The Marketing Mix is an integral part of operational marketing, also called tactical, that is the final phase of the marketing process, which follows the analytical and strategic one and has the aim of realizing the planned strategies.
The Marketing Mix is the set of marketing levers that a the brand uses to achieve its goals. A series of factors contribute to define which levers the company will use: the positioning that the brand pursues, the characteristics of the product/service it sells, the peculiarities of the reference market and those of the target to which it refers.
Marketing Mix: the 4P model
A theorize first Marketing Mix model was Jerome McCarthy, author, professor and American marketers, who designed the well-known model of the 4P.
According to this model, the fundamental levers of the marketing mix are:
· Product, the product;
· Price, the price;
· Place, the point of sale or, more generally, the distribution;
· Promotion, or the promotion or, more generally, marketing communication.
The Product - First lever of the 4P model of the Marketing Mix
The product is the good or service that the brand sells on the market and is a variable lever, as it is subject to obsolescence and is closely linked to the changing needs and tastes of the target audience.
For a company it is essential to plan a brand management strategy like Wikipedia page creator that makes perceive the added value of its product and that has the aim of consolidating - or improving - this perception over time.
Today it is common practice to speak of the product system, referring not only to the physical good sold but also to the overall experience that this brings to people and which is also linked to the service it offers, customer assistance, packaging, guarantees, payment conditions, the social status it allows us to acquire, the emotions it allows us to feel, the fears it allows us to dissuade.
Price - Second lever of the 4P model of the Marketing Mix
The price is the economic consideration that people are willing to pay for that good or service. It is the only one of the 4 marketing levers to produce revenues, as well as costs.
The pricing policies , that the decisions and actions the company takes in terms of price, varies depending on many factors: the type of product or service offered; competitors in the sector and their respective policies; the position that the company holds in the distribution channel; costs supported; the trend of the demand curve.
The brand objectives are also included in the definition and choice of pricing policies. A company, in fact, may decide that it wants to apply a market skimming or price diversification or market penetration policy.
Only a careful phase of studies, analysis and monitoring can lead to the best definition of the price to be imposed on the market, it being understood that it can be subject to contextual variables and, therefore, can change over time.
Distribution (or Place or Point of Sale) - Third lever of the 4P model of the Marketing Mix
Distribution relates to the strategies and actions that the company puts in place to ensure that supply and demand meet, or to ensure that the consumer can purchase the product or service as and when he wishes.
Distribution as a lever of the marketing mix has two main objectives:
· Structuring the distribution network. In this case it is necessary to decide how many and which distribution channels to use, who and how many commercial intermediaries are between the company and the final consumer;
· Determine how physical goods are to be transferred from the place of production to the consumer. To achieve this goal the company must build an adequate logistic system; plan the location and organization of the warehouse and the number of stocks to be held; define how the plants and points of sale must be located.
In order to be able to purchase a product, it must be available and available, even in the long term, at any time the customer wishes.
This is why the choice of distribution channels, also known as marketing channels, plays a leading role in distribution strategies. These have the function of making the goods produced by the company physically and always available to the end user.
There are 3 main types of distribution channels:
· The direct channel, according to which the good is distributed by the producer directly to the consumer. The former has control of the entire supply chain, but this process has high costs and risks;
· The short channel, which involves the intermediation of a single figure, the retailer, who buys from the manufacturer and sells the good to the final consumer. Think of the proximity shop, but also think of the large-scale retail trade.
· The long channel, which includes a third figure, the wholesaler, who overlaps between the company and the retailer. In this way, the producer will have less burdens and risks deriving from managing the relationship with the retailer, but will have to check the wholesaler with a lower purchase price than he would do by supplying it directly to those involved in the direct sale of the goods.
The Promotion - Fourth lever of the 4P model of the Marketing Mix
Promotion is the lever of the marketing mix that today concerns all promotional activities for the brand and its products and/or services.
While in the past the promotion was identified only with the sales promotion, today when we talk about the promotional activities of the company we refer to the whole complex system inherent to business communication and, in particular, to marketing communication.
The purpose of the promotion is to convey the added value of the product or service, to obtain visibility, to facilitate the recognition and the memory of the brand, effectively positioning it in the mind of the final consumer.
And, again, the promotion aims to communicate the Brand Image in a coherent and effective way and to establish a direct relationship between brand and customers, a long-lasting and lasting relationship (loyalty).
Many are the tools of the Marketing Communication Mix that are part of the promotion lever, starting from the more traditional ones, that is advertising, the point of sale, packaging, merchandising, sponsorships, partnerships, direct marketing - up to those more modern, born with the advent of new media. Think about social networks, blogs, Google ADS, Social ADS, influencer marketing, network marketing, email marketing.
The 4C model: the evolution of the 4Ps of the Marketing Mix
Over time, markets have changed: the concept of product-oriented markets has evolved into that of customer-oriented markets, people.
Thus, in 1993 Robert F. Lauterborn proposed a new classification of marketing levers, starting from the concept of experiential marketing and shifting the focus from the company to the customer.
The 4C model was born, which makes a new idea correspond to each of the traditional 4 Ps:
· Consumer instead of Product. The focus is no longer on the product but on customer satisfaction;
· Cost instead of Pricing, since the focus is now on the costs that the customer has to bear to purchase the product or service;
· Convenience instead of Place, since - thanks to the advent of the Network - the purchasing methods and the possibilities of distributing a product or service have also changed, often guaranteeing greater convenience to the end customer.
· Communication instead of Promotion, because the first concept is much broader and includes every type of relationship and communication that is established between the brand and the customer.