ARTICLE: Marketing Mix and its concept of 4Ps

Every company or business house has to promote its products or services to attract the attention of the customers so that its profits can increase. The companies need to create brand awareness about their products and services in the market. The basic model of marketing is known as the marketing mix. It can be defined as those procedures of strategies which an organisation adopts for pursuing its objectives t0realted to the marketing of its goods or services.

There are four types of decisions on which the concept of marketing mix relies which are also known as 4Ps of the marketing. These 4 Ps are Price, Promotion, place and the product. The framework for the marketing management decisions which is also known as 4Ps concepts was published in the year of 1960 for the first time. In the service industry, these 4 Ps get to the 7 Ps where the dimension of the process, physical evidence and people are added to it. Sometimes the dimension of the performance is also added to the extended marketing mix of the service sector and makes it 8 Ps concept.

THE EMERGENCE OF 4 PS CONCEPT

The origin of this marketing mix concept can be dated back to the year 1940. One of the Harvard University Professors named Prof. James Culliton mentioned this term for the first time, but it was not exactly the marketing mix instead he described the marketing departments of a firm as the “mixers of ingredients” in his article “ The Management of Marketing Costs.”. But the credit to make this term famous was taken by Prof. Neil Borden who wrote an article inspired by the description of Culliton.

But the original concept of 4Ps was proposed by E. Jerome McCarthy, and therefore this concept is sometimes referred to as McCarthy’s 4 Ps also. He provided a detailed framework for the people who have to decide on the marketing processes. This is one of the most accepted and referred marketing management framework in the business world.

THE 4 PS OF THE MARKETING MIX

1.    Product
In the field of marketing, the product is defined as an item which can be offered to a market and which can satisfy the needs and wants of people. There are various types of products such as in the manufacturing industry the companies buy products as raw materials and then transform them into finished goods worth the help of several tools and techniques. In the service industry, the products are intangible, and the customers can only experience them. IN the case of retail marketing, the products are known as merchandise.

Fundamental marketing decisions associated with the product

•    The decision for designing the features of the product which is also known as the product design.
•    The assortment of the products on the bases of the product line, the range of the products, and the product mix
•    Branding of the products or services by promoting them
•    Proper labelling and packaging of the manufactured goods
•    Deciding on providing different types of services which can include after-sales service, quality another function, and complementary services etc.
•    Warranties and guarantees associated with the products or services
•    Formulation of the return policies

2.    Price
Pricing is a part of an organization’s marketing plan, and here the firms set the prices for their services or products for selling them in the market. The pricing decisions made after a thorough examination of the various costs associated with the production of the products such as manufacturing costs, the delivery costs, cost of storage and maintenance etc. There are other factors also which are taken into consideration while deciding upon a price of goods like the price of the competitors, the market conditions at that point of time, brand value of the company, the severity of the competition, and the quality of the finished goods.
Pricing is one of the central aspects of the 4 Ps model, and it also makes the fundamental feature of the financial modelling. Res of the marketing mix, the pricing is the only P which is associated with revenue generation. There are several factors which are responsible for applying pricing strategies are like the costs of promotions and sales campaigning, specific quotes by different vendors or distributors, quantity break, the dates of delivery and the time for shipment, combining multiple orders, and the fixed cost of manufacturing it.

Fundamental marketing decisions associated with the Price
•    The decision making for setting prices
•    Tactics for pricing
•    Designing strategies for price setting
•    Allowances
•    Taking decisions about the payment modes such as various payment methods or on credit etc.

3.    Place
The place is also an essential element of the marketing mix. The area is also called as distribution sometimes. The distribution of the products means that the product or service is made available to the customers when they need it. The vision of the companies and their strategic objectives influence the distribution decisions. Strategic planning aims to develop a distribution plan for maximum applicability as well as effectiveness. The decision about the place or distribution is about providing access to the product or service to the customer base. The primary concern to keep the place in the central 4 Ps of marketing is that with the help of this aspects the companies try to provide convenience to their consumers.

Fundamental marketing decisions associated with the Place

•    Making strategies regarding the selective distributions, intensive distribution or the exclusive distribution
•    Market coverage for making the products’ presence in the broader area
•    An assortment of the goods and services
•    Inventory management
•    Taking decisions related to
•    Management of the logistics, warehousing and transportation

4.    Promotion
Promotion can be defined as the communicating with the customers. This is the tools used for informing and educating the target group of customers. The main motive of promoting the products or service is to create awareness about them so that the consumers know about its features and benefits and buy it. Creating interest by showcasing the characteristics and advantages is one of the tactics used while promotional campaigns. There are several elements of promotional strategy which include sales promotions, advertising, marketing by organizing events, direct marketing, personal selling, the trade fairs and the exhibitions etc. The basic idea of promotion is to communicate with the people, and both verbal and visual medium can be chosen for this purpose.

There are three main objectives of promotion which are written as below:

a.    To inform the consumers about the company’s products and services
b.    The second reason for promotion is to increase the demand for a particular service or the product
c.    This is also used as a method to different products from the rest and creating awareness about this differentiation.

Fundamental marketing decisions associated with the Promotion

•    The decision about picking the best method for promotions from the promotional mix which are PR, direct marketing and sales, advertising in different mediums such as print media, televisions, radios etc.
•    Formalization of message strategy that is to decide what exactly needs to be communicated and how to communicate it for the maximum impact
•    The means to reach the target audience for
•    How often the message should be sent to the audience that is deciding upon the message frequency.