"Marketing is essentially about marshalling the resources of an organization so that they meet the changing needs of the customer on whom the organization depends." ~ Palmer.
Today, with such a competitive market, customers are spoiled with choices. So in order to be successful, companies need to follow the philosophy of "customer is the king" to the T. That's why, marketing plans of various companies are incorporated while keeping their consumer's needs in mind. These marketing plans are based on the marketing mix i.e., on the 4 Ps of marketing - a concept proposed for the first time by a marketer named E. Jerome McCarthy in the year 1960. Let us try to understand what these four Ps of marketing stand for and how they affect any given business.
The foremost of the marketing four Ps is the product that a company intends to sell. It can be a car, toothbrush, nail polish, utensil, clothing item, etc. Although manufacturing a product does not fall in the work of the marketing department, yet how the product should look, how it should function, and how it can be used by the customers, is mainly determined by market research. Based on this same marketing strategy, the position of the product in the market is determined. To be successful in developing the right product, the marketing department should give regular inputs with regards to the needs and wants of the customers to the manufacturing department. Guarantees, warranties, and support services for the product should also be decided after researching about the offerings of the competitors.
The price should be determined in accordance to a number of factors such as the number of product features, the price of similar products in the market, how much the customers are willing to shell out for the conveniences offered by the product, etc. As price is the revenue for a business so special attention should be paid while determining the pricing strategy. Discounts, allowances, and financing options fall under the pricing marketing mix strategy too.
"Place" refers to making a product available to a customer at the right place and at the right time. For this, a business needs to have a proper distribution network in place along with appropriate storage facilities. A business should ensure that there is never a shortage of the product in the market. A business should determine which is a proper marketing tool and technique - retailing a product directly or letting others do the wholesaling and retailing.
The last one is promotion i.e. making the end customer aware of the uses of the product. Advertising, managing public relations, branding, and sales promotion, all fall under this category. These promotional methods help a customer make his choice with regards to buying or not buying a particular product. Since the cost of promotions can be extremely high so the company should wisely decide upon which customers to target and how, by planning creative and intelligent marketing promotion methods.
As can be seen, developing your marketing 4 Ps - product, price, place, and promotion, is what ultimately determines how much profit a business is making. So a business, before devising strategies for a perfect marketing mix, should be absolutely thorough with its market research.