What is Marketing Mix?
The marketing mix is the set of marketing tools, tactics, techniques, and actions that a business organization blends to realize the marketing goal in a selected target market. It consists of everything that an organization can do to influence its products and services demand in the market.
Marketing mix mixes all the activities, and components of the organization while marketing the products and services, to make sales, and achieve the organization’s defined objectives. It assumes that the organization should make the products that match customers’ needs, and as the customers taste-wants-need, the environment changes the organization’s tactic of producing and marketing should be changed, which means, it must be situational & superior too.
Generally, the marketing mix is said to be the combination of 4Ps (product, price, place, and promotion), the so-called 4Ps of the marketing mix. Especially this 4Ps tool of marketing is used to promote tangible products. But with the complexity of marketing and the need for services in marketing increased, then the additional 3Ps (people, process, and physical evidence), so-called marketing of services came out. Today, at the present, the 7Ps (4Ps + 3Ps) make the marketing mix concept complete.
The pioneer of the marketing mix (4Ps) goes to E. Jerome McCarthy who developed this tool in 1960, in his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. Where these 4Ps were usually used to market the physical products. But, in the late 1970s, the chief marketers thought it should be updated & there should be a service component too, and they added 3 new components to the 4Ps, which had been done in 1981 by Booms & Bitner adding 3Ps (product, process, and physical evidence).
Today, the 7Ps of the marketing mix are the inevitable part of any marketer or organization, to get optimum results from the marketing exercises, for this, the marketer should make a proper plan and drive proven results, and it could be possible when all the components of the marketing mix work correctly.
If you still do not understand what is the marketing mix is, let’s go through an example. As it said all its components should work together to achieve defined goals, think of marketing mix as your body & its components are your body parts. Anything you can able to do is when your every body part works properly, and the marketing mix tool helps achieve business goals when all 7Ps work properly. Because the whole is always greater than one.
Characteristics of Marketing Mix
Simply, the marketing mix is the set of controllable tools that businesses use to fulfill their marketing objectives. So what makes it so special in today’s market, the distinctive features are,
Combination of Marketing Tools or Variables
It is a mixture of various marketing tools/variables. These tools are interdependent and interrelated. The decision of one area affects the action of another area. So, the single tool or component can not achieve the marketing objective and target.
Useful For Realizing Marketing Goals
Actually, the marketing mix is a powerful tool. All components are used to achieve the desired marketing goals, in terms of sales, profits, and customer satisfaction achievement.
Flexible and Dynamic
The marketing mix is not rigid, rather it changes as per the dynamics of the marketing environment. The marketing manager needs to continuously adjust the components of the marketing mix as per the changing marketing situations.
A mixture of Ingredients
The marketing mix components do not help the marketing manager automatically achieve the marketing goals and meet the target. He needs to combine skillfully all these ingredients to produce the desired results.
Customer, The Focus Point
It is a customer-oriented marketing philosophy. Its ultimate goal is to satisfy customers. It assumes customers are the king, the success or failure of the business depends upon the extent of customer satisfaction.
Components of Marketing Mix
Components of the marketing mix are the marketing tools or variables that adjust as per the changed situation of the marketing system. The desired level of exchange will not be reached if the product does not match customers’ needs if it is priced too low or high, if it is promoted poorly, or if it is distributed improperly.
Thus, for the marketer to play effectively in today’s ever-changing business world, he requires a carefully planned and fully competent marketing mix.
A complete marketing mix concept has mainly seven components that function together in order to realize the marketing goals.
The first 4Ps are the primary components of the marketing mix.
A product is something that is offered to users to consume. A marketing manager needs to plan and develop the right product to be marketed. The right product is one that can satisfy the need and wants of target customers. The manager should analyze the life cycle of the product. Being consistent with the product life cycle, a good product should have quality, size, design, features, innovation, brand, packaging, and other product attributes.
Price is a cost paid by the buyer. To succeed, the marketing manager needs to determine the fair price of its products. A fair price is one, which is affordable and acceptable to the customers. The price mix includes the pricing objectives, pricing techniques, sales terms, credit terms, terms & conditions, pricing strategies, etc.
Place or Distribution
The place is where the product is distributed. The marketer needs to distribute products to the right place, at the right time, and in the right way by selecting and managing the channels and by developing an efficient distribution system. A right place is one where maximum demand for its products exists and where the maximum products are being consumed.
For this, the marketer needs to study and analyze the channel of distribution, channel structure, role & power of marketing channels such as retailers and wholesalers, channel conflicts and resolving techniques, channel system, etc.
The marketing manager has to inform and persuade the target market through the right promotional means. The major promotional activities are sales promotion, advertising, personal selling, publicity, public relations, etc.
The additional 3Ps
These are also called the 3Ps of services marketing, which are the supportive components that aid the primary marketing mix components in the fulfillment of marketing objectives, especially for service-oriented organizations.
When we talk of the ‘people’ component of the marketing mix, we are talking about the two main groups namely:
- Service personnel: Recruit skilled manpower and their knowledge development for rendering quality service.
- Customers: Change the negative attitude of customers and employees to a positive one and build long-term relationships with the customer.
With the continuous competitive activity shift from the tangible to the intangible, the selection, recruitment, motivation, and training of the right service personnel has become important to all organizations.
Customer’s perception of service quality will be made up of a number of fairly different and diverse factors such as the attitude of staff, internal relations, the observable behavior of personnel, the level of service-mindedness in the organization, the consistency of appearance of personnel, the accessibility of people, customer-customer contact, and so on. Organizations must aim at achieving optimum quality in all mentioned aspects.
Service organizations are increasingly getting innovative and operations management ideas are now an essential input to their control of costs, systems improvements, and levels of customer service. The general principle is that the service delivery process should be short and simple. The two major aspects of the ‘process’ element of the marketing mix, which have a strategic dimension are:
- Degree of customer contact/ Retention of customer
- Quality control standards/ Total quality marketing
Physical evidence mix is also becoming more and more important for all organizations. Physical evidence or atmosphere consists of office-room conditions, furnishings, and layouts. Such an atmosphere improves the level of efficiency of office personnel in their work performance.
Moreover, it influences the psychology of the customers. If the psychological influence is positive, it may promote business opportunities and vice versa.
Why The Marketing Mix Is Important?
The marketing mix is the primary tool for the marketing manager’s to achieve marketing objectives and targets. For attracting new customers, retaining existing customers, or good sales promotion every marketer or manufacturer has to concentrate on at least the significant components of the marketing mix.
The most significant importance and implications of the marketing mix are mentioned below,
Source of Marketing Plan and Program
Every marketer must have a suitable plan and program to implement for achieving desired objectives and targets. Marketing plans and programs are composed of the marketing mix i.e. it gives the most suitable marketing plan and program to marketing managers.
Core Marketing Tool
It is the core tool of marketing, every component should be combined carefully if the marketer wants to achieve the desired marketing goals and objectives. There is no alternative tool except the marketing mix.
It gives utmost importance to the customers. It always emphasizes maximizing sales and profit by providing satisfaction to the customers.
To provide customer satisfaction, it performs the following tasks.
- Designing and developing the right prodcut that can satisfy the consumer’s needs.
- Determining a fair price of the product that can be affordable and acceptable to the target customers.
- Delivering the right product in right place, where customers want to buy the firm’s products.
- Communicating the right information to the customers about the firm’s product and service through the use of appropriate promotion tools including advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing.
- Emphasizing developing a long-term relationship with customers for the long-term profitability and success of the business firm.
Strategic Marketing Tool
It is a flexible concept that guides the marketing manager to adjust continuously, the elements of the marketing mix as per the market’s situations. Marketing mix hence can be used as a strategic marketing tool for assuring long-term survival, success, and profitability.