Components of the Marketing Mix

Learning Outcomes

  • Define product
  • Define promotion
  • Define place
  • Define price

Product

Purple hexagon with the following text in the center: Product: What solution does the customer want and need. Outside the hexagon, to the right, is a list of considerations: features, design, user experience, naming, branding, differentiation

In the marketing mix, the term “product” means the solution that the customer wants and needs. In this context, we focus on the solution rather than only on the physical product. Examples of the product include:

  • The Tesla Model S, a premium electric car
  • A Stay at a Holiday Inn Express, a low-price national hotel chain
  • Doritos Nachos Cheese, a snack food
  • Simple, an online banking service

Each of these products has a unique set of features, design, name, and brand that are focused on a target customer. The characteristics of the products are different from competitors’ products.

Screenshot from Simple.com "All your finances, in your pocket or on the web, whenever you need it." The website shows the convenience of the banking services they offer: the Simple Visa card, ATM access, “Powerful Reporting," which provides the customer with personalized data about their spending, and photo check deposits.

Source: https://www.simple.com/banking

Promotion

Green hexagon with the following text in the center: Promotion: What is the dialogue between customer and company? Outside the hexagon, to the right, is a list of considerations: Message; method of delivering message, timing of delivery; communications by customers and influencers; competitor promotions.

In the marketing mix, the term “promotion” refers to the communications that occur between the company and the customer. Promotion includes both the messages sent by the company and messages that customers send to the public about their experience. Examples of promotion include:

  • An advertisement in Cooking Light magazine
  • A customer’s review of the product on YouTube
  • A newspaper article in the local paper quoting a company employee as an expert
  • A text message sent to a list of customers or prospects

Marketing professionals have an increasingly difficult job influencing promotions that cannot be controlled by the company. The company’s formal messages and advertising are only one part of promotions.

facebook logo plus their slogan: "Like us on facebook."

Marketers often run social media campaigns, rewarding customers who “Like” the company on Facebook.

Place

Turquoise hexagon with the following text: Place: how does the customer act or buy? Outside the hexagon, at the right, is a list of considerations: location of purchase, ease of transaction, access to distribution channels, sales force, competitor approaches

In the marketing mix, the term “place” refers to the distribution of the product. Where does the customer buy the product? “Place” might be a traditional brick-and-mortar store, or it could be online. Examples include:

  • Distribution through an online retailer such as Amazon.com
  • Use of a direct sales force that sells directly to buyers
  • Sales through the company’s Web site, such as the shoe purchases at Nike.com
  • Sales by a distributor or partner, such as the purchase of a Samsung phone from Best Buy or from a Verizon store

In today’s world, the concept of “place” in the marketing mix rarely refers to a specific physical address. It takes into account the broad range of distribution channels that make it easy for the target customer to buy.

Price

Orange hexagon with the following text in the middle: Price: what is the cost to the consumer? Outside the hexagon, at the right, is a list of considerations: value to buyer, price sensitivity, existing price points, discounts, competitor pricing

In the marketing mix, the term “price” refers to the cost to the customer. This requires the company to analyze the product’s value for the target customer. Examples of price include:

  • The price of a used college textbook in the campus bookstore
  • Promotional pricing such as Sonic Drive-In’s half-price cheeseburgers on Tuesdays
  • Discounts to trade customers, such as furniture discounts for interior designers

Marketing professionals must analyze what buyers are willing to pay, what competitors are charging, and what the price means to the target customer when calculating the product’s value. Determining price is almost always a complicated analysis that brings together many variables.

Sonic Cheeseburger ad with the Sonic logo. There are two cheeseburgers and the text "1/2 price cheeseburgers on Tuesday. It's cheesy good."

Sonic offers discounts on cheeseburgers on Tuesday, which is typically a low sales day of the week. Source: https://www.sonicdrivein.com

Practice Questions

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