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The Marketing Mix: Product, Place, Price and Promotion

Describe the elements of the marketing mix (product, place, price, and promotion).
For VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS, describe how each one of the four elements of the marketing mix affects the development of the organization's marketing strategy and tactics.

1,378 words

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Marketing is essentially one more tool that is brought to bear on the sales process: RIGHT PRODUCT, AT THE RIGHT PRICE, IN THE RIGHT MARKET, sold to the RIGHT CUSTOMER. The FOUR P's of Marketing were first conceptualized by E. Jerome McCarthy, based on earlier work by Neil H. Borden and James Culliton. Borden framed marketing as a mix of elements and Culliton framed marketing as the mixer. The 'marketing mix' of PRODUCT, PLACE, PRICE and PROMOTION have become known as the "Four P's" -- the what, the where, the how much and the gimmick of parting the good customer of their money and putting the marketer's product in its place. However, the Four P's do not function in a vacuum. They exist in a world of constraints: competitors products may constrain a marketer's ability to differentiate a product, as well as create downward pressure on pricing as discerning customers set increasingly higher criteria for the value/price ration; weak distribution channels or an ill-placed product in an indifferent market, or poor scenario planning may create either shortages or over-stock of product in certain markets; finally, a marketer runs the risk of giving away too much in the way of promotions or gimmicks if the market is in fact not indifferent or if the marketer has simply misinterpreted market data but conversely runs the risk of losing orders and sales, if the promotion is not enough of a promotion in the perceptions of an average customer.

I like to use scenarios as a means of illustrating the impact of principles, such as the Four P's. Let's consider each "P" and an accompanying scenario or two to make some descriptive observations.

PRODUCT/PLACE:
- Would you take seriously a salesperson/marketer who was attempting to sell/market a suspension bridge in Arizona?
- Would you take seriously a salesperson/marketer who was attempting to sell/market ice igloos in Jamaica?

Extreme? Yes. However, it does make the point about PRODUCT and markets. Even if you have all the other 3 P's nailed down, if you have the wrong product for the market you want to be ...

Solution Summary

This solution addresses the four "P's" of the marketing mix.

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