The term marketing mix is defined as a set of marketing tools that the firm uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target market. The marketing mix is an essential part of the formulation of a firm’s marketing strategy. It is important for an organization to have a good understanding of the marketing mix. Each element is important when developing a marketing plan. Traditionally, the marketing mix consisted of four broad categories of variables known as the 4 P’s: product, place, price and promotion. These are the variables the firm can control in order to best satisfy customers in the target market.
The first element in the marketing mix is the product. A product is any combination of goods and services offered to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers. Hence, a product can be anything that is tangible or intangible and can be offered for purchase or use by consumers. An organization needs to have an in depth understanding about what it is they are marketing. Developments of the product’s quality, design, or brand name are important when trying to match with customers’ needs and wants. An organization should explain how their product’s features benefit the customer.
For example, as number one home improvement retailer in U.S., Home Depot’s vision was to be the largest home improvement warehouse than any competitor, a one-stop shopping place for the do-it-yourselfer. Hence, to achieve this goal, their “inventory in the company’s stores carry over 40,000 different kinds of building materials, home improvement supplies, and lawn and garden products, as well as 250,000 products that can be special ordered” (Home Depot, 2008). Another product Home Depot targets its do-it-for-me customers is installation services. From appliances to plumbing, flooring to roofing, or kitchen cabinets to garage door installation, Home Depot’s objective is to provide professional services to those customers whom do not want to renovate by themselves or do not have time to so. The last major product Home Depot offers is being a supplier resource for the professionals. By offering products to both homeowners and contractors, Home Depot has captured a larger market share.
Once an organization has developed the “products” to satisfy the target market(s), place would be the next concern with all the decisions involving in getting these “right” products to the target consumers. Place decisions are those associated with channels of distribution, which include market coverage, channel member selection, logistics, and levels of service etc. With Home Depot, they have increased its points of access, where customer can buy its products easily. Usually, these stores are opened within 10 miles from a major residential community, or adjacent to another major retailer such as Target or Wal-Mart.
For those customers are not able to access local stores, Home Depot serves these clients through online...