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Elements of Marketing Mix

Describe the elements of the marketing mix. What are some marketing mix decisions you must consider when creating your marketing plan? Use examples to explain.

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Describe the elements of the marketing mix
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Also known as the 'four Ps', the marketing mix elements are:
- Price,
- Place (Distribution),
- Product, and
- Promotion.

* Price
Price is simply the amount of money that consumers are willing to pay for a product or service. Pricing new products and pricing existing products require the use of different strategies. For example, when pricing a new product, businesses can use either market-penetration pricing or a price-skimming strategy. A market-penetration pricing strategy involves establishing a low product price to attract a large number of customers. By contrast, a price-skimming strategy is used when a high price is established in order to recover the cost of a new product development as quickly as possible. Manufacturers of computers, videocassette recorders, and other technical items with high development costs frequently use a price-skimming strategy.

Pricing objectives are established as a subset of an organization's overall objectives. As a component of the overall business objectives, pricing objectives usually take one of four forms: profitability, volume, meeting the competition, and prestige. Profitability pricing objectives mean that the firm focuses mainly on maximizing its profit. Under profitability objectives, a company increases its prices so that additional revenue equals the increase in product production costs. Using volume pricing objectives, a company aims to maximize sales volume within a given specific profit margin. The focus of volume pricing objectives is on increasing sales rather than on an immediate increase in profits. Meeting the price level of competitors is another pricing strategy. With a meeting-the-competition pricing strategy, the focus is less on price and more on nonprice competition items such as location and service. With prestige pricing, products are priced high and consumers purchase them as status symbols.

In addition to the four basic pricing strategies, there are five price-adjustment strategies: discount pricing and allowances, discriminatory pricing, geographical pricing, promotional pricing, and psychological pricing. Discount pricing and allowances include cash discounts, functional discounts, seasonal discounts, trade-in allowances, and promotional allowances. Discriminatory pricing occurs when companies sell products or services at two or more prices. These price differences may be based on variables such as age of the customer, location of sale, organization membership, time of day, or season. Geographical pricing is based on the location of the customers. Products may be priced differently in distinct regions of a target area because of demand differences. Promotional pricing happens when a company temporarily prices products below the list price or below cost. Products priced below cost are sometimes called loss leaders. The goal of promotional pricing is to increase short-term sales. Psychological pricing considers prices by looking at the psychological aspects of price. For example, consumers frequently perceive a relationship between product price and product quality.

* Place
Place refers to having the right product, in the right location, at the right time to be purchased by consumers. This proper placement of products is done through middle people called the channel of distribution. The channel of distribution is comprised of interdependent manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. These groups are involved with making a product or service available for use or consumption. Each participant in the channel of distribution is concerned with three basic utilities: time, place, and possession. Time utility refers to having a product available at the time that will satisfy the needs of consumers. Place utility occurs when a firm provides satisfaction by locating products where they can be easily acquired by consumers. The last utility is possession utility, which means that wholesalers and retailers in the channel of distribution provide services to consumers with as few obstacles as possible.

Channels of distribution operate by one of two methods: conventional distribution or a vertical marketing system. In the conventional distribution channel, there can be one or more independent product manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers in a channel. The vertical marketing system requires that producers, wholesalers, and retailers to work together to avoid channel conflicts.

How manufacturers store, handle, and move products to customers at the right time and at the right place is referred to as physical distribution. In considering physical distribution, manufacturers need to review issues such as distribution objectives, product transportation, and product warehousing. Choosing the mode of transportation requires an understanding of each possible method: rail, truck, water, pipeline, and air. Rail transportation is typically used to ship farm products, minerals, sand, chemicals, and auto mobiles. Truck transportation is most suitable for transporting clothing, food, books, computers, and paper goods. Water transportation is good for oil, grain, sand, gravel, metallic ores, coal, and other heavy items. Pipeline transportation is best when shipping products such as oil or chemicals. Air transport works best when moving technical instruments, perishable products, and ...

Solution Summary

Elements of marketing mix are described. Some marketing mix decisions you must consider when creating your marketing plan are explored. Examples are provided to support the conclusions.

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