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What is the marketing mix?

The marketing mix, commonly associated with the 4Ps, describes the various factors that firms consider when marketing a product. These marketing mix is based upon the firm’s knowledge of its customers and their habits.

The four Ps stand for:

Price – this is the price customers are charged in exchange for the product.  

Product – includes decisions regarding what the product is and how it is designed, as well as packaging design, and the mix of products that a firm sells.

Place – includes decisions about which channels of distribution a firm will use to sell its products. Will they sell directly to customers, or will they sell the product to wholesalers, who then sell to customers? Will they sell in retail stores, online, or both?

Promotion – which methods will the firm use to tell customers about their product, and how will they persuade them to take action and buy the product?

3 extra Ps have been added to the marketing mix because they all for a more detailed marketing plan to be developed. The 3 extra Ps are strongly related to service industry, but also important to the marketing mix for products as well. This is beneficial for business people in the UK because service firms make up approximately 78 per cent of UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP represents the monetary value of all goods and services produced within a nation's geographic borders over a specified period of time).

The 3 extra Ps stand for:

People – People are extremely important to a service business. The people who are employed by a service firm can be a crucial factor when customers decide which business they should buy from. Service businesses should have well-trained, knowledgeable, reliable, friendly and efficient staff.

Physical Environment – To customers, the physical environment of a service business reflects the quality of the service. Imagine taking your clothes to a dry cleaner, and the physical environment is dirty and badly-organised. This would reflect poorly on the business, and you would probably take your clothes to be dry-cleaned somewhere else.

Process – Most things that a business does involves processes. They can include customer waiting times, how customers pay, and after-sales service. Process improvement should be something a business constantly reviews.

The key to having a good marketing plan is to have a marketing mix where all of these factors complement each other. For example, the price paid by customers reflects the quality of the product and the quality of people who work for the firm. 

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