizations make strategic decisions when launching new products or revising existing products.
- A marketing mix often refers to E. Jerome McCarthy’s four Ps: product, price, placement, and promotion.
- The different elements of a marketing mix work in conjunction with one another.
- Consumer-centric marketing mixes incorporate a focus on customers into their approaches.
Determining the Marketing-Mix
The purpose of determining the marketing is to satisfy the needs and wants of the customers in the most effective and economical manner. As the needs of the customers and the environmental factors change, the marketing-mix also changes and it cannot remain static. Marketing-mix is, thus, a dynamic concept. In the words of Philip Kotler, “Marketing mix represents the setting of the firm’s marketing decision variables at a particular point of time.”
The process of determining the marketing-mix (or marketing decision-making) consists of the following steps:
First of all, the marketing department must identify the target customers to whom the sales are to be made.
Once the target market is identified, the next step is to discover and understand the needs and desires of the customers. Marketing research is used in locating and analysing the target market. It is necessary to know the number, location, buying power and motives of customers. In addition, the nature of competition, dealers’ behaviour and government regulations must be analysed.
On the basis of the knowledge obtained through identification and analysis, an appropriate mix of product, price, promotion and channel is designed. Design involves not only the determination of each component but the proper integration of individual variables so that they reinforce one another.
It is desirable to make a test run of the marketing-mix designed by the marketing department. The designed mix may be used in a small group of customers. The reaction of customers will indicate the adjustments required in the mix.
After the necessary modifications, the marketing-mix is adopted and put into use. The adopted mix should be evaluated from time-to-time and it must be adapted to changes in the environment of business.
Characteristics/Features/Nature of Marketing Mix
- Marketing mix is the crux of marketing process
Marketing mix involves many crucial decisions relating to each element of the mix. The impact of the mix will be the best when proper weightage is assigned to each element and they are integrated so that the combined effect leads to the best results.
- Marketing mix has to be reviewed constantly in order to meet the changing requirements
The marketing manager has to constantly review the mix and conditions of the market and make necessary changes in the marketing mix according to changes in the conditions and complexity of the market.
- Changes in external environment necessitate alterations in the mix
Changes keep on taking place in the external environment. For many industries, the customer is the most fluctuating variable of environment. Customers’ tastes and preferences change very fast. Brand loyalty and purchasing power also change over a period. The marketing manager has to carry out market analysis constantly to make necessary changes in the marketing mix.
- Changes taking place within the firm also necessitate changes in marketing mix
Changes within the firm may take place due to technological changes, changes in the product line or changes in the size and scale of operation. Such changes call for similar changes in the marketing mix.
- Applicable to business and non-business organization
Marketing mix is applicable not only to business organizations but also to non-business organizations, such as clubs and educational institutions. For instance, an educational institution is expected to provide the right courses (product), charge the right fees (price), promote the institution and the courses, and provide the courses at the right place.
- Helps to achieve organizational goals
An application of an appropriate marketing mix helps to achieve organizational goals such as profits and market share.
- Concentrates on customers
A thorough understanding of the customer is common to all the four elements. The focus point of marketing mix is the customer, and the marketing mix is expected to provide maximum customer satisfaction.