Elements of Marketing Mix

Some of the elements of marketing mix are given below

Elements of Marketing Mix

1. Product

A product, service or idea, may be defined as something which is given to consumers in exchange for a price. Product is the article which a manufacturer desires to sell in the open market. It is the first element in the marketing mix. The product mix includes the following variables.

  • Product line and range,
  • Style, shape, design, colour, quality and other physical features of a product,
  • Packaging and labeling of a product,
  • Branding and trade mark given to the product,
  • Product innovation, and
  • Product servicing.

Managing product component involves product planning and development. Here, the decisions are required to be taken regarding product range, branding, packaging, labeling and other features of the product. The product manufactured for market should be as per the needs and expectations of consumers.

Product is the most powerful competing instrument in the hands of the marketing manager. It is the heart of whole marketing mix. If the product is not sound /attractive to the customers, no amount of sales promotion, appropriate channel selection or price reduction will help to achieve the marketing target. Hence, durability, quality, uses, etc. of the product are important from the marketing point of view.

The following aspects of a product need careful attention in marketing decision-making.

  • Product line and range,
  • Style, shape, design, colour, quality and other physical features of a product,
  • Packaging and labeling of a product,
  • Branding and trade mark given to a product.
  • Product servicing and channel of distribution.
  • Product pricing.
  • Guarantees and warranties of the product.
  • Product innovation.
  • Special features of the product from the marketing point of view.

Decisions on these aspects of a product are important as marketing is directly related to these aspects. Sales promotion measures will be useful but their role will be supplementary/ supportive. Such measures may not be effective if the product to be marketed is not of standard quality or if the brand or package is not attractive or if the product is not as per the requirements/expectations of consumers. This suggests that decisions relating to product are important /crucial in the marketing of a product.

2. Place

Physical distribution is the delivery of goods at the right time and at the right place to consumers. Physical distribution of product is possible through channels of distribution which are many and varied in character. Distribution is made up of two components: (1) Physical distribution, and (2) Channels of distribution

Physical distribution (place mix) includes the following variables:

  • Types of intermediaries available for distribution,
  • Distribution marketing channels available for distribution, and
  • Transportation, warehousing and inventory control for making the product available to consumers easily and economically.

For large-scale distribution, the services of wholesalers, retailers and other marketing intermediaries are required. A marketing manager has to select a channel which is convenient, economical and suitable for the distribution of a specific product. For instance, large numbers of outlets are required for the distribution of products of mass consumption such as soaps and oils. On the other hand, for the marketing of speciality products like refrigerators and TV sets, selective distribution through authorized dealers is quite convenient.

3. Price

Price is one more critical component of marketing mix. It is the valuation of the product mentioned by the seller on the product. You can define price as the amount of money that consumers must pay in exchange for the product, service or idea.

Price mix includes the following variables:

  • Pricing policies,
  • Discounts and other concessions offered for capturing market,
  • Terms of credit sale,
  • Terms of delivery, and
  • Pricing strategy selected and used.

Pricing has an important bearing on the competitive position of a product. The marketing manager may use pricing as a tool for achieving the targeted market share or sales volume. Pricing can also be used for capturing market and also for facing market competition effectively. Pricing decisions and policies have direct influence on the sales volume and profits of the firm. Market price of a product also needs periodical review and adjustments. The price charged should be high enough to give adequate profit to the company but low enough to motivate consumers to purchase product. It should also be suitable to face market competition effectively.

Generally, marketers consider the following factors in setting prices:

  • Target customers: how much they will buy at various prices, in other words, price elasticity of demand.
  • Cost: how much it costs to produce and market the product, i.e., both production and distribution costs.
  • Competition: severe competition may indicate a lower price than when there is monopoly or little competition.
  • The law: government authorities place numerous restrictions on pricing activities.
  • Social responsibility: pricing affects many parties, including employees, shareholders and the public at large. These should be considered in pricing

4. Promotion

Promotion is the persuasive communication about the product offered by the manufacturer to the prospect.

Promotion mix includes the following variables:

  • Advertising and publicity of the product,
  • Personal selling techniques used,
  • Sales promotion measures introduced at different levels,
  • Public relations techniques used for keeping cordial relations with dealers and consumers,
  • Display of goods for sales promotion.

Promotional activities are necessary for large scale marketing and also for facing market competition effectively. Such activities are varied in nature and are useful for establishing reasonably good rapport with the consumers.

Advertising gives information and guidance to consumers. Brand names are made popular through advertising. Along with advertising, personal selling is also useful for motivating the customers to buy a specific product.

In addition to advertising and personal selling, a manufacturer has to use other sales promotion techniques at the consumer level and at the dealer level. The techniques at consumer level include displays, exhibitions, discount coupons, small gifts and free samples, attractive container and consumer contests. Consumer psychology is favorable for extensive use of such sales promotion techniques. After-sales services are also useful for promoting sales of durable good.

Like other elements of the marketing mix, promotion should be aimed at the target audience rather than at consumers at large. If target consumers are in upper-income groups, promotional messages for, say, color television sets might highlight motives such as status and prestige associated with owing a color television, whereas if they are in lower-income groups, the price of a model might be emphasized. If target consumers tend to be highly educated, promotion messages should be more sophisticated than when target consumers have low levels of education. Failure to consider the unique characteristics of the target consumer can result in ineffective promotional efforts.

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