6Ps of Marketing Mix

Marketing mix is one of the major concepts of marketing. According to the traditional base, there are 4Ps of marketing. These are referred to as the marketing mix. But in the modern use of the term, many more Ps have been coined. People have found six, seven even eleven Ps of marketing. In this article we will talk about the 4Ps and 6Ps. Four Ps The four Ps of marketing mix consist of Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Product means the thing that you are selling. It can also be a service like the tourism industry. Price means the rate at which the product is being sold. A number of factors are involved in determining the price of a product. These include competition, market share, product identity, material costs and the value customers perceive of a product. In fact prices are also determined by competitor's products. If the competitors have the same product, then the price of a product will go down. Place refers to the real or virtual place from where a product can be bought by a consumer. Another name used for place is called "distribution channel". Promotion is the way that a product will be communicated to the general public. There are four distinct ways in which this might be done- 'point of sale', 'word of mouth', public relations and advertising. Somewhere down the line people felt that four Ps were not enough for marketing mix. It had to face a lot of criticism mainly on the grounds that it was extremely product focused. This was not enough for the economy which is based a lot on services as well nowadays. Another criticism that marketing mix has to face is that it does not have a 'purpose'. So it should be looked upon as a tool that sets marketing strategy. Another criticism of marketing mix is that it does not discuss customers. This is why the concept of Six Ps of Marketing mix has achieved relevance. Six Ps The six Ps contain all the four Ps of marketing - product, price, place and promotion. In addition, it contains, two new Ps, namely People and Performance. People include the potential and current customers of the business and how they make their purchase decisions. Market segmentation is also a part of this. It contains the features of market segmentation and the most attractive segments of this market.

The next P is Performance. This implies the performance of the business. The financial and strategic objectives of the business are dealt with here. It is also seen whether these objectives are achievable and realistic or not. The metrics of financial performance are also seen and appropriated in this division. The six Ps of marketing mix help to overcome the criticisms of the four Ps. Hence the 6Ps serve to be a better alternative as compared to the 4Ps of marketing mix.

1. People
A) Who are the current and potential customers? Who are the end users? Who actually makes the purchase decision? B) What is the basis for their purchase decision? Based on what qualifying and winning criteria? C) How is the market segmented? What common characteristics define the segments (intrasegment homogeneity)? How do segments differ from each other (inter-segment heterogeneity)? How do buying criteria vary by segment? D) Which segments are potentially the most attractive? On what basis: size, growth, profitability, competitive intensity?

E) How are, or can, the selected target market segments be accessed and attacked? F) How must a brand be positioned– i.e. what specific multidimensional offering „package‟ must be delivered - to capture highly profitable share of the target markets? return to top

2. Product
A) What exactly is the product of service being offered? Think broadly in terms of the augmented product. What are the benefits being delivered to the customer? How can the benefits be enhanced to create value? B) How important is brand name in the category? Is there a role for off-brands, private labels and generics? How much brand equity exists for any existing brands? C) Where are products in the product life cycle? What are the implications of the current stage? Is there an opportunity to recycle the category? D) How important are new products, currently and prospectively? Can existing products be costreduced without sacrificing other benefits, or repositioned by making relatively small modifications to product attributes? E) How important is packaging? What role does packaging play in product use and brand communications? return to top

3. Price
A) What is the fully loaded (i.e. all things considered) price of the product over the lifetime of use? What are the terms and conditions of payment? B) What are the key determinants of value? What makes one product worth more than another? Are there opportunities to reshape the value function? C) How sensitive is the market to price? What is the elasticity of price movements up or down? Are there distinct price segments (e.g. good, better, best or consumer, professional)? D) Is the brand gaining or losing share at the current price level? Is the brand profitable versus internal objectives and external benchmarks? E) How much profit is retained by channel intermediaries (e.g. retailers, distributors)? Are channel margins comparable to competition and do provide acceptable returns to intermediaries? return to top

4. Place (Distribution)
A) Where is the product available? Is supply adequate and conveniently accessible for typical customers? B) What type of outlets (specialty stores, discounters, etc.) carry the product? Is the product bought or sold, i.e. to what extent do customers need to be educated and „closed‟? Is there channel harmony or conflict? What are the root causes of conflict? C) What are the dominant channels of distribution? How does product get from the manufacturer to the end user? Who are the intermediaries? What value does each intermediary add? What is the ROI at each stage of distribution? D) What are the critical levels of distribution intensity - breadth (area coverage) and depth (density, number of outlets? return to top

5. Promotion (Sales and communication)
A) What is the core selling proposition, and how can it be communicated most effectively to customers: advertising, PR, direct sales? What is the right balance of “push” and “pull”? B) How do customers respond to different elements of the marketing mix? Which components are most cost effective? C) What is the role and importance of the sales force? To whom do they actually sell? What is the basis of sales? What skill set and support structure is required? D) How can special offers (e.g. temporary price reductions, „buy now and get …‟) incrementally induce or accelerate sales? Who is the appropriate target for special deals: the trade (push) or the end customer (pull)? E) How do the individual promotional elements sync together? Are they appropriately integrated and complementary, or conflicting? F) Is the promotional budget adequate to achieve objectives?

6. Performance
A) What are the strategic and financial objectives? Are they appropriate (realistic and achievable) for the category and the brand?

B) What are the appropriate financial performance metrics: contribution margin (price less variable costs), pre-tax profit, net profit, ROI …? C) What are the appropriate strategic / market metrics: share of market (value, units), share of served market, segment share, price realization (yield)? D) Are the objectives being achieved?

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