Business Studies Part I
Business Studies Part II

Marketing Mix: Elements

The marketing mix consists of various variables, which have broadly been classified into four categories, popularly known as four Ps of marketing.

These are: (i) Product, (ii) Price, (iii) Place, and (iv) Promotion, and are discussed as follows:

  1. Product: Product means goods or services or ‘anything of value’, which is offered to the market for exchange. For example, Hindustan Lever company offers number of consumer products like toiletries (Close-Up Toothpaste, Lifebuoy Soap, etc.), detergent powder (Surf, Wheel), food products (Refined Vegetable Oil); Tata offers Tata Steel, Trucks, Salt and a large number of other products; LG Electronics Offers Televisions, Refrigerators, Colour Monitors for Computers, etc; Amul offers number of food products (Amul Milk, Ghee, Butter, Cheese, Chocolates, etc.). The concept of a product relates to not only the physical product as mentioned in the above examples but also the benefits offered by it from the customer’s viewpoint (for example toothpaste is bought for whitening teeth, strengthening gums, etc.). The concept of the product also includes the extended product or what is offered to the customers by way of after-sales services, handling complaints, availability of spare parts, etc. These aspects are very important, particularly in the marketing of consumer durable products (like Automobiles, Refrigerators, etc.). The important product decisions include deciding about the features, quality, packaging, labeling, and branding of the products.
  2. Price: Price is the number of money customers has to pay to obtain the product. In the case of most of the products, the level of price affects the level of their demand. The marketers have not only to decide about the objectives of price setting but to analyze the factors determining the price and fix a price for the firm’s products. Decisions have also to be taken in respect of discounts to customers, traders and credit terms, etc. so that customers perceive the price to be in line with the value of the product.
  3. Place: Place or Physical Distribution include activities that make the firm’s products available to the target customers. Important decision areas in this respect include a selection of dealers or intermediaries to reach the customers, providing support to the intermediaries (by way of discounts, promotional campaigns, etc.). The intermediaries, in turn, keep an inventory of the firm’s products, demonstrate them to potential buyers, negotiate a price with buyers, close sales and also service the products after the sale. The other decision areas relate to managing inventory, storage and warehousing and transportation of goods from the place it is produced to the place it is required by the buyers.
  4. Promotion: Promotion of products and services include activities that communicate availability, features, merits, etc. of the products to the target customers and persuade them to buy it. Most marketing organizations, undertake various promotional activities and spend a substantial amount of money on the promotion of their goods through using a number of tools such as advertising, personal selling, and sales promotion techniques (like price discounts, free samples, etc). A large number of decisions are to be taken in each of the areas specified above. For example, in the respect of advertising, it is important to decide about the message, the media to be used (example print-media–newspaper, magazines, etc. the objections of customers, etc.). The success of a market offer will depend on how well these ingredients are mixed to create superior value for the customers and simultaneously achieve their sales and profit objectives. Let us say a firm would like to achieve the necessary volume of sale at a cost that will permit a desired level of profit. But so many alternative mixes can be adopted by a firm to achieve this objective. The issue before a firm then is to decide what would be the most effective combination of elements to achieve the given objectives. In common parlance, the word ‘product’, is used to refer only to the physical or tangible attributes of a product. For example, we say we have bought a car or a pen or a Cell phone or a tractor. Our decision to buy a product is not only affected by its physical qualities, but also by certain nontangible and psychological factors, e.g., brand name, reputation, guaranty, packaging, etc. Let us say, when a person buys a car, he/she is not just buying a few nuts and bolts, an engine, four wheels and so on. Rather he/she is buying a means of transport, a status symbol, guarantees and warranties accompanying the product, image of the company and many other such attributes. Thus, in marketing, the product is a mixture of tangible and intangible attributes, which are capable of being exchanged for value, with the ability to satisfy customer needs. Besides physical objects, we also include services, ideas, persons, and places in the concept of the product. Thus, the product may be defined as anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need. It is offered for attention, acquisition, use or consumption. From the customer’s point of view, a product is a bundle of utilities, which is purchased because of its capability to provide the satisfaction of certain needs. A buyer buys a product or service for what it does for her or the benefit it provides to her. There can be three types of benefits a customer may seek to satisfy from the purchase of a product, viz., (i) functional benefits, (ii) psychological benefits, and (iii) social benefits. For example, the purchase of a motorcycle provides the functional utility of transportation, but at the same time satisfies the need for prestige and esteem and provides social benefit by the way of acceptance from a group, by riding a motorbike. Thus, all these aspects should be considered while planning for a product. It is customary for companies to review the progress of their present products and constantly look for opportunities for diversifying into never areas.

Marketing management is “the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value”- Philip Kotler

The various elements of marketing mix being pursued by Mr. Jaiprakash are as follows:

    • Product: “his business is not only restricted to designing “Web sites according to the specifications of the clients but also providing continuous online assistance to them and handling their grievances’ effectively.”
      A product is anything of value i.e. a product or service offered to a market to satisfy needs or wants. A product includes physical product,after sale service, handling grievances etc. Every marketer needs to constantly review and revise his products in order to enhance customer’s satisfaction and have an competitive edge.
    • Price: “doing all this at a profit. He provides these services at competitive prices.” Price is the monetary value paid in consideration for purchase of a product or service by a buyer to its seller. It is a very crucial decision for the marketers as consumers are very sensitive to the pricing. The factors affecting price determination are cost of product, the utility and demand, extent of competition in the market, government and legal regulations, pricing objectives and marketing methods used.
    • Place: “Anybody interested in getting the web solutions can contact him through his website.”
      It is considered important element of marketing mix because it includes all those activities that help in making the goods and services available to the prospective buyers in the right quantity, at the right time and in right condition. Two main decisions involved in physical distribution are physical movement of goods from producers to consumers and choice of channels of distribution.
    • Promotion: “Moreover, whenever the market is sluggish he tries to create demand by offering short-term incentives to the buyers.” Promotion refers to the set of activities undertaken by a marketer to inform the prospective buyers about the product and persuading them to make a purchase. The various components of promotion mix are advertising, sales promotion, personal selling and public relation.