Meaning and Components of Marketing Mix

All the activities from market research to satisfy customers’ need is called marketing mix. This included the questions such as ‘What type of goods need to be produced? How to determine price of the goods? How and in which market to present the goods for sale? How to motivate the possible customers to buy the goods? The combination of these components is called marketing mix. Need of targeted market can be fulfilled with proper combination of marketing and success can be achieved in competitive market. James Colleton had first used the word ‘marketing mix’ in 1948. Neil H. Borden carried out a research on the concept of marketing mix in 1964 being influenced by the thought of James Colleton.

Product, place, price and promotion are included in marketing mix. Wants or needs of targeted market can be fulfilled with the proper mixture of these components. But there is no unanimity among writers and experts of marketing over the elements of marketing mix. The following experts and writers have claimed that the elements given below are included in marketing mix:

Albert W. Fray
  • The offering – product, packaging
  • Methods and tools – advertisement, personal selling
J. E. McCarthy
  • Products
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion
W. Laxer and E. J. Kelley
  • Goods and services mix
  • Communication mix
  • Distribution mix
Philip Kotler
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place
  • Product
Petter D. Bennett
  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Distribution
W. J. Stanton, M. J. Etzel & B. J. Walker
  • Product
  • Price
  • Distribution
  • Promotion
The above given facts make us clear that there are differences among experts and writers over the marketing mix. A. W. Fray has supposed offering, methods and tools as the elements of market mix whereas J. E. McCarthy has supposed product, place, price and promotion as the elements of market mix. Similarly, Lazer and Kelley have supposed goods, and services mix, communication mix and distribution mix as the elements of market mix. Philip Kotler has supposed price, promotion, place and product, and Stanton, Etzel and Walker have supposed product, price, distribution, and promotion as the elements of marketing mix. Similarly, Petter Bennett has supposed product, price, promotion and distribution as the elements of marketing mix. The views of McCarthy and Kotler are found same about the marketing mix.

Now, a new concept of marketing mix has been developed. It is called ‘mega marketing’. According to this concept, the six elements of marketing mix are price, promotion, place, product, power and public relation. Different writers and experts have defined marketing mix as follows:

According to Philip Kotler, “Marketing mix is the setting of the firms of marketing decision variables at a particular point in time.”
According to William J. Stanton, “Marketing mix is the term that is used to describe the combination of the four inputs that constitute the core of company’s marketing system: the product, the distribution system, the price structure and the promotional activities.”
According to Pitter D. Bennett, “Marketing mix is the marketing program including product conception and development, pricing decision, promotion of the product and distribution to consumers.”
According to Jerome E. McCarthy, “Marketing mix is the controllable variables, which the company puts together to satisfy its target market.”
According to Thomas A. Staudt and Donald A. Taylor, “Marketing mix refers to the actual work that must be done to reach target market and achieve corporate objectives.”
In conclusion, the mix of activities done to satisfy the wants of target market is called marketing mix. Products, place, promotion and price are the elements of marketing mix. Organizational goal cannot be achieved without proper mix of these elements of marketing.

Components of Marketing Mix

The mix of activities done to satisfy the wants of target market is the marketing mix. The writers and experts of marketing are found different in their views about the elements of marketing mix; however, the main elements of marketing mix are products, place, price and promotion. Success can be achieved through the proper mix of these four elements. The following figure makes the elements of marketing mix clearer.
Elements of Marketing Mix
As the first letter of all the four elements of marketing mix is P, it is also called 4Ps of marketing. All these elements of marketing mix have also their own elements. This is made clear by the following figure:-
Elements of marketing mix

1. Product mix

The thing or material which satisfies the human wants is called product. This is an important element of marketing mix. In its absence no activities of marketing can be done. Product mix includes the elements such as design of the product, quality, variety, features, specialty, branding, packaging, service, warranty etc. Firm or industry cannot satisfy the wants of target market in the lack of product. So, product, plan and development, standardization, grading etc. should be seriously considered. Only attractiveness in looking does nothing, the product should also be good quality. Otherwise, the product cannot compete in market. Similarly, brand, packaging and labeling of the product also play important role in market. Name or brand of the product should be short, attractive and easily memorable and packaging should reflect the features of the product. Besides, the packaging should be attractive and cost effective. Labeling should give necessary information about the product and the firm should be fully responsible for the information. Warranty should also be given in order to increase the demand of the product in market, because the customers like to buy the products having warranty rather than those of no warranty.

The following points make the elements of product mix clearer:-
  • Quality of product
  • Product design
  • Standardization and grading of product
  • Variety of product/or product line and items
  • Branding of product
  • Packaging of product
  • Warranty of product
  • Features of product
  • Product planning and development
  • Services

2. Place mix

The other important element of marketing mix is place. The entirety of different activities to supply products to the targeted market is called place mix. Mainly the channel of distribution and the activities related to physical distribution are included in place mix. Distribution channel includes agents, dealers, whole sellers and retailers whereas order processing, warehousing, material handling, inventory management and transportation are included in physical distribution. If the channel of distribution and physical distribution is not good, it affects adversely. So, physical distribution should be made according to the nature of product through proper channel. Generally, direct distribution channel becomes appropriate for received and proper means of transport should be used. Considerable quantity of stock should be kept. If the products, in the quantity, to the place and at the time as wanted by customers are supplied, sale quantity can be increased. So, this also should be wisely considered. The following points make it clearer.

The elements that are included in place mix are:
  • Distribution channel
    • Agent
    • Dealer
    • Wholesaler
    • Retailer
    • Direct
  • Physical distribution
    • Order processing
    • Warehousing
    • Material handling
    • Inventory management
    • Transportation

3. Price mix

The amount to be paid by customers for any goods is called price. Price is the measure of exchange. The price of any goods should agree with the quality of the goods. Price is the other important element of marketing. The price of goods directly affects the quantity of sale. If the price of goods is low, sale becomes high, and if the price is high, sale becomes low. In other words, the lower the price, the higher becomes quantity of sale. So, the price of goods should be minimized by minimizing production cost as far as possible. As the customers pay price for the quality, the utility of the goods should be equal to the price. Otherwise, the goods cannot get popularity in markets and also cannot compete with the substitution goods. While determining the price of any product, all the elements affecting it should be analyzed. Price mix includes discount, terms and conditions of sale, price list, production cost, price of substitute goods, allowances etc. This is made clearer by the following points:

Elements of price mix:
  • Trade or cash discount
  • Credit period
  • Terms and conditions of sales
  • Setting price list
  • Cost of goods
  • Price of substitute goods
  • Allowances

4. Promotion mix

The other important element of marketing mix is promotion. All activities and efforts to be made in order to increase sale quantity as a whole is called promotion mix. This includes advertisement, publicity, personal selling, exhibition, free sample, request, miking and pestering. The task sale promotion is creative as well as artistic one. Success can be achieved in the competitive environment by increasing sale quantity through sale promotion activities. In this competitive age, increase of sale quantity cannot be imagined without sale promotion activities. So, the customers should be persuaded to realize the need and be motivated to buy goods. Otherwise, goods of whatever the best quality, they cannot be taken out from warehouse. It is also said that those who become active and dynamic can get success but those who are lazy can get nothing. Even if the goods are bad, promotional activities can create demands for them. But without any sale promotional programme, even the best quality goods cannot be sold. The elements of sale promotion have been presented in the following points for easy understanding:

Elements of promotion mix:
  • Advertising: Radio, TV, Newspaper etc.
  • Sale promotion: Premium, exhibition, free sample etc.
  • Personal selling: Salesmanship, experience, training, politeness etc.
  • Public relations: meeting and contacting
  • Publicity: Propagation program
  • Service after sale: Exchanging the sold goods, free repairing, instructing who to use and keep safe etc.

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