IN ORDER FOR AN ORGANISATION TO PERFORM ITS MARKETING FUNCTION PROPERLY, IT MUST CONSIDER AND DEVELOP A GOOD MARKETING MIX. EXPLAIN THE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF THE MARKETING MIX Marketing is said to be the back bone of any business and marketing mix is the life blood. Great business icons have achieved their goals by properly implementing the most apt marketing mix according to their business. Marketing mix actually a self explanatory structure of the business upon which the entire operations, investment and management is scheduled.
The marketing mix refers to the apportionment of effort, then combination, the designing and the integration of the elements of marketing into a programme or mix which on the basis of an appraisal of the market force will best achieve the objectives of an enterprise at a given time. Marketing Mix denotes a blend of various elements which in their totality constitute a firm’s marketing system. In order to sustain in today’s highly competitive business environment is very much essential to have a uniquely designed marketing mix. The marketing mix is generally denoted in two ways – either 4P’s or 7P’s.
The former is the updated or more customised version of the later. Usually 4P’s are used in case of product marketing organisations and 7P’s are used for the service industry. The additional 3P’s are People, positioning and physical evidence. Marketing Mix is one of the tools used for fulfilling the purpose of marketing. This term was coined by Neil H. Borden in his article The Concept of the Marketing Mix in 1965. Let’s discuss about the basic 4P’s. The preference of each P, the ratio of each P, the importance of each P, etc differs according to company to company.
For example in the case a News paper people is more important than the other 3P’s, because the purchase spectrum is defined by the people of the geographic area, the education, language used, race, political situation etc. PRODUCT There are many attributes of a product that needs to be taken care of while designing it. One of the major elements is the product variety. The customers always look for variety in any product group. Next is the quality aspect of the product. These days it is uncompromised and is a must for any product to be successful.
Quality is not the final check before the packaging; rather it starts from the procurement stage itself and continues throughout all the stages of manufacturing. Keeping high quality manufacturing system gives many advantages like reduced product rejections, replacements and acquiring standards like ISO, ISI etc. Design is another major factor and the design should be in line with the purpose. The features of the product too play an important role. Finally the brand name, which gives the product the unique identity. The brand name just represents all the features and attributes in one word.
PRICE Price is a very tactical factor. It should be decided after a detailed study of all the price deciding factors like, the type of customers, their financial position, the frequency of purchase, the segment etc. The marketing team have to design a flexible price so that it can survive all the market irregularities. They should have a clear strategic approach towards credit term, discounts, payment period etc. Also it should be high enough to cover the expenses and generate a reasonable income. There are many uncontrollable factors that decide the price of any products.
They are price of competitors, entry of cheap alternative product, etc. PLACE The place is not just the place targeted; the concept of place here is very wide. One of the major element is the distribution channel. It is a virtual structure through which the product travels before it reaches in the hand of the end user. Different companies use different and specialised kind of distribution channels as a strategic approach. For example SONY tries to raise its sales through exclusive show rooms but DELL is removing all the subsidiaries in between and reaching the customers directly though e-selling.
The coverage of the market is also a determining factor. The place should be ideal that the movement of row materials from the suppliers and the distribution of final products should not be disturbed. The location should be perfectly in line with the company, the process, customer and market. The place should be an advantage for the management of inventory; it should facilitate most modern management techniques like Just in Time (JIT) etc. The climate and other environmental factors also should be considered while deciding the place. Last, but most importantly – transportation, which s the key factor deciding the place. The place should be accessible to all major conveyances like road, air, rail, sea like whichever is important to us. It should be supporting the customer service options available and the market requirements. PROMOTION Promotion is not just a banner or holding. It is a very deep concept of marketing. The promotion of any product should be designed in line with the customer type, customer preference, the occasion, current market trends, competitors activates, our predictions and forecasting etc. Sales promotion is a major promotion activity.
It’s done through various means including dealer’s commission, incentives foe sales force, gift offers etc. To achieve better sales and brand identity we can see companies investing huge sum for the advertisement. Public relation is another major factor. It is the art of identifying, maintaining and satisfying the customers. Once a person tries our product, the public relation’s team should keep a track of him to understand the customer wants and needs so as to redesign the product accordingly. This one of the most effective survival technique used by the successful companies. Direct marketing is also another technique.
We can see big companies as well as medium companies using this technique to get themselves penetrate into the market. Like, TVS is having a network marketing contract with RMP for direct marketing in India. Promotion techniques have to be designed according to the market preference rather than logic. It was in this time when people had the habit of changing channel during the commercials; Vodafone introduced the very innovative and interesting ‘ZooZoo’. And it changed the whole idea of an advertisement from informative to entertaining. There are so many other factors too which affects the marketing mix.
Company’s Internal Environment is an important and vital element in designing marketing plans and marketing mix. Marketing management must take other company groups, such as top management, finance, research and development (R&D), purchasing, manufacturing and accounting, into consideration while deciding our market mix. Suppliers another major factor as they provide the resources needed to produce perfect goods and services. Next comes the marketing Intermediaries, they help the company to promote, sell, and distribute its goods to final buyers. The various intermediaries are as follows.
The Resellers are individuals and organizations that buy goods and services to resell at a profit. So their intention is to be given some preference if they constitute our distribution channel. Now it is the era of outsourcing, there are many physical distribution firms that are out sources as a strategic move like warehouse, transportation and other firms that help a company to stock and move goods from their point of origin to their destinations. Marketing is some times a hectic effoert and specialised people and organisations like marketing-service agencies help us in this situation.
Such firms are marketing research firms, advertising agencies, marketing consulting firms and other service providers that help a company to target and promote its products to the right markets. Finally and very importantly, financial intermediaries like banks, credit companies and other businesses that help finance transactions or insure against the risks associated with the buying and selling of goods. Thus it is very evident that marketing mix really is a constituent of success for any organisation. All we have to do is to identify the right ratio or proportion of each of the element of marketing mix.
A study of experiences of similar companies or an interview with a veteran in the industry or properly conducted market research etc could be treated as a base for deciding the marketing mix. Each business venture is designed for a specific goal and the time to reach there is decided by the marketing mix. If u chose the wrong marketing mix and you failed in between. You need to identify the pitfall, correct it and move forward but this take a long time and now you are giving an opportunity to your competitor to increase his pace.
This makes it very clear that how important is a marketing mix. Crafting a marketing mix gives the business a prospect to go through all the facets of its business and make it more customer devoted. Without proper marketing mix, the business may fail to give significance to all the essentials. This might result in loss of sales. Applying marketing mix before a product is launched gives the business a chance to review all the elements and correct as much errors as possible. It is not a fool proof system. But still it is much better than having nothing.