Marketing Mix


The marketing mix is also known as the Four P’s of Marketing. Marketing objectives can be broken down into four areas: Price, Product, Place, Promotion. These are four main ingredients that make up your marketing program. To be effective, the marketing mix must follow your marketing objectives. Develop your marketing objectives first, then your marketing mix. Each element of the marketing mix should fit with the other elements to be effective. Customers will be evaluating each of the elements of the mix and will become confused and turned off if they perceive any inconsistencies.

Product
The product is the physical item itself, plus related services. It is anything that can be offered to the market and includes physical goods, services, experiences, information, ideas, experiences, events and persons. Is your product what customers really want? Within the product area is the service that goes along with it, as well as packaging. Some product factors to consider are: quality level, appearance, packaging and functionality. Some of the long-term social factors that influence the type of products you sell are fashions, trends, attitudes, values and the demographics of the market. The product includes such things as functionality, quality, appearance, packaging, brand, service, support and from a retail perspective it includes store presentation (design, layout, and visual merchandising) and assortment of goods (depth and breadth).
Price
The price level of the product should be low enough for customers to buy it and high enough to make a profit for the company selling it. How much will customers be willing to pay for the product in question? Some price factors to consider are: regular prices and sale prices. Some long-term external influences that affect what price you charge include the economy, consumer’s disposable income, the level of consumer confidence and the unemployment rate. Price includes such things as list price, discounts, financing, leasing options, allowances and layaways.
Place (Distribution)
Place is another word for distribution. Is the product or service available where and when it is needed? From a retail perspective, how convenient is it for customers to shop at your store? Can they get to your store through the Internet? Do you have a web site and if so have you promoted it? Can customers make purchases at your web site? Some long-term technology trends that have an impact on place are the Internet, electronic data interchange, and electronic ways of identifying and tracking items as they travel from manufacturers to consumers. Some of these ways are barcodes, ISBN numbers for publications and radio frequency identification (RFIDs)
Promotion
Products and services must be promoted so that customers are at least aware of it. How will customers become aware of you, purchase from you, and ultimately become a loyal customer? The promotional mix includes all forms of advertising, personal selling, publicity, public relations and promotion. Some of the long-term factors that affect promotion include changes in technology, the Internet, trends in types of media customers are exposed to and what the competition is communicating in their promotional campaign.

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