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4 Ps of Marketing

These marketing tools under four broad categories: 1. Product 2. Price 3. Place 4. Promotion These four elements are the basic components of a marketing plan and are collectively called 4 Ps of marketing. 4 Ps pattern more to physical products than services. Below is an illustration for marketing mix.

The important thing to note is that all these four Ps (variable) are controllable, subject to internal and external constraints of marketing environment. Marketers, using different blends of these variables, can target different group of customers having different needs. So, a customer may call marketing mix the offering.

Product is the actual offering by the company to its targeted customers which also includes value added stuff. Product may be tangible (goods) or intangible (services). While formulating the marketing strategy, product decisions include: What to offer? Brand name Packaging Quality

Appearance Functionality Accessories Installation After sale services Warranty

Price includes the pricing strategy of the company for its products. How much customer should pay for a product? Pricing strategy not only related to the profit margins but also helps in finding target customers. Pricing decision also influence the choice of marketing channels. Price decisions include: Pricing Strategy (Penetration, Skim, etc) List Price payment period Discounts Financing Credit terms Using price as a weapon for rivals is as old as mankind. but its risky too. Consumers are often sensitive for price, discounts and additional offers. Another aspect of pricing is that expensive products are considered of good quality.

Place (Placement)
It not only includes the place where the product is placed, all those activities performed by the company to ensure the availability of the product tot he targeted

customers. Availability of the product at the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity is crucial in placement decisions. Placement decisions include: Placement Distribution channels Logistics Inventory Order processing Market coverage selection of channel members

Promotion includes all communication and selling activities to persuade future prospects to buy the product. Promotion decisions include: Advertising Media Types Message Budgets Sales promotion Personal selling Public relations Direct marketing As these costs are huge as compared to product price, So its good to perform a break

even analysis before allocating the budget. It helps in determining whether the new customers are worth of promotion cost or not. It often takes time and requires market research to develop a successful marketing mix. You should not depend on one mix always try new mixes. While designing the mix, make changes to all mixes in such a way that all conveys the same message. Dont confuse your customers by just changing one variable and keeping the rest same.

Marketing mix
Marketing decisions generally fall into the following four controllable categories:

Product Price Place (distribution) Promotion

The term "marketing mix" became popularized after Neil H. Borden published his 1964 article, The Concept of the Marketing Mix. Borden began using the term in his teaching in the late 1940's after James Culliton had described the marketing manager as a "mixer of ingredients". The ingredients in Borden's marketing mix included product planning, pricing, branding, distribution channels, personal selling, advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing, physical handling, and fact finding and analysis. E. Jerome McCarthy later grouped these ingredients into the four categories that today are known as the 4 P's of marketing,

Limitations of the Marketing Mix Framework

The marketing mix framework was particularly useful in the early days of the marketing concept when physical products represented a larger portion of the economy. Today, with marketing more integrated into organizations and with a wider variety of products and markets, some authors have attempted to extend its usefulness by proposing a fifth P, such as packaging, people, process, etc. Today however, the marketing mix most commonly remains based on the 4 P's. Despite its limitations and perhaps because of its simplicity, the use of this framework remains strong and many marketing textbooks have been organized around it.

A Summary Table of the Marketing Mix

The following table summarizes the marketing mix decisions, including a list of some of the aspects of each of the 4Ps.

Summary of Marketing Mix Decisions

Product Functionality Appearance Quality Packaging Brand Warranty Service/Support Price List price Discounts Allowances Financing Place Channel members Promotion Advertising

Channel motivation Personal selling Market coverage Locations Public relations Message Media Budget

Leasing options Logistics Service levels

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