4Ps of Marketing Homework Help
The 4Ps of marketing or Marketing Mix is a business model which is used as a tool for the marketing of products. ‘Marketing Mix’ is a synonym for the 4Ps. These two terms are used in place of each other. The Marketing Mix is a basic model in marketing. In the simplest of words, the Marketing Mix can be defined as a set of marketing tools that a team or a firm uses to pursue the marketing objectives that they have set for a product.
Before one learns about this model of marketing, it is imperative for him to know what marketing actually is. In different places, there are different definitions of marketing and they all seem to be correct. In fact, they are correct… it’s just a matter of the choice of words. The basic definition of the word that most of the marketers learn as they start out in the industry is putting the right product in the right place at the right time and set the right price.
The basic idea of marketing that all the marketers learn is to make the product more viable and attractive for the target audience. Marketing a product is not as easy as it seems to be. It is not a walk in the park. There are certain things that the marketer needs to take care of. As a marketer, you need to create a product in such a way that the people find it better and more attractive than the other products of the kind in the market. The basic idea is to target a particular group of people and then create a product for them. Then, the product needs to be put on sale at a place where these people visit regularly. Then, the marketer needs to put a price on the product that these targeted people find justified against the value or services that they get from the product. This might sound simple but it is not.
The marketers need to go to great lengths to find out what the customers actually want. Even if one is able to figure this out, the next step is even more difficult. Because in the next step, the marketer is supposed to find out where do these targeted people do their shopping. If the marketer gets past this, he needs to figure out a way to produce the product at a price that the targeted people find justified. After all, this is done, the real challenge is to get all this done and put it together at the right time.
The level of difficulty of this process can be estimated by the fact that even if one of these steps go wrong, the entire purpose of the process is lost. For instance, if you are promoting a cold drink and you get everything done but by the time you do it, summer’s about to be over, then the entire hard work that you had put into gets turns into nothing but waste.
This is why models like Marketing Mix came into existence. It is a model that is appropriately designed for a person to start with when he is preparing a plan for a product or service. A model like Marketing Mix helps you in avoiding these kinds of mistakes.
However, the terms ‘Marketing Mix’ and ‘4Ps’ are not exactly the same. ‘Marketing Mix’ is a term that is used to define all the choices and decisions that an organization or a firm has to make in the process of bringing a product to the market. On the other hand, 4Ps is just one way of doing it. It is just one way of defining the ‘Marketing Mix’.
The term ‘Marketing Mix’ was coined by Neil Borden in his presidential address for American Marketing Association in the early 1950s. The 4Ps, which has become the most dominant framework for marketing decisions today, came into existence in the 1960s. It was expressed by E.J. McCarthy in 1960.
The 4Ps of Marketing Mix are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Let’s take a look at all of this one by one:
It does not take a genius to figure out that the term ‘Product’ in this framework means the product or the services that are supposed to be marketed. In the simplest of words, it refers to the tangible object or the intangible service that is supposed to be marketed through the program in practice. The intangible products include products which are entirely based on service. These can include the tourism industry; the services based on information technology and can even include products like cell phone credits and data. On the other hand, the tangible products include consumer goods. They include items like a shoe, toothpaste, shampoos, watches, iPhone and all the other products of the kind.
In this first stage or the first step of this model, deciding what product is to be marketed isn’t the only job. There are several other things that need to be taken into consideration. One of them is the product design. Product design is the one thing that leads to the product attributes. It is one of the most important factors. Moreover, every product, irrespective of the design is subject to a life-cycle. This life cycle includes a growth phase of the product. Followed by this, it includes the decline period as the product reaches its saturation point in the market. Therefore, with every product, continuous innovations are required. These innovations are one of the ways to try and differentiate the product from the others in the market.
While in this step, the marketers need to ask themselves some questions. They need to ask themselves what is it that the customers want from the product or the service, what are the needs that the product satisfies. When the needs are decided upon, the marketers need to decide what features does the product or service needs to have in order to meet these needs. The marketers need to see if they are including any costly feature in the product which won’t actually be used by the customers. The design, size, colour and everything of this sort have to be decided upon for the product. When all of this is done, then comes the name of the product. The name of the product has to be decided in this step only. The marketers also need to decide a branding strategy for the product. They need to come up with something that makes it different from all the other products of the kind.
The final step in this part is to decide the cost. The marketers need to decide the most that the product can cost and still be sold to the customers profitably.
Again, the name suggests that this part is about the place where the product is to be marketed. This part is about the place where the buyers are to look for the product or service marketed.
In this part of the process, the marketer needs to decide what kind of stores is the product to be marketed in. For instance, if you are marketing a kind of cloth, this is the part where you need to decide if the people will look for it in a boutique of a particular kind or a retail market or both. Whether the customer will find it online or in a catalog of some kind is to be decided in this part of the process. The marketers need to decide a strategy to access the right distribution channels.
In simpler words, this is that part of the process where you decide the places where the product is to be made accessible to the targeted people. The marketers need to decide whether they need to attend trade fairs to market the product or use a sales force or send samples to different companies.
The other strategy can be to take into account what your competitors do. When you see that, the next step is to decide whether you want to do the same or do you want to do something different.
This is arguably the most important part of the entire process because, in the end, it all comes down to the price of the product. No matter how good is your product, no matter how well you have marketed the product if the customer feels that the price that he has to pay is unjustified for the value he gets out of the product, then there is no way on Earth that he buys the product.
Therefore, in this part of the process, the marketers need to figure out what is the value of the product or service to the targeted customers. The marketers need to think from the point of view of the customers and then figure out the value that they get out of the product.
The marketers also need to find out if there are any established price points for the products or services of the kind that is to be marketed. It is important that the marketers are well aware of their customers. If the customers are price sensitive, which in most cases, they are, the marketers should know.
They need to figure out whether a small decrease in the price helps them in gaining an extra market share. If yes, then it should obviously be done. If a small increase in the price won’t affect the number of customers, then the price should be increased. Basically, this is the part of the process where things like these are to be factored so that the team decided upon the final price of the product.
Moreover, the prices of the competitors’ products are also to be considered. The final price should be decided to keep in mind how it will compare with the price of other products in the market.
This is where that part of the job is to be carried out which is generally associated with the word ‘Marketing’ by the laymen. Generally, this represents all forms of the communications that the marketer or his team uses to spread a word and increase awareness about the product in the marketplace. This communication is basically to announce the arrival of the product in the market.
Again, there are many things that the marketers need to keep in mind. It is to be decided as to where and when will it be the most suitable for the marketing messages to be spread in the target market. Different factors are to be considered while deciding this. For instance, if another product of the same kind is already scheduled to be announced in a region at the same time, then the marketers would not want to announce their product in that place on that time.
Moreover, the mode of spreading the word is decided by the marketers in this part. There are many ways in which the message can be spread. The marketers need to decide upon a mode. They need to decide whether they will spread the message by advertising online, or give a release in the press, or give an advertisement on the TV or radio or they will just distribute pamphlets. This is another place where the thorough knowledge of the customers comes in handy. The marketer needs to know what mode of advertisement is more likely to be watched or visited by the people that they have targeted. Only then, they can come up with the best mode of advertising for their product.
The timing of promotions is also very critical for the success of the product in the market. If there is any seasonality in the target market, it should be taken into consideration. If there are any environmental issues that are likely to dictate the promotions of the product, then they should also be taken into consideration. Moreover, the marketers should also take into account the promotional strategies of their customers. It should be figured out how do their choice of promotions affect your promotional choices and then changes should be made accordingly.
The 4Ps are considered in relation to each other. They are all relative. So, the order in which they are written does not really matter. For this reason, one can find them mentioned in different orders.