Friday, July 11, 2014

Marketing Mix - Elements, Features and Criticism

Marketing Mix
Marketing mix prefers to one of the major concept in modern marketing according Philip kotler “marketing mix is a set of controllable marketing variables that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market”. It is the combination of four controllable variables which constitutes the company’s marketing system .the four controllable variables are:

1)      The product
2)      The price structure
3)      The promotional activities
4)      The distribution system
These elements are inter related and inter dependent since decisions in one area usually actions in other area.

Features of marketing mix:
1) Combination of four controllable variables: Marketing mix is the combination of four variables inputs namely product, price, promotion and place that constitute the core of organizations marketing system
2) Inter relation of variables: The four P’s of marketing mix are interrelated and independent as the decision of one area automatically depends upon the other.
3) Managerial activity: Marketing mix is a managerial activity i.e. it is the responsibility of the marketing manager to combine. The four ingredients in the right proportion as to achieve optimum results.
4) Dynamic concept: Marketing mix is a dynamic concept as the need of constant as per the changes taking place in the marketing environment.
5) Consumer orientation: All marketing activities are directed towards consumer satisfaction therefore marketing mix variables need to be flexible to adopt the needs expectation, purchasing power and buying behavior of the consumer.
6) Target oriented: It is one of the important components of marketing mix centers around the consumer and his welfare.
7) Universal approach: Marketing is a universal concept. It is applicable to not only business organizational but also to non-business and non-profit organizations.
8) Creative activity: Determination of right marketing mix is a creative process. The imagination, intelligence and creativity to prepare a perfect blend of four variables to provide maximum satisfaction to the consumers and returns to the organization.

Principle Ingredients of Marketing Mix (Four P’s) and their importance
Successful businessmen know the importance of marketing mix because they cannot design and promote their products without marketing mix.  It is a mixture of 4 P’s of marketing mix such as product, place, price and promotion. 4 P’s Of Marketing Mix:
1. Product: Product is one of important part of marketing mix because it reflects the good or bad reputation of any organization.  The products represent your business efficiently.  Successful organizations always search out the buying habits of their customers and designed their products based on those buying habits in order to meet the customer’s requirements. They also design their products based on important factors such as purchasing power and geographical locations etc.  They try to design products which are affordable for customers.  Companies always design their products according to customer’s budget and affordability.
They do not compromise on their product quality.  Some companies maintain their quality and do not compromise on price but there are some companies which produce products according to the affordability of customers. Marketers communicate with their customers directly and convince them to buy their products.

2. Price: It is the worth of product on which customers are agreed to buy the products.  Price of the product should be according to the range of regular customers.  Prices are fluctuating according to seasonal requirements. Marketers always try to satisfy their clients at any cost.  If employees of the company are satisfied with their job and performance rewards, they can become an effective asset of any organization.

3. Place: Products always design based on geographical place because customers buy products according to their traditions and seasons.  Companies which are going to spread their business networks throughout the world must visit the place where they want to open their branches. They need to study the traditions and seasonal changes of the country where they want to initialize their products.

4. Promotion: Promotion activities involve marketing and advertising.  Promotional activities are used to create awareness about the products.  Customers know about products and their specification through social marketing media. Companies adopt social marketing media in order to create awareness about their products and services.  Promotional activities and techniques are important if companies initialize new products or make some changes in product’s specifications. Promotional activities include advertising, selling, public relations and sales promotions.  Advertising is a paid form of promotion that grabs the attention of customers through channels or TV. It also involves relationships between customers and companies. Marketers should design products that meet customers’ needs and demands.
Criticisms of the 4 P's Of Marketing Mix
So how can the marketing mix and the traditional four P's of marketing are criticised?
Ø  It is completely internally focused on what the business wants. If marketing is about meeting customer needs, then surely the customer and their issues should come into the most popular framework for marketing. Can't think of P's? What about Purchaser, Problem and Pain?
Ø  There are winning marketing strategies and losing marketing strategies. The four P's of the traditional marketing mix don't make it clear what the objective of the marketing is. There is no mention of Purpose or Profit. Without confirming the purpose, how can you know that you have the appropriate mix of marketing?
Ø  Some argue that the marketing mix is focused on consumer marketing and that the Product, Price, Place, Promotion doesn't fit so well for industrial products and services. I'm not sure I agree with that one as each P can be adapted to industrial products and services.
Ø  Others argue that the marketing mix creates subdivisions along artificial lines. Product becomes the responsibility of the product development people, pricing the responsibility of the pricing department etc.
Ø  The marketing mix is very much based on the assumption that the business is pushing products out to customers. There is no interaction or feedback. It might have been fine when the producers had the marketing power but in a world of the Internet, social media and the free access to information, buyers are much better informed.
Ø  As a marketer, the thing I want to do most is to build a relationship with the customer so that they buy and buy again repeatedly. There is nothing in the marketing mix which encourages the repeat purchases on the back end which is often where the real money is made.
Ø  It is possible to break these criticisms of the marketing mix into finer points and you only have to look at the collection of P's that could be included in a revised marketing mix to see how much is missed out.

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