10180705BMAN10101This essay will comprise of what the traditional marketing mix is, what the 4 elements of the mix are as well as the later added on 3 elements, whether the mix is relevant for the marketers of today and to what extent I agree with the statement ‘The traditional marketing mix is no longer relevant for today’s marketers’.Initially, ‘Marketing mix’ was introduced by a man known as Neil Borden in the 1950s but it was later labelled the four Ps (McCarthy 1960). The definition of what the marketing mix really is varies from most practitioners considering the mix as the toolkit of transaction marketing and archetype for operational marketing planning.
(Gronroos 1994) to Marketing mix not being a scientific theory but merely a conceptual framework that identifies the principal decision making that managers make in configuring their offerings to suit consumer’s needs, the tool can both be used to develop long-term strategies and short-term ones. (Palmer 2004)The four Ps in the traditional marketing mix are price, product, promotion, and place.A product is the services and goods given by an organization. A pair of earrings a dress are all products. All these are brought because they fulfill one or more of our needs. We pay for the benefit it will provide not for the tangible product.
In other words, the product can be said to be a bundle of benefits which a marketer offers to the customer for an amount. In the act of buying a pair of earrings that means we are purchasing accessories for our ears and when buying a dress, we are purchasing something for fashion to make us look attractive. The product can also be in the form of services like hairdressing, getting a massage or getting on a bus etc. Hence the word product applies to services and goods given by the organization for sale. (Phillip Kotler 1971)Price is an amount charged for the service or product. It is the next most crucial element in the marketing mix. Fixing this price can be very tricky.
A lot of factors like the demand for the product, prices competitors charge for the same product, cost involved etc. have all got to be kept closely aside when fixing the price. Price can affect demand for the product and profitability of the firm, therefore, pricing is a very important decision area. (Phillip Kotler 1971)Place, Goods are made to be sold to the consumers, they have to be made accessible to consumers at a place where the purchase is very convenient. For example, woollens are made on a very large scale in Ludhiana but are able to be bought at a store that is nearby in your town at a market, it is very necessary that the product is accessible at local shops in your town. This includes a chain of institutions and individuals like wholesalers and retailers. (Phillip Kotler 1971)Promotion, if the product is made with the consumer needs in mind and is correctly priced and made available at shops convenient to them, however, the consumer is not aware of its features, price, availability etc.
then its marketing efforts might not be successful. (Phillip Kotler 1971)These elements are great to use as a start-up planning for the product or even simply as an evaluation method for an existing product however when marketing became worldlier three other Ps where added purposely for service industries. These where People, Process and Physical environment forming the Seven Ps, marketing theorists for services put out a new field of management theory and practice different from the marketing of goods that are tangible (Lovelock, 1996). This, in turn, caused a re-evaluation of the traditional marketing management by blocking the boundary between services and goods, forcing attention to the fact that a lot of products contain elements of both intangible services and tangible goods.
Many see the Four Ps as still very relevant because they believe that the Four Ps show the extent which marketing affects a business performance. If the product or price is wrong and you have the very best communications in the world, regardless things just will not work. The traditional mix is still relevant today because it reminds us that marketing is more than just about the advertisement. (Jonathan Bacon 2017)In addition, many can argue whether the Four Ps are adequate enough but introductory marketing manuals call it ‘the heart of their structure ‘(Cowell 1984) and see the Four Ps as parameters which are likely to influence the buying process and decisions of the consumer. (Kotler2003: Brassington and Pettit 2003). I mean it makes sense to refer to the mix as the heart considering it being the traditional tool.
(David Jobber 2001): ”The strength of the Four Ps approach is that it represents a memorable and practical framework for marketing decision making and has proved useful for case study analysis in business sheets for many years”.A relatively large study done amongst executives of 550 companies that are Dutch (Alsem et al 1996) showed that 70% of the companies surveyed put formal market planning as the foundation of their operational marketing plans. However, responsibility for the mix choices is split between different departments. The same study shows that leaders trust the formal operational marketing planning based on the four Ps paradigm much more than the market followers.As traditional as the mix may be doubts and objectives have been raised with propositions to alternatives that vary from small modifications to total and complete rejection. The mix is also deemed inadequate to address certain marketing situations like the services, marketing management of relationships or the marketing of industrial products.Phillip Kotler, an author who in one of his books is critical of the mix by discussing the limitations of the mix one of which is the internal orientation arguing that ” The Four Ps represent the seller’s view of the marketing tools available for influencing buyers” (Kotler 2003).
The increasing pressure on marketers to better, identify and satisfy the ever-changing customer needs and industry needs the more the importance of services and the need to build long and lasting bonds with the client this has all added to seeing the several limitations of the framework of the 4p’s as a marketing management tool.Clearly social, cultural, demographic and economic influences during the last decades of the 20th century, together with rapid technological changes have transformed the consumers’ needs, behavior, and nature. A new word to describe the consumer is existential, less responsive to traditional marketing stimuli and less sensitive to brands and marketing eves while the influence of family or other types of reference groups on the new consumer behavior is changing or diminishing (Christopher 1989).Plenty more researchers confirm their views that the modern consumer has changed and is now different compared to a couple of years ago and is continuing to change.Most authors have mentioned that the 4p’s framework should not be seen as the base of consumer marketing management anymore. Most criticisms from books and papers focus on three main areas, Internal orientation, Lack of consumer interactivity which Doyle (1994) and Yuchelson (1999) argue that the mix does not acknowledge the changing nature of the consumer who wants not only higher and better value but more control on transaction and communication processes.
The last area is the lack of strategic elements which Ohmae (1982) Vignali and Davis (1994) argue that the lack of strategic content is a major deficiency of the framework, making it not fit as a planning instrument in an environment t where the outside and uncontrollable factors define the firm’s strategic opportunities and threats.An experiment carried out towards wine by Cleveland, Larocheb, and Papadopoulos (2015).The study aiming to develop a theoretical structure for a contextualized version of wine marketing mix but based on the 4E’s known as expertise, evaluation, education, and experience. These E’s played roles as replacements of Product Price Promotion and Place.
When all data was collected results showed that wine evaluation using the 4E’s was a better model for promoting wine successfully in markers. From this study and many others, it is evident that the 4ps are not the only tool that can be used at times the elements that make up the four p’s do not necessarily apply or work on some products; therefore, substitute elements must be used in order to be effective. (Cleveland, M., Larocheb, M., & Papadopoulos, N., 2015)Another study which was conducted for 5 years that involved 500 plus customers and managers in many countries published in the Harvard Business Review, the four P’s undermine Business to business marketers in various important ways. The four P’s lead sales and marketing teams to mainly concentrate too much effort on quality and technology. These same four P’s underemphasize how important building a convincing case to explain the importance of the solution being sold.
So, if the four P’s are no longer good enough to work for modern businesses what should we do? Eduardo Conrado, the chief marketing officer of Motorola (and one of the many authors of the study previously mentioned) proposed that we should consider s framework known as S.A.V.E, save looks at the Solution, Access, Value and Education of a service or product.
Solution Instead of Product, too many times do businesses get too caught up in the functions, features and technological parts of their products over their competition. But truly none of that matters to customers if they cannot see the benefits of what their being promised to the problems they currently have. Ideally.
Building a product or service based on features but not customer needs, you are only working backwards. Access instead of Place, the customers want businesses to be accessible, they want to be sure that the business support has their backs. To accomplish this, they need to observe the business engaging with other customers to have that sense that the business will be there to support if something goes wrong. Value instead of Price, Stanford University Research shows that comparing prices is a bad way for a business to frame its Prices, also many other studies on “context pricing” show that the way customers perceive value is more important when accepting price tags which are higher. The model of the four Ps does not support this idea behind the need to build a case for letting customers see the value that a business product provides, but rather placed too much emphasis on the tangible price of the service or product.
Education instead of Promotion, content gives companies the chance to give value and create a long-term marketing asset that most advertising cannot copy. (Gregory Ciotti 2016)With all that said those businesses that continue to use the Four Ps framework are putting themselves at risk of being in a repetitive and unproductive technological arms race.Today’s customer has greater involvement in the businesses customer relationship.The Four P’s marketing mix could still be relevant for today’s marketers as it is still being used in this very decade by businesses such as McDonald’s which has a product mix that ranges from Salads, chicken and fish, desserts and shakes, hamburgers and sandwiches, McCafè etc. McDonald’s also has a Place/ Distribution mix as they have a range of places for distributing their products such as restaurants, kiosks, and even the McDonald’s mobile app. Adding on, the business also has a promotional mix varying from sales promotion, advertising, Public relations and direct selling. Last but not list they have a pricing strategy which involves psychological pricing and price bundling where the company offers other products and meals for a discount and in psychological they use pricing that appears to be affordable by setting prices like £1.99.
(McDonald’s Corporation 2015). Nike too uses the 4Ps and many other businesses. As ‘traditional’ as it may be it clearly has some use, its usefulness depends on what type of product it is being applied to.We cannot assume or draw a conclusion that it is no longer relevant for today’s marketers when some still use it effectively.In conclusion, to some extent I believe that the mix is relevant for today’s marketers but overall, I think and strongly disagree that the traditional mix is still relevant for today’s marketers as the most important element of a business is the customer with ought the customer there is no business, in other words, the customer is the King. Adding on, the introduction of many different services made it difficult for the traditional model to be used on them in today’s societies the introduction of the 7ps model tried to be fit for services for some it may be applicable but for most, it is not. A clear development in marketing is the rise of relationship marketing.
Organisations are putting in more effort in developing, attracting and retaining customers (Lind green, Palmer, and Vanhamme, 2004). What this means is that it is much harder and more expensive to win over a new customer rather than getting back an existing profitable customer. In such situations, relationship marketing shows proof of being more successful as it takes into consideration the ever-evolving markets and customer outlooks of a personalized place of marketing, whereas the marketing mix mainly concentrates on product and not customer needs (Lauterborm 1990; Rozernberg, Czepiel 1992). Criticism of the marketing mix has also mentioned that the mix only allows a one-way communication, which thereby restricts any type of feedback or interaction from customers (Gummesson 1994, 1997; Grönroos 1994; Goldsmith 1999). This, in turn, leaves no room for improvement and takes away the customers power which can then lead to customer dissatisfaction.With the new existential customer who is less responsive to traditional marketing stimuli and less sensitive to brands and marketing eves it is inevitable that the markets will need to evolve to meet the new customers’ needs and for the markets to evolve, effective tools need to be used in order to do this and the traditional marketing mix no longer fits in with the new existential customer. I guess we could say that it is not advanced enough to be used as the conceptual framework for today’s marketers, therefore, the mix is no longer relevant for today’s marketersLast but not least with the conclusion summarising everything this essay comprises of it is only right to say that it is evident that over the years other alternatives of the Four P’s where introduced such as the S.
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