• 4P’s of Marketing

    Marketing Activities are basically divided into four basic elements, which together are referred to as Marketing Mix.

    • Product
    • Price
    • Promotion
    • Place

    Product stands for goods/services offered by a company. A product, service or an idea may also be defined as a product which is given to customers in exchange for a price.

    Different types of Products:

    • It is any tangible product or intangible service that is manufactured or offered on a large scale, keeping in my mind the needs and wants of a consumer.
    • Any products that have a shorter life span and which can be easily destroyed are called as tangible products. Example: Automobiles, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG products) etc.
    • Any products that have a comparatively larger life span and are capable of being serviced are called as Intangible products. Example: ERP System, Web Services etc.
    • Warranties, Guarantees, Support and Services are some of the elements that define the scope and extended features of a product.

    Typical characteristics of a product, service or idea include the following:

    • Quality
    • Features and usefulness
    • Style and Looks
    • Brand name and Branding
    • Packaging
    • Sizes
    • Services
    • Warranties

    Once the customer needs are identified, it is necessary to plan the product and continue to analyze whether the product satisfies the customer needs. If not, make changes to the product/service till it satisfies the target customer base. Care has to be taken that the product which is chosen is proper and that it will satisfy the needs of the people. If proper investigation/market survey is not done then there are chances that new product may fail.

    Price is the value in terms of money that customers will pay for the product/services. The pricing of the product/service has to be appropriate for it to be accepted by the customers.

    • Price is the amount of money a consumer pays to own a product or utilize the services, considering the discounts to be offered on a marked price of a product.
    • Pricing can also be the exchange of time, energy and attention in exchange of products or services. Eg: Salary of an employee can be considered as exchange of time, energy and attention.
    • Price of a product are fixed depending on various factors including
      • Market share of the product.
      • Competition in the market for the same product.
      • Brand identity
      • Customer’s perceived value of the product.
      • Materials that go in to the making of product.

     Parameters determining the price:

    • Cost: How much it costs to produce and market the product i.e. production and distribution Costs
    • Competition: Severe competition may indicate a lower price than when there is monopoly or little composition.
    • Demand: Demand of the product in the market. Higher demand than supply leads to higher prices. In that case, companies can put prices a bit higher to get more profit.
    • Social responsibility: Pricing affects many parties, including employees, shareholders and public at large. There should be considered in pricing

    Example: television set manufacturer may have to determine prices for the distributor, dealer and ultimate consumer.

    Promotional activities are important for selling the product to the target customers.

    There are four ways for promoting the sales:

    • Advertisement: where an identified sponsor uses TV media, Print media, Other communication channels to transmit messages to target consumers
    • Personal selling: where sales representatives employed by the firm engage in interpersonal communications with individual consumers and prospective customers.
    • Sales promotion: where the marketer utilizes displays, demonstrations, Premiums, Contests or similar devices to supplement advertising and personal selling
    • Publicity and public relations: where both publicity and public relations are used to stimulate supportive news items about the firm and its products that Have greater credibility with the public than advertising.

    Various combinations of the above promotional mix are used depending upon the nature of the product/service and other factors.

    Example:Eureka Forbes utilizes its salesman for door-door selling of its home products Euro clean, Aquagurad because those products require proper demonstration.

    Place/Physical Distribution means decision about whether the product is to be Marketed through whole sellers /retailers or through companies’ own stores or through sole selling, agents etc.

    Multiple definitions exist for place or placement of a product.

    • Availability of a product to the consumer can be ensured either directly or indirectly.
    • —Placement of a product refers to, how the product gets to the customer. Some of the points of sale are listed below.
      • Retail Outlet. Eg: Big Bazaar, Food World, Wal Mart etc.
      • Local Departmental Store. (Usually present in streets near houses)
      • Through Internet. (Modern and sophisticated means of purchasing)
      • Direct Sales
      • Multi Channel
    • Place also refers to the distribution channels through which the product can be sold considering the below mentioned points.
      • Geographic region or industry.
      • Target consumer base. Eg: Old Age people, Children, business people, families etc.
      • Environment in which the product can be sold.

    It also includes logistics aspects of the distribution such as warehousing, transportation, insurance etc. The optimum method has to be determined in terms of both consumers satisfaction and profitability to the company. Physical distribution consists of the activities involved in moving Products or services from producer to consumer.

    Examples include: Transportation, Warehousing and storage, Oder processing, Inventory Control and Location.

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