The 4P’s of Marketing – Understating the Marketing Mix

While watching cricket, the one thing that interrupts the match in between every over is ads. When on a long trip, you are stuck in traffic what interrupts the songs on the radio? – ads. For that matter even when you step in to watch a movie at a theatre before the movie starts and after the intermission what is the one thing that pops up again? – The answer will be ads. As annoying and repetitive as these commercials and advertisements sound and seem, they are a medium used to advertise all goods and services.  

When you talk about the human body there are five senses involved. Most of you might wonder why we are talking about the senses. The answer is as simple as can be. The five senses of the human body control most of the decisions that we take in a day to day life. Leading marketing and advertising agencies these days spend millions to create a marketing mix that can engage all the senses of the human body. Our sense of sight is engaged with the help of fascinating videos and the appeal of the product, our sense of hearing by the catchy music and witty scripts used to advertise the product. Similarly, once the product or service being advertised is used, a customer gets to engage the remaining senses which are that of taste, feel (emotions) and the aroma (this depends on the type of service or product being advertised). So you will now be able to understand how the best advertisements these days cash in on the major human senses.

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Another aspect of talking about marketing is to understand why marketing is important in the first place. We commonly come across the saying ‘What is visible sells’, and this is the very reason why the concept of marketing evolved.  Way back in 1940, James Culliton described his marketing manager as a ‘mixer of ingredients’. Following this nickname later in 1964 writer Neil Borden wrote an article ‘The Concept of Marketing Mix’. From that time to now, the overall marketing industry has seen an extravagant shift.  Students studying marketing are taught a great deal about the four pillars of the marketing industry. Since we are already on the topic why not find out what these four pillars are.

PRODUCT: We all know about the movie directors’ right? Now imagine a scenario where the director finalizes a star cast and composes all the songs, without having a STORY! Doesn’t seem right, right? What the story is for the director is what the product is for marketing. This means that without a feasible product there is no need for marketing. A product could be tangible or some sort of service being offered to the end customer, they all have the means of being marketed.

PRICE: Probably the biggest deciding factor for all end customers is this big question, “How much?”  It goes without saying that the value of this one factor will impact everything. It will influence the response of the customers towards the product, profit margins and the entire mumbo jumbo of the supply and demand chain. It is understandable that to get a decent return on investment based on the product/service that a company designs it is likely that they increase the prices. This, however, has a flipside for the simple fact that if the price is unrealistically high then there will be no margin for the sales.

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PROMOTION: We started this blog by discussing advertisements and marketing and both these tools are used for promoting a product or service. This is the part through which all the five senses of the human body are engaged. Once the product and the price is decided, it is time for promoting it. Earlier the most common ways of doing this were through print ads in the newspapers and the ads that came on the television. However, with all the changes in the tech world, newer ways of promoting have evolved. Now we have social media marketing, email marketing, and video marketing as well!

PLACE: Imagine watching a person in a hot climate wearing a fur coat or jacket. Doesn’t add up right? Why would he need a fur coat when all he needs is probably an umbrella to save him from the scorching heat? When a company comes up with a product the first thing it has to do is decide on the demographic area where the product will sell. You need to make sure that the product you are selling is at the right place and visible to the right target audience. Selling a product like a fur coat in a hot summery location is definitely not solving the purpose.

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These are the four most crucial pillars of marketing and advertising. So for all you people looking to make it big in the world of marketing, please bear in mind these Tricks of the Trade (TOT’s)!

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April 1, 2019

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