The term “marketing mix” was coined in 1953 by Neil Borden in his American Marketing Association presidential address. However, this was actually a reformulation of an earlier idea by his associate, James Culliton, who in 1948 described the role of the marketing manager as a “mixer of ingredients”, who sometimes follows recipes prepared by others, sometimes prepares his own recipe as he goes along, sometimes adapts a recipe from immediately available ingredients, and at other times invents new ingredients no one else has tried. A prominent marketer, E. Jerome McCarthy, proposed a Four P classification in 1960, which has seen wide use.
Elements of the marketing mix are often referred to as the “Four ‘P’s”, a phrase used since the 1960’s
Product – It is a tangible good or an intangible service that is mass produced or manufactured on a large scale with a specific volume of units. Intangible products are service based like the tourism industry & the hotel industry or codes-based products like cellphone load and credits. Typical examples of a mass produced tangible object are the motor car and the disposable razor. A less obvious but ubiquitous mass produced service is a computer operating system. Packaging also needs to be taken into consideration. Every product is subject to a life-cycle including a growth phase followed by an eventual period of decline as the product approaches market saturation. To retain its competitiveness in the market, product differentiation is required and is one of the strategies to differentiate a product from its competitors.
Price – The price is the amount a customer pays for the product. The business may increase or decrease the price of product if other stores have the same product.
Place – Place represents the location where a product can be purchased. It is often referred to as the distribution channel. It can include any physical store
as well as virtual stores on the Internet.
Promotion represents all of the communications that a marketeer may use in the marketplace. Promotion has four distinct elements: advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion. A certain amount of crossover occurs when promotion uses the four principal elements together, which is common in film promotion. Advertising covers any communication that is paid for, from cinema commercials, radio and Internet adverts through print media and billboards. Public relations are where the communication is not directly paid for and includes press releases, sponsorship deals, exhibitions, conferences, seminars or trade fairs and events. Word of mouth is any apparently informal communication about the product by ordinary individuals, satisfied customers or people specifically engaged to create word of mouth momentum. Sales staff often plays an important role in word of mouth and Public Relations (see Product above).
Any organization, before introducing its products or services into the market; conducts a market survey. The sequence of all ‘P’s as above is very much important in every stage of product life cycle Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline.
In recent years the addition of a 5th P has become common place. The 5th P being people. This is to represent the people who you are targeting but also the people who will physically conduct each part of the campaign. Some people even go up to as many as 10 P’s.
More recently, three more Ps have been added to the marketing mix namely People, Process and Physical Evidence. This marketing mix is known as Extended Marketing Mix.