What does the phrase marketing mix mean? What is the purpose of the marketing mix? The marketing mix is a process most organizations use to bring a product or service to market. The four Ps is a good way to define the marketing mix tool. The four Ps or four elements of the marketing mix are product, place, price, and promotion, which are used to satisfy consumers’ needs and the objectives of the organization. After a target market is selected, “…the firm must take steps to satisfy [the customers] needs” (Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2009 p. 13). The basic concept of the marketing mix is to focus on what customers want and to keep customers satisfied. Although the marketing mix is a unique way to market a product or service, satisfying the consumers’ needs and wants is every marketer’s main goal.
Aspects of the Marketing Mix
The best way to define a market is to recognize the needs and wants of consumers and then focus on meeting those needs and wants. In today’s advertising industry, marketers use the marketing mix as a tool to satisfy their target consumers. Furthermore, the marketing mix contains controllable variables that are carefully managed by the business to meet the needs of a targeted audience. “In other words, a company has control over what product it makes, what price it sells the product for, how it wishes to place (distribute) the product and how it wishes to promote it” (Food Export, 2011 para. 4). Therefore, a good way to understand the characteristics of the marketing mix is to identify its four special elements—the four Ps. The following is a diagram of the marketing mix formula (product, place, price, promotion) (See figure 1)
Figure 1: Four elements of the marketing mix (Style, 2010)
The goal of the marketing mix is to generate a positive reaction from the target market—the consumers. When a company market their products, all four components of the marketing mix are important because every section is required to achieve consumer satisfaction.
The Role of the Four Ps
The first important aspect of the marketing mix is the tangible product. This first step for the marketer involves the decision-making process. The product should include tangible attributes. There are many product decisions to make such as, appearance, quality, and functionality. The function of a product must address the needs of the consumers. For example, high-tech devices such as an Apple iPod or a Microsoft Zune digital mp3 player have the tendency to attract tech savvy users. The target market suitable for this particular electronic product would be individuals in their 20s and 30s—Generation Y population. Hence, the mp3 product must have the right features.
The features most consumers care about on an mp3 player are space capacity, battery life span, sound quality, screen size, and color. Touch screen, camera, and web access are additional features most customers care about as well.
Consumers choose mp3 players that do more than play music....