Marketing mix can be describes as “the use and specification of the 4 Ps describing the strategic position of a product in the marketplace… A prominent person to take centre stage was E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960; he proposed a four-P classification which was popularized. (wikipedia.com)” The marketing mix approach to marketing is a model of creating and implementing market strategies. The marketing mix stresses the mixing of different factors in a way that both organizational and consumer or target markets objectives are attained. The 4 Ps of marketing are Product, Place, Promotion and Price. Each plays a key factor in the overall successful marketing of a product or service.
Product”Although this typically refers to a physical product, it has been expanded to include services offered by a service organization. The specification of the product is one of the variables that a marketer has at his/her control. For example, the product can include certain colors (or not), certain scents (or not), certain features (or not). Lastly, in the broadest sense when a consumer purchases a product it also includes the post-sales relationship with the company. The post-sales relationship can include customer service and any warranty.” The product or service is an important part of the whole marketing process, after all, something that is completely useless to anyone is usually unsuccessful regardless of how great the place, promotion or price is. Sometimes companies don’t come out with all new products; they just try to tailor current products to better suit people. Convenience is one of the major factors in coming up with a better version of a current product.
Price”The price is the amount paid for a product. In some cases, especially in business-to-business marketing this can also include the total cost of ownership (TCO). Total cost of ownership may include costs such as installation and other products required to deliver a complete functional solution.” It is important to remain competitive when it comes to pricing. If the product is new and different customers will be willing to pay more, but if the same product is being offered, one should really consider keeping the price at or below the value of its competitors. This will give the product an even chance of being purchased, as it wouldn’t fall outside of the average budget for that type of product.
Promotion”Promotion represents all of the communications that a marketer may insert into the marketplace. This can include TV, radio, and print advertising, as well as coupons, direct mail, billboards, and online advertising. One of the less well-defined areas in promotion is the role of a human sales force. Are the messages the sales person provides to a consumer a component of the promotional mix, or is it part of the product? On the other hand, consumers may rather purchase the product only when sold through the support of a known salesperson.”Often times we think of marketing as just the promotion or sales part, but the other 3 factors are often times just as important, if not more important.
Promotion is the advertising of the actual product or service. One must consider who the audience is and what the best way is to target them. This could include television advertisements, radio advertisements, mailing and so on. There is no one best way to advertise, it really depends on the product and its audience. This is a very important aspect of marketing, and often times a good or bad promotional campaign can make or break a product or service.
Place”Place represents the location where a product can be purchased. It is often referred to as the distribution channel. It can include any physical store as well as virtual stores on the Internet.” Place is also an important part of marketing. The product or service needs to be accessible to customers, especially its target market. Often times there are no need for an actual store location, as many very successful companies offer just online services or products. In these instances, products or services are much more convenient and cheaper to the customer because of the lower overhead costs.
One very successful company that I thought of that had the 4 Ps of marketing down packed was Netflix. The company almost singlehandedly brought its competitors to their knees. These companies, including Blockbuster video have since recovered and began offering a similar service, but Netflix had it all planned out and rolled out so efficiently that it really caught everyone by surprise.
ProductNetflix is a little tricky when it comes to the product. Their product isn’t a product at all, but a service that it provides for its customers. It offers the service of movie rentals, but in a more convenient way than the traditional movie rental stores such as Blockbuster or Hollywood Videos. I know personally that I didn’t always have time to return a movie on the day it was due back, which was usually only 2 days after renting it, so I paid a lot of late fees. These late fees often times added up to almost as much as actually just purchasing a movie, which steered me away from even renting movies in the first place. Around 1999 Netflix came up with an online movie subscription with no late fees. This gave people the convenience of receiving the movies they wanted to see right in their mailbox. No more having to go searching through the isle for a movie that was already rented out.
PlaceNetflix doesn’t offer a place where a customer can come pickup their order, instead everything gets conveniently shipped to each customer via United States Postal Service. This makes it convenient for just about anyone to use because there doesn’t have to be a local store or shipping location around. Customers are able to place orders right online, which is a convenient and private way to pick the DVDs that they desire to view.
PromotionThe promotion of Netflix was primarily done through television advertisements. They targeted television watchers, who for the most part also watch movies. Their catchy marketing claimed “No Due Dates and No late Fees”, which was very appealing to consumers who were tired of paying late fees with their current movie rental stores. It also offered the convenience of “No shipping or handling charges”, which made it just as competitive as the other places.
PriceThe prices that Netflix charges its customers are very competitive to the current market of DVD rentals. They have different options to suit different needs. According to their website, they have a plan starting as low as only $4.99 per month. This plan allows viewing of up to 5 movies. For customers who want to watch more movies per month, they offer other plans also, such as the $17.99 a month plan that allows 3 movies to be out at a time. Once one movie is returned, another is sent out in its place. These different plans offer a wide variety of choices to fit different budgets.
Its clear to see how the marketing mix and the 4 Ps of marketing have a large impact on marketing. As we can see, Netflix was a very carefully planned out project. Product, Place, Price and Promotion were all identified and have played a great part in its success. When a company has a well planned out marketing plan, which consists of the 4 Ps, as Netflix does, it leads to greater success in the long run.