Marketing > Marketing Mix

The Marketing Mix (The 4 P's of Marketing) The term 'marketing mix' was first used in 1953 when Neil Borden, in his American Marketing Association presidential address, took the recipe idea one step further and coined the term "marketingmix". A prominent marketer, E. Jerome McCarthy, proposed a 4 P classification in 1960, which has seen wide use. The four Ps concept is explained in most marketing textbooks and classes. 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, depicted below



The Marketing Mix

These four P's are the parameters that the marketing manager can control, subject to the internal and external constraints of the marketing environment. The goal is to make decisions that center the four P's on the customers in the target market in order to create perceived value and generate a positive response.

Product Decisions

The noun product is defined as a "thing produced by labor or effort"[1] or the "result of an act or a process"[2], and stems from the verb produce, from the Latin prōdūce(re) '(to) lead or bring forth'. Since 1575, the word "product" has referred to anything produced[3]. Since 1695, the word has referred to "thing or things produced". The economic or commercial meaning of product was first used by political economist Adam Smith[4]

In marketing, a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need[5]. In retailing, products are called merchandise. In manufacturing, products are purchased as raw materials and sold as finished goods. Commodities are usually raw materials such as metals and agricultural products, but a commodity can also be anything widely available in the open market. In project management, products are the formal definition of the project deliverables that make up or contribute to delivering the objectives of the project. In general usage, product may refer to a single item or unit, a group of equivalent products, a grouping of goods or services, or an industrial classification for the goods or services. A related concept is subproduct, a secondary but useful result of a production process.

The term "product" refers to tangible, physical products as well as services. Here are some examples of the product decisions to be made:
• •

Brand name Functionality

• • • • • • •

Styling Quality Safety Packaging Repairs and Support Warranty Accessories and services

Price Decisions
Pricing is a fundamental aspect of financial modeling, and is one of the four Ps of the marketing mix. The other three aspects are product, promotion, and place. It is also a key variable in microeconomic price allocation theory. Price is the only revenue generating element amongst the four Ps, the rest being cost centers. Pricing is the manual or automatic process of applying prices to purchase and sales orders, based on factors such as: a fixed amount, quantity break, promotion or sales campaign, specific vendor quote, price prevailing on entry, shipment or invoice date, combination of multiple orders or lines, and many others Some examples of pricing decisions to be made include:

Pricing strategy (skim, penetration, etc.)

• • • • • • •

Suggested retail price Volume discounts and wholesale pricing Cash and early payment discounts Seasonal pricing Bundling Price flexibility Price discrimination

Distribution (Place) Decisions
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. Distribution is about getting the products to the customer. Some examples of distribution decisions include:
• •

• • • • • • •

Distribution channels Market coverage (inclusive, selective, or exclusive distribution) Specific channel members Inventory management Warehousing Distribution centers Order processing Transportation Reverse logistics

Promotion Decisions
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 principal elements together, which is common in film promotion. Advertising covers any communication that is paid for, from cinema commercials, radio and Internet adverts through print media and billboards. 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). In the context of the marketing mix, promotion represents the various aspects of marketing communication, that is, the communication of information about the product with the goal of

generating a positive customer response. Marketing communication decisions include:
• • • • • •

Promotional strategy (push, pull, etc.) Advertising Personal selling & sales force Sales promotions Public relations & publicity Marketing communications budget

Packaging also needs to be taken into consideration. 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.Parm Bains says Making large changes in any of the four Ps can be considered strategic. For example, a large change in the price, say from $19.00 to $39.00 would be considered a strategic change in the position of the product. However a change of $130 to $129.99 would be considered a tactical change, potentially related to a promotional offer. The term 'marketing mix' however, does not imply that the 4P elements represent options. They are not trade-offs but are fundamental marketing issues that always need to be addressed. They are the

fundamental actions that marketing requires whether determined explicitly or by default.