Marketing Mix | The 4Ps

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Generating the optimal response in the market. Explanation of the 4Ps of E. Jerome McCarthy.



What is the Marketing Mix? Description

The Marketing Mix model (also known as the 4 P's) can be used by marketers as a tool to assist in defining the marketing strategy. Marketing managers use this method to attempt to generate the optimal response in the target market by blending 4 (or 5, or 7) variables in an optimal way. It is important to understand that the Marketing Mix principles are controllable variables. The Marketing Mix can be adjusted on a frequent basis to meet the changing needs of the target group and the other dynamics of the marketing environment.


Historically, the thinking was: a good product will sell itself. However there are no bad products anymore in today's highly competitive markets. Plus there are many laws giving customers the right to send back products that he perceives as bad. Therefore the question on product has become: does the organization create what its intended customers want? Define the characteristics of your product or service that meets the needs of your customers. Functionality; Quality; Appearance; Packaging; Brand; Service; Support; Warranty.
Price How much are the intended customers willing to pay? Here we decide on a pricing strategy - do not let it just happen! Even if you decide not to ask (enough) money for a product or service, you must realize that this is a conscious decision and forms part of the pricing strategy. Although competing on price is as old as mankind, the consumer is often still sensitive for price discounts and special offers. Price has also an irrational side: something that is expensive must be good. Permanently competing on price is for many companies not a very sensible approach. List Price; Discounts; Financing; Leasing Options; Allowances.
Place Available at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities? Some of the recent major changes in business have come about by changing Place. Think of the Internet and mobile telephones. Locations; Logistics; Channel members; Channel Motivation; Market Coverage; Service Levels; Internet; Mobile.
Promotion (How) are the chosen target groups informed or educated about the organization and its products? This includes all the weapons in the marketing armory - advertising, selling, sales promotions, Direct Marketing, Public Relations, etc. While the other three P's have lost much of their meanings in today's markets, Promotion has become the most important P to focus on. Advertising; Public Relations; Message; Direct Sales; Sales; Media; Budget.

The function of the Marketing Mix is to help develop a package (mix) that will not only satisfy the needs of the customers within the target markets, but simultaneously to maximize the performance of the organization. There have been many attempts to increase the number of P's from 4 to 5P's in the Marketing Mix model. The most frequently mentioned one being People or Personnel. Booms and Bitner have suggested a 7-Ps approach for services-oriented companies.

Book: Nirmalya Kumar - Marketing As Strategy: Understanding the CEO's Agenda.. -

Book: David A. Aaker - Strategic Marketing Management -

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Compare with the 4-Ps: Extended Marketing Mix (7-Ps)  |  4S Web Marketing Mix  |  3C's  |  Product/Market Grid  |  SERVQUAL  |  Competitive Advantage framework  |  BCG Matrix  |  Bass Diffusion Model  |  Positioning  |  Co-Creation  |  Disruptive Innovation  |  Relationship Marketing

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