MARKETING MIX Meaning, Definition, Characteristics, Elements, 4 P’s, Importance
Table of Contents:-
Meaning of Marketing Mix
The term marketing mix was first coined in an article that was written by Neil H. Borden called “The Concept of the Marketing Mix.” He started teaching the concept after he learned about it from an associate, James Culliton, who in 1948 explained the role of a marketing manager as a “mixer of ingredients”.
The ingredients in Borden’s marketing mix included product, planning, pricing, branding, distribution channels, personal selling, promotions, advertising, packaging, servicing, display, physical handling, and fact-finding and analysis
Later American professor E. Jerome McCarthy 1960 grouped these ingredients into four categories which are known as the 4Ps (product, price, place, and promotion). Since then the terms “the four Ps” and “marketing mix” have been used synonymously.
Marketing Mix means collecting and mixing the resources of marketing in the manner that objects of the organisation may be achieved and the greatest satisfaction may be provided to the consumers.
Definition of Marketing Mix
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, based on an appraisal of the market forces will best achieve an enterprise at a given time”.
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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”.
The marketing mix principles (also known as the 4Ps) are used by businesses as tools to assist them in pursuing their objectives. The marketing mix principles are controllable variables, which have to be managed carefully and must meet the needs of the defined target group.
The marketing mix is the fundamental concept in the marketing task. It is the technique used to perform marketing functions. These are interrelated, interdependent, and also a combination of many factors.
Characteristics of Marketing Mix
1) Marketing Mix is the Crux of the Marketing Process: Marketing mix involves many important decisions relating to each element of the mix. The impact of the mix would be the most suitable when proper weightage is given to each element and they are integrated so that the combined effect leads to the best results.
2) Marketing Mix Reviewed Constantly to Meet Changing Requirements: The marketing manager is needed to constantly review the mix and conditions of the market, and make required changes in the marketing mix according to changes in the conditions and face of the market.
3) Changes in External Environment Necessitate Alterations in Mix: Changes keep on taking place in the external environment For many industries, the customer is the most fluctuating variable of the environment Customers’ tastes and preferences change very fast Brand loyalty and purchasing power change over some time. The marketing manager has to carry out market analysis regularly to make essential changes in the marketing mix.
4) Changes within the Firm to 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 corresponding changes in the marketing mix.
Elements of Marketing Mix
The marketing mix is the combination of the product, the distribution system, the price structure and the promotional activities A brief description of the four elements of the marketing mix (Four P’s )are given below:
1) Price: It is the amount of money a customer pays for the product or service. The price is very important as it governs the company’s profit and therefore existence. Changing in price has an intense impact on the marketing strategy and contingent on the price elasticity of the product, it will frequently affect the demand and sales as well. The price that the marketer sets should balance the other components of the marketing mix.
2) Product: The products or services offered to the customer-their physical attributes, what they do, how they differ from the competitors and what benefits they provide. The product is the simplest idea. It is an item or service that fulfils what a consumer needs or wants. One must have a concrete grasp on what the product is, however, before one can successfully market it.
3) Place (Distribution): The next element of the marketing mix is placed. Place refers to having the right product, in the right location, at the right time to be purchased by consumers. This proper ordering of products is done by the middle people called the channel of distribution. The channel of distribution comprises interdependent manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers Getting the right product to the right place at the right time involves the distribution system which performs transactional, logistical, and facilitating functions.
4) Promotion: These depend a lot on the product and pricing decision. Promotion can be all of the methods of communication that a marketer may use to deliver information to various people about the product. Promotion is made up of things like advertising, public relations, personal selling, viral and word-of-mouth, and sales promotion Promotion is essentially how one gets the word out about the product or service
The traditional view (4Ps) of the marketing mix has been expanded to take into account the growing importance of service products and their characteristics in marketing. The further factors added to the four traditional factors are people (employees of servicing organisations as most services are dependent on people to deliver them successfully), process (the way of undertaking transactions, supplying information and providing services away), and physical evidence (everything that a servicing organisation physically exhibits to the customer) to make 7P’s which are complete for the service component of the product.
4 P’s of Marketing Mix
1) People: ‘People in the services marketing mix applies not only to service personnel but also recognises the role that other people – the customers play in service delivery. Sometimes the role of the customer is an essential part of the service itself, as in education, for example, where the students must follow the learning programme or in car hire where the benefit-transportation can only be achieved through the customer’s driving. In many services like this, participation of some kind is necessary to derive the service benefits.
2) Process: The process is one of the elements of the augmented marketing mix and a vital point of the value chain. This has received less attention though it is an important part of the marketing task. The adoptions of processes, which add value to the service offering without incurring major cost disadvantages, are beneficial to the customers and the organisation.
3) Physical Evidence: The physical evidence of service comes in different forms and guises. These include the physical aspects of the location of the service delivery such as the functionality, design, and aesthetics of the place. Physical evidence is everything that an organisation physically exhibits to the customer. It includes the physical environment of the service outlet, the interior, the exterior, and all tangibles like machinery, vehicles, furniture, stationery, signboards, communication materials, receipts, certificates, service personnel, and so on.
Importance of Marketing Mix
Marketing-mix represents a blending of four elements, namely, price, product, promotion and physical distribution. Determination of the marketing mix is an important decision that the marketing manager has to take. If a proper marketing mix is determined, the following benefits will accrue to the organisation:
1) Link between Business Firm and Its Customers: The marketing mix serves as the link between the business firm and its customers. It focuses attention on customer satisfaction. Thus, it assists in pursuing consumer-oriented marketing.
2) Helps in Increasing Sales: Since the marketing mix takes care of the needs of the customers, it helps in increasing sales and earning higher profits.
3) Balanced Relation between Other Elements of the Marketing System: The marketing mix considers the various elements of the marketing system. There is an equally balanced relation between these elements.
For example, the price of a product depends upon its features and branding, packaging, etc. The media of advertisement will depend upon the product and its characteristics. The channels of distribution will also depend upon the utility, nature, etc. of the product.
4) Facilitates Meeting Requirements of Customers: Marketing-mix facilitates meeting the requirement of different types of customers, pricing, promotion, product design, and distribution will depend upon the needs and purchasing power of the customers. If the requirement of customers changes, the marketing mix will also be changed to satisfy their requirements.
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