The term marketing mix was first coined by James Culliton and was described as 4P`s by Professor Jerome McCarthy. Since then the terms ‘marketing mix’ and ‘4P`s’ have been used synonymously.
Marketing Mix refers to the set of controllable factors that a firm can use to influence the buyer’s response within a given marketing environment. It is used to describe the combination of four inputs (product, price, place, promotion) which constitute the core of a company’s marketing system.
Marketing Mix is the combination of different marketing decision variables used by a firm to market its goods and services. These four marketing mix elements form the core of all marketing efforts.
Elements of Marketing Mix
Product – A product is anything that satisfies a consumer need. It may be a good, service, event, experience etc. The first step in marketing is to identify and develop a product that consumers`s demand. It involves decisions regarding:
- Physical Product
- Product mix
- Product variables
- Product Quality
- Packaging etc.
Price – Price is the amount of money that a buyer has to pay in order to own a product. A marketer makes price alterations in order to attract the customers through discounts, allowances, coupons etc. The element of price is concerned with determining:
- Level of prices (low, high)
- Range of prices
- Price–Quality relationship
- Competitors pricing
- Government control over prices
- Psychological effect of pricing
Place – It is concerned with the delivery of a product from the place of production to the final consumer. A producer may sell a product directly or through intermediaries. It involves decisions regarding:
- Channel levels – Manufacturer to Wholesaler to Retailer to Consumer and creation of:
- Time utility – Product must be available when needed
- Place utility – Locate products where they can be easily acquired.
- Possession – Minimize the number of obstacles between the manufacturer and consumer.
- Inventory management and control
- Physical distribution of goods
- Order processing and Transportation
Promotion – Promotion refers to communication of information about a product and its features to potential customers through various forms of media. It is the process of educating customers through various forms of media about
- Product Quality
- Product Utility
- Product Price
It involves selection of a combination of tools of promotion like advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, publicity and public relations to persuade potential customers to buy a product or service.
Factors affecting Marketing Mix
Market related factors –
- Distribution system
- Consumer behaviour
- Government policies
- Nature of competition
Product related factors –
- Marketing research
- Product planning
- Sales promotion
- Channel of distribution
- Personal selling