The role of the marketing mix

 

Benefits of the marketing mix

The marketing mix has been a fundamental concept of marketing textbooks the past 50 years or more. This article explores the benefits and the role of the marketing mix in both the study and the practice of marketing.

As a learning tool

While one of the limitations of the traditional 4P’s marketing mix is that it is quite simplistic, that means it is also an excellent approach to learning the scope of marketing.

Marketing students are typically introduced to the concept of the traditional marketing mix in their introductory marketing studies – it is usually one of the first concepts taught.

Highlights a broader scope of marketing

For many years, marketing was primarily associated with simply advertising and promotion. The 4P’s marketing mix structure, however, clearly highlights that promotion is simply one of the four elements. At the centre of the marketing mix is product – for without a product offering, it is impossible for an organization to offer any value to an end consumer and it is impossible for the firm to create profitability for itself.

A handy checklist

The marketing mix is handy as a top level checklist of the key components of any integrated marketing program. When a marketer is developing their marketing strategy and documenting their marketing plan, the marketing mix can act as an overall checklist, or control, to ensure that they have considered the broader aspects of marketing.

The impact of synergy

The components of the original marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) need to be mixed in an appropriate proportion so the organization meets its marketing objectives. In this situation, the marketer becomes a “mixer of ingredients" constantly engaged in building a creative mix of marketing procedures and instruments in order to render the organization profitable.

Philip Kotler has stated that “the marketing mix is the set of controllable variables that the firm can use to influence the buyer’s response". Therefore, the marketing mix is an useful tool for any marketer by helping him keep in focus all the variables involved in this particular process.

Marketing mix in combination delivers the marketing strategy

The marketing mix helps a marketer to realize that the four main components work together and should be regarded as a unit. Very often, decisions made regarding one variable may influence the choices of another element. By seeing the marketing mix as an integral tool, marketers will be able to build an effective strategy and attach the right tactics for its accomplishment. Selecting the right marketing mix will take a lot of effort before finding the right balance of the elements involved.

Create customer value

By following the 4 components of the marketing mix, an organization will be able to create value for its customers and communicate through in an integrated approach. Customers will perceive this value in the quality of the product, its associated price and discounts, through the quality of the distribution and placement and finally by its advertising campaigns.

Flexible options

There is no perfect marketing mix, due to the infinite combinations of the elements involved. The same product may have different marketing mixes for different target markets. Also no marketing mix is constant; it should be adapted to the requirements and changes of the environment it concerns. But one thing is certain, the different elements of the mix should not pull the organization in different directions, they should consolidate a single position within a certain market segment.