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The Four Elements of the Marketing Mix

The Four Elements of the Marketing Mix:
1. product
2. place
3. price
4. promotion

Describe how each element is implemented within a specific organization and how they relate to the organization's marketing strategy.

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1. Describe how each element is implemented within a specific organization and how they relate to the organizations marketing strategy.
Before we look at a specific example (e.g., the Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast), let's first discuss marketing and the marketing mix generally to get a basic understanding of the concepts.
Put simply, marketing includes any activity that lets potential customers know about your product or service, what makes it special or better than others in the marketplace, and (ideally) encourages them to buy it. Marketing includes all forms of advertising and sales, but it means much more for many businesses.
The most common variables used in constructing a marketing mix are price, promotion, product and place (distribution). First suggested by Jerome McCarthy (McCarthy, J. 1960), they are sometimes referred to as the four P's. McCarthy said that marketers have essentially these four variables to use when crafting a marketing strategy and writing a marketing plan. In the long term, all four of the mix variables can be changed, but in the short term it is difficult to modify the product or the distribution channel. Therefore in the short term, marketers are limited to working with only half their tool kit. This limitation underscores the importance of long term strategic planning.
In order to effectively formulate your marketing strategy, the marketing mix comes into play:
• Product: What do the customers want and need? A marketing tool for evaluating product is the Product Life Cycle (PLC). Another marketing tool for evaluating product is the Three Levels of a Product.
• Place: Place is also known as channel, distribution, or intermediary. It is the mechanism through which goods and/or services are moved from the manufacturer/ service provider to the user or consumer. There are six basic 'channel' decisions:
1. Do we use direct or indirect channels? (e.g. 'direct' to a consumer, 'indirect' via a wholesaler)
2. Single or multiple channels
3. Cumulative length of the multiple channels
4. Types of intermediary (see later)
5. Number of intermediaries at each level (e.g. how many retailers in Southern Spain).
6. Which companies as intermediaries to avoid 'intrachannel conflict' (i.e. infighting between local distributors)
• Price: What pricing strategy will match my target market? There are many different pricing strategies - see

• Promotion: How will I promote the product? What promotion strategies will fit with my overall marketing strategy? There are several different promotion strategies to choose from to best meet your overall marketing strategy. It includes: Personal Selling, Sales Promotion, Public Relations, Direct Mail, Trade Fairs and Exhibitions, Advertising, Sponsorship, to name a few (see

Thus, the aim of marketing is to have the right product or service (e.g., Bread and Breakfast service example below):
• At the right price
• At the right place
• At the right time
• With the right appeal to suit your market and product brought to the attention or awareness of the target market.
Objective of marketing:
• Satisfy needs, wants, and demand of consumers and businesses
• Provide value, quality, and satisfaction

Also see

b. How does the marketing mix relate to the organizations marketing strategy?
Generally, when blending the mix elements, marketer(s) must consider their target market. They must understand the wants and needs (see Maslow) of the market (customer) then use these mix elements in constructing (formulating) appropriate marketing strategies and plans that will satisfy these wants. The mix must also meet or exceed the objectives of the organization. As Borden put it,"When building a marketing program to fit the needs of his firm, the marketing manager has to weigh the behavioral forces and then juggle marketing elements in his mix with a keen eye on the resources with which he has to work." (Borden, N. 1964 pg 365). A separate marketing mix is usually crafted for each product offering or for each market segment, depending on the organizational structure of the firm. Borden goes on to suggest a procedure for developing a marketing mix. He claims that you need two sets of information; a list of important elements that go into the mix, and a list of forces that influence these decision variables.

Example: The Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast's Marketing Strategy

Briefly, the Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast has a three-pronged marketing strategy:
1. Association membership and advertising: A large number of visitors will look to regional B&B associations for information about the different B&B's in the area. Most associations publish a guide to the local B&B's and The Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast wants to be in this guide. One of the other perks of membership is visibility on the associations website with a link to ours. Additionally, we will be a member of the Chamber of Commerce because people typically inquire with the local Chamber when planning a vacation.
2. Website: The Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast will have a full-service website that allows the visitor to view the B&B, read details about what it has to offer, provide information on regional activities, even allow the visitor to book a reservation. With the growing use of the Internet, the Web has become an indispensable tool people have for planning vacation to areas that are not close enough to check out in person.
3. Strategic relationship with the University of Oregon: The Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast will develop a partnership with the university so when the school is in need of finding rooms for guests they will use The Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast. We will also be advertising with the university so when students are searching for places for their parents to stay, they will come across The Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast in school-related publications and feel more comfortable with booking a reservation sight unseen because of the trust bond they have formed with the university.
To develop this marketing strategy, the Enchanted Vineyard Bed & Breakfast's marketing mix is comprised of the following approach to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, and customer service. The product is their services.
• Pricing: The pricing scheme is based on a room rate. The rate is arrived at in terms of by its market value. (Linked indirectly to the first and third marketing strategies above)
• Distribution: All services will be provided at the B&B. (Linked to all marketing strategies above) marketing strategies above)
• Advertising and Promotion: The most successful traditional advertising will be with the B&B association (linked to first marketing strategy above). Developing strategic alliances with the university is a non-traditional method of marketing, but it will be quite efficient (linked to third marketing strategy). The website will also be used in marketing activities. (Linked to second)
• Customer Service: Obsessive customer attention is the mantra. The Enchanted Vineyard's philosophy is what ever needs to be done to make the customer happy must occur, even at the expense of short-term profits. In the long ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes how each element of the marketing mix (product, place, price and promotion) is implemented within a specific organization and how they relate to the organization's marketing strategy.