Introduction to Marketing Mix
Marketing has a long history since the beginning of trade. From the beginning, marketing has evolved into a huge subject with more practical and theoretical knowledge. Therefore marketing has become an essential practice in the business world as well as in our day to day life. All marketing activities start with the marketing mix. It is a combined structure of several elements that will mold the whole marketing process. And this directly affects the decision-making process of marketers. At the beginning, there were only 4 elements in the Marketing mix. They were the product, price, place, and promotion and it was called as 4Ps. But with the expansion of service marketing another 3 elements namely people, process and physical evidence were added to the general marketing mix and was called as7Ps. This is also known as the extended marketing mix.
Marketing mix or 7Ps is a framework used by marketers to implement their marketing operations and plans. But when it comes to consumers, they look into the buying process in a different angle. As a result, the concept of 4Cs which includes customer, cost, convenience, and promotion came to practice. This 4Cs is the exact same concept of 4Ps looking from consumers angle. Consumers use this 4Cs in consumer decision-making process. Every marketer thrives to match the marketing mix with the 4Cs. That means to offer the product or the service expected by the consumer. The more marketers meet the consumer needs, the more profits they earn.
Elements of Marketing Mix
The product can be defined as a material or non-material offering to satisfy consumer needs and wants. Quality, color, packaging, features, branding, design etc directly influence the marketing and selling processes. Even those things affect a lot to attract and retain consumers. And also the establishment and the market share of the product depends on how well the product satisfies consumer needs and wants. Every product has a lifecycle. That includes introductory stage, growth stage, maturity stage and declining stage.
Price is the cost customers will have to pay in order to purchase the product. It is very important to decide the price correctly as it directly affects the revenue of the organization. Actually, consumers decide a lot on the price. Therefore discounts, special offers, and credit terms must be carefully used. Other than monetary cost, consumers care about other costs like time, affordability and convenience. The correct combination of all these facts will give the best choice.
The place is also known as distribution. In one hand this can be defined as the physical or virtual place where the organization, showrooms or shops are established. On the other hand, it discusses the direct or indirect distribution, coverage, product availability and placement of the products. Most importantly distribution and the place should be decided and established based on the target group volume and geographical location.
Promotion defines the marketing communication process. This process is very important because this is the bridge between the marketers and the consumers. All your revenue and the consumer attraction depends on how well you perfume the marketing communication campaigns. There are several strategies in this promotional mix.
Promotional mix always should not include all these strategies. But marketers need to create a promotional mix with the suitable and needed strategies for different products.
Human resource or the employees of a business organization is known as people in the marketing mix. This resource is the most valuable and productive assets in any organization due to its creativeness and liveliness. It is said that employees are the first customers of a business organization. Because employees are the driving force of every process in the organization. That means it is the people who conduct other elements of marketing mix. Therefore to get the best out of the human resource organization need to satisfy them well. That is by providing a good working environment, good salary, promotions, reputation etc.
On the other hand, organizations need to hire qualified and suitable employees and then provide necessary training and build good employee relationships. Also, an organization should manage the employee demand and supply. Most importantly whether it is a manufacturing or service providing organization, people factor is a key factor needed to establish a proper marketing mix.
Processes are sequentially organized activities and tasks that help to achieve organizational objectives. Generally, organizations follow their own procedures and standards. The main intention of having processes is to minimize cost and increase the productivity of the organization. Usually, tasks or activities of a process are divided among several employees who are specialized in particular areas. And sometimes employees will have to work on several processes at the same time.
Along with the processes, there should be standards and criteria to measure the performance and the success of the processes and employees. Therefore it is very important to follow and maintain processes because it leads to measure the performance of the organization.
This element of the marketing mix mainly comes to use in service marketing sector. The place and the equipment used in providing the service is generally called as physical evidence. As service is an intangible and non-material product, there is a need of physical evidence as proof. Therefore marketers should acquire them and create the physical environment and the other physical resources.