The marketing mix is a tool used to help brands and businesses understand what elements must be put together in order to meet their marketing goals and objectives.
The 4Ps are key elements that must be brought together to effectively promote a brand’s unique value, and help it uniqueness stand out from the competition.
Jerome McCarthy, in 1960, proposed the modern form of the 4Ps when he introduced it in his textbook, Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. The 4 Ps of marketing summarizes the four basic pillars of any marketing strategy. It includes product, price, place and promotion.
Product: What you sell. It could be a physical good, services, consulting, etc.
Price: How much you charge and how that impact how customers view your brand?
Place: Where you promote your product or service. Where your ideal customers go to find information about your business?
Promotion: How your customers find out about you. The strategies you use, and how effective they are.
A product refers to the item that you are providing with the intention of satisfying the needs and wants of a target customer. It can be a tangible good, such as selling electrical gadgets or smartphones, and intangible such as providing consultancy or online services.
For successful marketing, businesses must always have a clear concept of what their products stand for, and what makes them unique and set them from the competition. Customers will be willing to pay for a product if it serves their interests. I personally use MTN to make most of my calls since most of my other contacts use the MTN network but use Vodafone for my internet usage due to the cheaper cost of the internet on their network. I am using both networks because their product and services serve my best interest. No one would buy your product because you are a Ghanaian businessman/woman if there is a better alternative from someone who isn’t a Ghanaian.
You need to ask yourself what customers really want from your product/service. Does it satisfy their needs? What features of your product/service work to meet your customer’s needs and if that feature isn’t yet available in your service or product, you must include it.
After getting your product to meet customers’ demands, you then decide on the price. Pricing involves both market data and careful calculations. You need to make sure the price isn’t too low which could affect your business negatively or too high which could also damage your brand. The pricing shouldn’t be limited to only the materials and cost of production but it should also consider the cost of marketing the product. The price must also consider the people who will be purchasing the product. Various companies have various prices for the same item in different countries. I was in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2017 and the price of a can of Coca-Cola was GHc1.5 over there while it was selling at GH2.5 in Ghana. Even in Ghana, some alcoholic beverages sell at different prices at different places.
Samsung released their flagship devices last month and the Galaxy S21 Ultra was the best among them. The S21 Ultra with 12GB RAM and 256 ROM is going for GHc7,987 in Ghana, GHc6,864 in Kenya and GHc10,628 in Nigeria. Same product with same specifications but different pricing in different countries.
Place refers to providing customers and the general public access to the product. Banks are building branches across regions of Ghana whiles network companies are also opening more offices to solve the problems of their customers. Marketing, through any digital means or otherwise, is about putting your product, in the right place, in front of your customers. Marketers will need to consider where their customers can conveniently have access to their product or services whether it is online stores or brick-and-mortar stores or offices.
If your target group is on social media, then attention should be there more. If your customers are people who might want to touch and feel the product before buying then you may need a physical store at a location near them.
Promotion primarily deals with how to make an audience aware of your product or services, marketing communications.
You could use channels such as public relations, advertising, direct marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, or sales promotions; think of it as any way marketers disseminate relevant product information to their target customers. Marketers must consider the times their customers are available and the best time to promote their business. If a rice seller is targeting school kids then she would have to wake up early, prepare the food and by the time the kids will be on their way to school, the rice would be there waiting for them. The same applies to someone who wishes to reach a target audience on social media. He/she needs to know when a lot of his customers could be online. Not considering this could make one spend more on promotion but yet make little returns.
Integrated marketing communications (IMC)
When organizations accelerate and increase returns by taking an approach which is more customer centred and aligning the marketing and communication objectives of the approach with their business or institutional goals is known as the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) process.
It must be noted that IMC is an ongoing process, not just a one-off campaign. That process includes strategic planning, measurement, and refinement of communications.
IMC’s purpose is to grow revenue faster. Moreover, IMC is customer-centric. Marketing is no longer about pushing out messages and hoping people will listen. We must put ourselves into the shoes of the customers.
IMC is also about aligning objectives with goals. So inasmuch as attention is on the customer, the goal of the company must be forgotten.