Explore how firms/brands use the marketing mix.
Competition is an indisputable threat to the business prosperity and success. Companies have rarely sat back to watch the threat eat into their market shares. For the companies to market their products effectively, they have to get the marketing mix right. The marketing mix model operates under four elements including product, price, place and promotion. These elements work as a unit in reinforcing the firm’s marketing strategy. Dibb, Simkin, Pride, and Ferrell (2012) affirm that the marketing mix remained the determinant of company’s differential advantage and success in any marketing environment. Undeniably, businesses use the 4Ps model in setting objectives, undertaking competitive analysis, and evaluating the existing work. The framework has helped businesses identify the environmental changes, market development, and trends.
The marketing mix appears to be the trusted conceptual platform the marketers use in handling the operational marketing issues. The 4Ps are controllable parameters essential in influencing the buying decisions and the process of consumers. Brassington and Petti (2013) argued that the strategy ensures businesses turn marketing planning into practice by allowing their marketers to alter the marketing mix proportions to meet the distinct requirements of any product or service produced. Dibb et al. (2012) added that products are the physical objects that companies put on the market to get sold and meet the expectations of customers. The businesses tend to consider procedures and policies regarding the product line such as the design and quality, market value, promotional deals, repayment and credit terms. The companies also consider the promotional elements including personal selling, direct marketing, advertising, and promotions for the product. Finally, the distribution of the product is also important in serving the customers.
Explain how the mix elements support the chosen targeting and positioning of the firm/brand.
The product positioning shows the target market’s perception or understanding of the product. The positioning remains achievable through the mix that has to be consistent with the end positioning objective as explained by Keller (2013). In avoiding confusing the marketplace leading to limited repeat sales and weak positioning outcome, positioning is the answer. Kotler, Armstrong, Harris, and Piercy (2013) have identified McDonald’s marketing mix the business uses in addressing the concerns of various markets. With marketing mix, the company has defined its tactics and strategies to reach the targeted customers (Baines, Fill & Page 2011). For instance, McDonald’s promotion has incessantly focused on the print media in the markets where such channels are popular (Kotler et al. 2013). To this effect, the firm has implemented its marketing mix effectively thus contributes to its leading performance in the fast food industry.
The marketing mix helps the organization in making strategic decisions needed for the smooth operations of the organization. The strategy is evident in the situation where the management engages in the making business plan. Undeniably, the 4Ps affect the targeting, positioning, and segmentation decisions. For instance, the firm can make the positioning decision based on the price. Kotler et al. (2013) maintain that positioning shows the place a service or product occupies in a consumer’s mind compared to the competing products. Indeed, product positioning is the brand’s functional or objective attributes about other brands. Organizations use positioning by emphasizing the unique characteristics of their brands thus create a suitable image through advertising. Therefore, positioning ensures the firm develops a competitive strategy for its products and services.
In what ways are the mix elements integrated i.e. consistent, complementary and supporting of each other?
The marketing mix elements embrace different ideas such as leverage, integration, and consistency which interact to fit the marketplace needs (Brassington & Pettit 2013). These elements maximize the use of the firm’s strengths based on the defined segments to protect the business against the competitive threats (Kotler & Armstrong 2012). The fit of the elements and degree of interaction ensure the company achieves a competitive success and comparative advantage. The degree of interaction can be through consistency that focuses on the useful and logical fit between elements. For instance, it remains inconsistent for a firm to use a low-quality retailer to sell a high-quality product. Although the inconsistency remains possible, the consumers need to understand the reason to respond favorably.
Integration is also another positive relationship among the mix elements as it focuses on an active and harmonious interaction among the mix (Brassington & Pettit 2013). Heavy advertising can get harmonized with high selling prices due to the added profits from the premium prices. The advertising can create the brand differentiation to justify the high price. Similarly, leverage is a more sophisticated relationship in which the elements get used to their best advantage to support the total mix. For example, in a sales response curve, the relationship between sales and marketing inputs is inevitable. The marketer can use the sales response curve to identify the relationship between the expenditure and other marketing variables such as sales. Kotler and Armstrong (2012) indicated that companies could invest additional advertising dollars to generate sales. In fact, products enjoying substantial advertising benefit more from improved distribution compared the overall advertising.
Baines, P, Fill, C & Page, K 2011, Marketing, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Brassington, F & Pettit, S 2013, Essentials of marketing, Pearson, Harlow.
Kotler, P & Armstrong, G 2012, Principles of marketing, Pearson Prentice Hall, Harlow.
Dibb, S, Simkin, L, Pride, W & Ferrell, O 2012, Marketing, concepts and strategies, Cengage, Andover.