A proper marketing program is at the core of every successful business and it requires a lot of tactics in order to reap its full benefits. The marketing mix usually referred to as the four Ps, is a very common term in the marketing field (Kotler & Keller, 2006). It involves the combination of key marketing tools that are mainly designed to meet the customers’ and company’s objectives. The four Ps stand for Product, Price, Place (Distribution) and Promotion. Marketing, therefore, may be defined as the practice of putting the right product in its proper place, at the right price, and at the expected time (Gary, 2008). The success of the marketing mix, however, depends greatly on proper market research and the ability to combine and coordinate the four elements rather than depending on one component. This essay seeks to discuss the benefits, dangers involved in the use of the marketing mix, and the extent to which the elements can be relied upon for successful marketing.
The greatest mistake that any marketing strategy can do to harm the business is to send mixed messages to the customer because they will serve to create confusion. In order to reap the full benefits of marketing, the four elements must contain the same message. For instance, a company or any given business must ensure that its products cater to the needs of the specific market where the price of its products is within the budget of the consumer, it is able to avail the products or services to a strategic place where it can be easily seen by the target market, and the promotion of the product or service must be geared towards solving the problems that the consumers may be experiencing (Kotler & Keller, 2005).
A number of benefits may accrue from the proper use of the marketing mix. Firstly, the company will be able to identify the best product to bring into the market through proper analysis of what is already in the market. The given business will be able to know the best product features that are needed by the customers including the clear benefits of the given product or service. Taking this step will ensure that the product contains the most basic characteristics that can be appreciated by the client instead of unnecessary and costly features that cannot impress the consumers yet they are the prime target. Clear analysis of the appropriate product to bring to the market will ensure that the company has a competitive edge and hence reducing the unnecessary competition from similar businesses. Furthermore, the need to consider additional products to accompany the original one is of great essence. For instance, the inclusion of an insurance policy or a pension plan can boost the number of customers using the original product (Miller & Layton, 1999). This will greatly enable the business to grow with less cost and hence giving it another advantage of affordable pricing for the product.
Secondly, the business has the benefit of getting the pricing of the product right. The price charged for the product or service should be in agreement with the clients’ expectations if it is to gain root in the market. The use of a marketing mix ensures that the product price is not too low or too exaggerated compared to the value that the customers attach to it (Kurtz, 2008). Getting the right price will therefore call for synchronization of the four Ps so as to attach the proper price value on the product rather than leaving it to the customer’s discretion. The benefit of the marketing mix, in this case, is that the company can manage to sell the same product or service to the clients at totally different prices without annoying anyone. This depends greatly on the budgetary potential of the market sector.
Thirdly, embarking on a promotional mission in the market may increase the company’s fortunes by ensuring that the market sector targeted is convinced to buy the new product or service. This can only be made possible by the proper use of the marketing mix where all the factors are mutually analyzed. The role that promotional tactics like advertising, public relations, sales, use of business letters and emails can play in the marketing of any product or service cannot be ignored only if they are properly coordinated and related to the other pillars of good marketing strategy.
The fourth benefit of the marketing mix is that it helps the company identify the proper place to distribute the product or service. This is the actual means by which the product is accessible to the consumer. It could be from a shop, the web page, the telephone and also the actual route of supply. Given that the best product has been identified, proper pricing made and adequate promotion of the product or service is done, then distribution can be made appropriately to ensure that it reaches the consumer in time and in the required packaging. The company’s customer may be a distributor who wants all the product variants in large volumes and at significantly reduced prices, a retailer who wants limited stock of several variants and expect to pay after some days, or could be a direct consumer who is most likely to want one or two variants of the product and to pay for them instantly (Quester & McGuiggan, 2006). The use of marketing mix prepares the company or any other business for such challenging moments of satisfying every client.
It is important to note here that the successful implementation of a marketing mix will bring forth promising results for any business venture. No single element of the marketing mix, as we have seen above, will serve to bring benefits to the business on its own without the need for the others (Gary, 2008).
Despite the clear benefits associated with the use of the marketing mix, there are some inherent dangers of depending on this marketing strategy. Using the marketing mix is a very conventional formal way and this scares away business people from trying other alternative ways of marketing tactics (Kurtz, 2008). This annuls the key element of any business, which is risk-taking hence continued fear of spending money to explore the entire market. On the same note, using the marketing mix would not work best for all products hence not reliable in all circumstances. Again, all the needs of the customers cannot be met especially when it comes to the place or distribution of the product. There will be clear differences in how the customers respond to the four Ps of the marketing mix. The direct consumer, the retailer, and the distributor may have totally different tastes and preferences for the product or service type hence creating a lot of conflicting interests. This puts the business in a serious dilemma.
Setting the proper price for the product may not be an easy task. Too high a price may scare away the customers while setting very low prices for the products or services may make the consumers think that they are of low quality and fewer sales of the same will be made (Miller & Layton, 1999). Furthermore, marketing mixes require a lot of time and resources to formulate and may not translate to corresponding meaningful gains for the business. For instance, with the aim of taking the product to the consumer, the business will have to consider other requirements like the development of infrastructure which translates to additional cost.
In general, we can say that the use of the marketing mix holds to benefit the business more than it is to present the associated dangers. This can be achieved especially if the elements of the marketing mix are well coordinated so as not to create confusion (Kurtz, 2008). With proper marketing strategy implementation, the business can greatly reduce the cost of production and maximize the profits accruing from the sale of its products or services.
This paper has discussed the benefits of using a marketing mix by any given business. It has also highlighted some of the dangers that can be associated with the marketing mix. However, the essay has concluded that with proper use of the marketing mix, the business stands to benefit a lot and hence a highly reliable means of providing successful marketing.
Gary, Armstrong (2008) Marketing: An introductory approach. 3rd edition. Pearson
Kotler, Philip & Keller, Kevin L. (2006) A Marketing Management Framework. 3rd edition. Pearson Education.
Kurtz, David L. (2008) Understanding contemporary marketing. 13th edition. Cengage Learning.
Miller, Kenneth E. & Layton, Rodger A. (1999) The Fundamentals of marketing. 4th edition. McGraw-Hill.
Quester, Pascale & McGuiggan, Robyn (2006) Marketing Strategies: Formulating and delivering value. 5th edition. McGraw-Hill.