The Marketing Mix Essay

2239 words - 9 pages

A war has been emerging in the business world and no organizations are looking to back down. Every company is gathering its tools and its top employees, planning intricate strategies and a marketing mix that will prove successful in battle…the battle for the consumer. Many have heard the term but have no idea of its meaning. The marketing mix is probably the most famous marketing term and includes four variables, or ingredients (product, place, price, and promotion) which marketing managers can control in order to make plans and important decisions to satisfy customers in their target market. Although companies have created a number of different variations with the four variables that have created profits, poor research and planning, depending on only one mix, or even getting just one ingredient wrong, could spell disaster. A company could be left with promoting a car with excellent fuel-economy in a country where fuel is cheap; or publishing textbooks after the start of the school year; or selling an item that is priced too high for the customers it is targeting (Mind Tools [MT], 1994). If marketing managers do not begin the planning and decision-making stage for a product or service without carefully mixing the four P's of the marketing mix, their company will never experience a successful outcome.To better understand how the marketing mix works, one can think about a more commonly known mix, such as the one used to make a cake. All cakes contain eggs, milk, flour, and sugar. However, one can change how the cake will turn out by altering the amounts of mix elements contained in it; for a sweeter cake, add more sugar (Marketing Teacher [MT], 2008). Such is the case with the marketing mix. Whatever offer a company makes to its customers can be altered by varying the mix. For example, to sell a high profile product such as a Bentley automobile, a company would increase its focus on promotion and diminish the weight given to price. The four variables of product, place, price, and promotion can be mixed in any number of ways, to create what will hopefully be a winning strategy, generating a positive response in the target market, and earning revenue for the company. In this paper, each of the four elements of the marketing mix will be described first. Following the description and examples, the paper will discuss how each of the elements impacts the development of AFLAC's marketing strategy and tactics.The first element of the marketing mix is product, which refers to tangible, physical products, and services or conveniences that are part of the offering. Product includes such aspects as functionality, appearance, quality, packaging, brand, warranty, service, and support (QuickMBA [QMBA], 2008). For example, in the canned food market, product packaging and functionality is quite important. Innovation in packaging can lead to differentiation on the shelf and added value. Changes were made where peelable closures replaced the traditional...

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