A company’s marketing managers are responsible for planning and implementing all the activities that result in the transfer of goods or services to its customer. These activities culminate in the marketing in the marketing plan, – detail strategy for focusing marketing effort on consumers need and wants. Therefore, marketing strategy begins when a company identifies a consumer need and develops a product to meet it.
In planning and implementing strategies, marketing develop the four basic components (often called the “Four Ps”) of the marketing mix: product, place, and promotion.
Product Marketing begins with a product – a good, service, or an idea designed to fill a consumer need or want. Conceiving and developing new product is a constant challenge for marketers, who must always consider the factor of change- changing technology, changing consumer want and needs, and changing economic conditions. Meeting consumers need often means changing existing product to keep pace with emerging markets and competitors.
Product differentiation Producers often promotes particular features of product in order to distinguish them in the marketplace. Product differentiation is the creation of a feature or image that makes a product differ enough from existing products to attract consumers. For example, Jan Wenner started Rolling Stone magazine in 1967, and it’s been the cash cow of Wenner Media ever since. 1985, Wenner bought Us magazine and set out to compete with People, one of the industry giants. Wenner’s latest strategy calls for greater differentiation between the two products. People is news driven, reporting on ordinary people as well as celebrities, and Wenner plans to punch up Us Weekly with more coverage of celebrity se and glitter. So far, he hasn’t been successful: People reaches 3.7 million readers Us Weekly about 900,000.
Pricing Pricing a product- selecting the best price at which to sell it- is often a balancing act. On the one hand, prices must support a variety of cost operating, administrative, and research cost as well as marketing costs. On the other, prices can’t be so high that consumer turn competitors. Successful pricing means finding a profitable middle ground between these two requirements.
Both low- and high- price strategies can be effective in different situations. Low prices, for example, generally lead to larger sales volumes. High prices may also attract customers by implying that a product is of high quality.
Place (Distribution) In the marketing mix, place refers to distribution. Placing a product in the proper outlet- for example, a retail store- requires decisions about several activities, all of which are concerned with getting the product from the producer to the consumer. Decisions about warehousing and inventory control are distribution decisions, as are decisions about transportation options.
Firms must also make decisions about the channels through which they distribute products. Many manufacturers, for example, sell goods to other companies that, in turn, distribute them to retailer. Other sells directly to major retailers, such as Target and Wal-Mart. Still others sell directly to final consumers.
Promotion The most visible component of the marketing mix is no doubt promotion which refers to techniques for communicating information about products. The more important promotional tools include advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity and public relations.