The definition that many marketers learn as they start out in the industry is: Putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.
Marketing Mix is one of the most fundamental concepts in marketing management. For attracting consumers and for sales promotion, every manufacturer has to concentrate on four basic elements/components. These are: product, pricing, distributive channels (place) and sales promotion techniques. A fair combination of these marketing elements is called Marketing Mix.
James Culliton, the American marketing expert, coined the expression Marketing Mix and described the marketing manager as ‘mixer of ingredients” as he has to establish fair balance among the four elements of marketing mix in order to achieve marketing targets. He is also a ‘decider’, ‘artist’ of marketing mix formula.
The four components of marketing mix are also called “marketing mix variables” or “controllable variables” as they emanate from within the enterprise and the marketing manager can use them freely as per his desire or need of the situation.
The marketing mix consists of the following four major activities usually referred to as elements of marketing mix.
- Product: activities relating to the product, service or idea to be offered.
- Price: activities relating to the price to be charged for the product, service or idea.
- Promotion: activities relating to promotion (advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and publicity, called promotional mix) of the product, service or idea.
- Place: activities relating to distribution of the product, service or idea (physical distribution and channels of distribution).
Lately three more P’s have been added to the marketing mix. They are as follows:
- People – The individuals involved in the sale and purchase of products or services come under people.
- Process – Process includes the various mechanisms and procedures which help the product to finally reach its target market
- Physical Evidence – With the help of physical evidence, a marketer tries to communicate the USP’s and benefits of a product to the end users
Marketing mix is a combination/integration of four basic marketing variables namely, product, price, promotion and place. It aims at achieving marketing targets in terms of sales, profit and consumer satisfaction. It is rightly said that marketing mix is the marketing manager’s instrument for attainment of marketing objectives/targets.
Marketing mix is not a rigid combination of four variables. It is in fact a flexible combination of variables. It is necessary to adjust the variables in the mix from time to time as per the changes in the marketing environment. It is the continuous monitoring of the marketing mix which facilitates appropriate changes in the mix.
The main focus of marketing mix is the customer. His satisfaction and support are important. Variables of marketing mix are for giving more satisfaction and pleasure to consumers.
Four Ps in the marketing mix represent the sellers’ view of the marketing tools available for influencing buyers. Each tool is designed to deliver a customer benefit. The sellers’ four Ps correspond to the customers’ four Cs as shown below.
Four C’s of Marketing Mix
Now days, organizations treat their customers like kings. In the current scenario, the four C’s has thus replaced the four P’s of marketing making it a more customer oriented model. Koichi Shimizu in the year 1973 proposed a four C’s classification.
- Commodity – (Replaces Products)
- Cost – (Replaces Price) involves manufacturing cost, buying cost and selling cost
- Channel – The various channels which help the product reach the target market.
- Communication – (Replaces Promotion)
Limitations of Marketing Mix Framework
The marketing mix framework was particularly useful in the early days of marketing concept when physical products represented a larger portion of the economy. Today, with marketing more integrated into organizations and with a wider variety of products and markets, some authors have attempted to extend its usefulness by proposing a fifth P, such as packaging, people, process, etc. Today however, the marketing mix most commonly remains based on the 4 P’s. Despite its limitations and perhaps because of its simplicity, the use of this framework remains strong and many marketing textbooks have been organized around it.