Monday, January 07, 2008

Marketing Mix (The Four Ps)

If you have ever hired a marketing professional you most definitely have heard the term, The Four Ps. Below is a quick definition from Wikipedia. My next post will describe how I use The Four Ps.

Product - An object or a service that is mass produced or manufactured on a large scale with a specific volume of units. A typical example of a mass produced service is the hotel industry. A less obvious but ubiquitous mass produced service is a computer operating system. Typical examples of a mass produced objects are the motor car and the disposable razor.

Price – The price is the amount a customer pays for a product. It is determined by a number of factors including market share, competition, material costs, product identity and the customer's perceived value of the product. The business may increase or decrease the price of product if other stores have the same product.

Place – Place represents the location where a product can be purchased. It is often referred to as the distribution channel. It can include any physical store as well as virtual stores on the Internet.

Promotion – Promotion represents all of the communications that a marketer may use in the marketplace. Promotion has four distinct elements - advertising, public relations, word of mouth and point of sale. A certain amount of crossover occurs when promotion uses the four principle elements together, which is common in film promotion. Advertising covers any communication that is paid for, from television and cinema commercials, radio and Internet adverts through print media and billboards. One of the most notable means of promotion today is the Promotional Product, as in useful items distributed to targeted audiences with no obligation attached. This category has grown each year for the past decade while most other forms have suffered. It is the only form of advertising that targets all five senses and has the recipient thanking the giver.

Public relations are where the communication is not directly paid for and includes press releases, sponsorship deals, exhibitions, conferences, seminars or trade fairs and events. Word of mouth is any apparently informal communication about the product by ordinary individuals, satisfied customers or people specifically engaged to create word of mouth momentum. Sales staff often plays an important role in word of mouth and Public Relations (see Product above).

Broadly defined, optimizing the marketing mix is the primary responsibility of marketing. By offering the product with the right combination of the four Ps marketers can improve their results and marketing effectiveness. Making small changes in the marketing mix is typically considered to be a tactical change. Making large changes in any of the four Ps can be considered strategic. For example, a large change in the price, say from $129.00 to $39.00 would be considered a strategic change in the position of the product. However a change of $131 to $129.00 would be considered a tactical change, potentially related to a promotional offer.

No comments: