The Marketing Mix includes the basic tools used by marketers to sell goods and services to target customers. They are as follows: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
Product (Good or Service) – it is a bundle of benefits that is being delivered to meet the needs of your customers. Product positioning strategies have become more finely tuned to customers needs and perceived benefits. The old approach was similar to the movie “Field of Dreams” – build it and they will come. Not any longer. You must determine what your customer’s needs are and design a product that will fulfill those needs.
Price (Value) – is basically the amount a customer is willing to give up to obtain a desired product or service. In today’s marketplace, your pricing strategy will fall into one of the following categories: everyday low prices, price-quality-value, and value-added. Wal-Mart is perfect example of everyday low prices – they tell you that. Mercedes Benz is a good example of the price-quality-value pricing strategy. There approach is that you will pay a little more, but you are getting a better product. Now days, basically everyone uses some form of value-added to help distinguish there product. It is no longer an option, but a must. Examples would include: 24 hour support hot lines, 60 day after the sell service agreements, trade-in clauses, elongated payment options, no interest, etc, etc…
Place (Venue) – the channels and/or locations that sellers use to reach their buyers. Do you remember the “old” marketing phrase – location, location, location? It somewhat still holds true. You just need to replace location with traffic – traffic, traffic, traffic. You have to get your product or service in front of your customers. More than likely your customer base is made up of a global audience; therefore, this task is made more complex. You absolutely must develop a placement strategy that is focused on 21st Century technologies in order to successfully compete in today’s marketplace.
Promotion (Marketing Communications) – all the tools that you utilize to communicate with your customers: advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, direct marketing, and public relations. With the advent of sophisticated multimedia opportunities, marketers have expanded their ability to communicate with their target audience. Fortunately, technologies have leveled the playing field. Anyone with an Internet connection can cost effectively reach a global audience. The key is to allocate promotional dollars to your potential customers – only. What does it cost you to acquire a targeted customer?
Regardless of your chosen business model, your success or failure will depend on how well you integrate the “4 P’s” into your daily tactics and long-term strategies.