In this assignment, I am going to describe and explain how Apple uses the marketing mix for one of its latest product, a mini IPad.
Marketing mix is commonly known as the 4Ps: product, price, place and promotion. These are controllable element and it importantly use when determined and adjusted until the right combination that serve the needs of the product’s consumers.
Description of the product
The product I have been chosen is one of the latest product of Apple which have been released during November 2012, the mini IPad. This new IPad is available in two models, one with Wi-Fi and another is Wi-Fi + cellular. The IPad mini has two colours which is black and white and the price range is from £269 to £529
The target market that chosen for the mini IPad is male and female between the ages of 19 to 49, those that are currently in further education or in employment. Also, it is also targeting at Apple loyal customers.
The reason for this market group is because, people between the ages of 19 to 49 are more likely to use high technology product. Especially with people who are in education and employment because they will need to use tablet for works purposes.
Product life cycle
When developing a product, Apple must consider factors such as, customers’ wants and needs, the physical appearance of the product, the quality and reliability of the product. All products must go through a product life cycle which is an important concept in marketing. The product life cycle describes the stage that many products must go through. However, many products will not be able to reach to the final stages because of decrease in demand of product failure. The four stages of the product life cycle are; * Introduction – researching, developing and then launching the product * Growth – when sales are increasing at their fastest rate * Maturity – sales are near their highest, but the rate of growth is slowing down, e.g. new competitors in market or saturation * Decline – final stage of the cycle, when sales begin to fall Reason for chosen product
The reason that I have chosen the mini IPad is because; the mini IPad is one of the latest technologies available in the market at the moment. Moreover, it is also because, all the applications are available and easily to download from the Apple store that have been built in with the mini IPad. Plus, the mini IPad is light in weight and with the Wi-Fi and cellular connection available it is very easy to carry along. Therefore, this mini IPad has been designed to meet many of customers’ requirements of an ideal table which are; efficient, portable and easy to use.
Another reason that made me to select out this product is because of its attractive appearance. Apple has designed this product to meet both genders as the mini IPad is available in two colours; black and white. Normally, the attractive classic black is an option for male while the stylist shinny white is for female. The appearance and packaging of the product is important because the consumers must look at the appearance first before knowing the quality of product. So, if the mini IPad is badly presented its may not be able to catch customers’ eyes.
Moreover, one of another important reason for chosen the mini IPad is because, Apple is popular for developing quality and high performance product that can last for long time therefore, it is very likely that the mini IPad are also to have a high quality performance.
Out of the 4Ps, price is the only element which creates sales revenue for Apple while all the others Ps are costs. . The price of an item is clearly an important determinant of the value of sales made. Researching consumers’ opinions about pricing is important as it indicates how they value what they are looking for as well as what they want to pay
Pricing strategies is not an easy for business including Apple, to determine because the price must be reasonable and appeal to the target market. Within pricing strategies, there are three factors to its; cost based pricing, customer based pricing and competitor based pricing. Cost based pricing is
when price is determined by adding a profit element on top of the cost of making the product. Customer based pricing is where prices are determined by what Apple believe customers will be prepared to pay. While competitor based pricing is where competitor prices are the main influence on the price set.
Currently, the price range of the mini IPad is from £269 to £529. This price range is determined based on the combination of cost and customer based pricing. It is based on the cost based pricing because, people who are actually buying the mini IPad are not interested in the production cost of the product but instead, what they are interested in is the value which the mini IPad provides them.
Moreover, it is also considered as customer based pricing because, the price range of the mini IPad is considered as a premium price for a tablet. However, demand for the mini IPad is still high because mini IPad are seen as quality product and people are obsessing about it so they are willing to pay at the high price, therefore the price for this product is seen as reasonable for the target market.
Promotion is all about communication, the process where businesses tried to raise awareness of products to the customers. Therefore, the main aim of promotion is to ensure that customers are aware of the existence of the products and also, persuade and encourage customers to buy the products. Normally, business would use AIDA model for its promotion. AIDA stands for; * Attention : A process when Apple need to attract and grab the customers’ attention by having a standing out point. * Interest: A process where Apple need to create interest in the mini IPad by demonstrate its advantages * Desire: A process where Apple need to move from discussing benefits to specifically how those benefits will help that customer. * Action – A process of getting the customer to buy the mini IPad.
Furthermore, there are many types of promotional mix which is promotional methods for Apple to choose from. Example of promotional mix are includes; advertising, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing and special promotion. Not all businesses are using the same types of promotional mix so in term of Apple, because the mini IPad is a premium product, Apple is less likely to do a special promotion such as buy one get one free. But instead, promotional mix, that Apple would be using are like advertising. Because Apple is a large global business with high profits figures therefore, they are more likely to use expensive type of advertisement.
For instance, a television adverts during a prime time slot, electronic billboard and whole page print advertisement on Guardian newspaper. Similarly, Apple are also likely to use direct marketing which is a channel agnostic form of advertising that allows Apple to communicate straight to customers via text message, website and email. As evidences, if people are to visit Apple webpage and sign up for newspaper, they will definitely find information about all new products of Apple including the mini IPad.
Place in marketing is also known as distribution channel, a location or methods where customers can buy what the businesses is offered. So, the main objective of place in marketing mix is to make products available in the right place, at the right time. So for example, if there are no Apple stores in London, many consumers would not bother to go all the trouble to buy the mini IPad. Distribution channel can be direct transaction between Apple to consumers but, it is can also be from Apple to retailers like Tesco then to consumers.
Moreover, there are many distribution methods that business can choose from and each one of the business choose a different way to approach it to their customers. For example, market stalls, online, and stores. When Apple are to consider to select their distribution channel, they are certain factors that they must aware of. The first factor is market segment, so a place that must be familiar with the target market. Second factor is changes during the product life cycle as different channels can exploited at the different point. The third factor is the amount of training and support the distributor requires.
In term of Apple, because they are a global business so, they are currently having many channels to distribute its mini IPad. The most common channel is through the Apple store that available to visit across many cities. However, because demand for Apple’s product is too high, many consumers now prefer to pre-order and buy the product online which is much quicker and efficient.
In conclusion, all of the 4Ps elements of the marketing are to have a major impact on the mini IPad, therefore it is recommend that Apple must always careful with it.