The marketing mix is the set of controllable, tactical marketing tools that a company uses to produce a desired response from its target market. It consists of everything that a company can do to influence demand for its product. It is also a tool to help marketing planning and execution. The four Ps of marketing: product, price, place and promotion.
The marketing mix can be divided into four groups of variables commonly known as the four Ps:
Product: The goods and/or services offered by a company to its customers. Price: The amount of money paid by customers to purchase the product. Place (or distribution): The activities that make the product available to consumers. Promotion: The activities that communicate the product’s features and benefits and persuade customers to purchase the product.
Each of the four Ps has its own tools to contribute to the marketing mix: Product: variety, quality, design, features, brand name, packaging, services Price: list price, discounts, allowance, payment period, credit terms Place: channels, coverage, assortments, locations, inventory, transportation, logistics Promotion: advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations
An effective marketing strategy combines the 4 Ps of the marketing mix. It is designed to meet the company’s marketing objectives by providing its customers with value. The 4 Ps of the marketing mix are related, and combine to establish the product’s position within its target markets.
Weaknesses of the marketing mix
The four Ps of the marketing mix have a number of weaknesses in that they omit or underemphasize some important marketing activities. For example, services are not explicitly mentioned, although they can be categorized as products (that is, service products). As well, other important marketing activities (such as packaging) are not specifically addressed but are placed within one of the four P groups. Another key problem is that the four Ps focus on the seller’s view of the market. The buyer’s view should be marketing’s main concern.
The four Ps as the four Cs
The four Ps of the marketing mix can be reinterpreted as the four Cs. They put the customer’s interests (the buyer) ahead of the marketer’s interests (the seller). Customer solutions, not products: Customers want to buy value or a solution to their problems. Customer cost, not price: Customers want to know the total cost of acquiring, using and disposing of a product. Convenience, not place: Customers want products and services to be as convenient to purchase as possible. Communication, not promotion: Customers want two-way communication with the companies that make the product.
Marketing mix of Coca-Cola
Coca cola is the brand with the highest brand equity. No doubt it has gone through the ups and downs of business to reach that position. The marketing mix of Coca cola has been changing over time with more and more products being added such that today it has 3300 products. So what is the marketing mix of Coca cola? Read on.
The company has the widest portfolio in beverage industry comprising of 3300 products. Beverages are divided into diet category, 100% fruit juices, fruit drinks, water, energy drinks, tea and coffee etc. As per Nielson’s data, Coca cola is the No.1 brand in sparkling beverages, juice, and retail packaged water in 2010. Coca cola has its market presence around 200 countries. Coca cola brands in India are Fanta, Maaza, Limca, sprite, Thums up, Minute Maid, Nimbu fresh, Nested iced tea etc.
Due to the availability of wide range products the pricing is done according to the market and geographic segment. Each sub-brand of coca cola has different pricing strategy. Their pricing strategy is based on the competitors pricing, Pepsi is the direct competitor to coke. Beverage market is said to be an oligopoly market (few sellers and large buyers), hence they form into cartel contract to ensure a mutual balance in pricing between the sellers.
Coca cola is the world’s most favorite brand and is available all over the world. The distribution system of coca cola follows the FMCG distribution pattern. The effective distribution network of coke has almost eroded the small and middle level players in the market. In India they have captured even the rural market by extensive distribution and have eroded the market share of Bovonto, Kalimark etc.
Coca cola adopts various advertising and promotional strategies to create an increased demand in the market by associating with life style and behavior and mainly targeting value based advertising. You are more likely to see a coke ad individualized for a particular festival or in with a general positive message. Coca cola uses CSR as its marketing tool to gain emotional benefits in consumers mind. The current promotions through CSR include “Support my school” campaign with NDTV. It has many brand ambassadors like Shahrukh khan, Hrithik Roshan, South Indian Actor Vijay and Trisha , Ghambir, Aamir khan etc and has signed contract recently with Imran khan. It allows price discounts and allowances to distributors and retailers in order to push more products into the market. It employs both push strategy through promotions and pull strategy through advertisements and campaigns.