The marketing mix is a critical component in the development of marketing plans and strategies. The marketing mix encompasses all of the elements that impact an organization's ability to successfully take its products and services to market -- product, price, place and promotion. It is the effective mix, or combination, of these components -- not the success of any individual elements -- that contributes to success.
The importance of a high-quality product that delivers value to the intended end user is critical. Product is one of the four components of the marketing mix. In developing marketing strategies and tactics, marketers will consider product information that includes sales data as well as market research information about customer satisfaction with the product and feedback attained through a variety of channels, including social media and other online interactions. As marketers respond to this feedback they will make changes to their products and services, and sometimes develop new products or line extensions to meet changing market demand.
Even a great product at the wrong price-point will have a tough time achieving market success. Pricing is an important consideration in the marketing planning process. Pricing decisions are based on the costs of producing and delivering the products and services, but also on considerations related to desired brand image and how a specific target audience might respond to various price points. For example, hamburgers sold at McDonald's are priced lower than hamburgers sold at Wolfgang Puck's.
The place component of the marketing mix refers not only to location, but also to access to the product or service; in other words, availability. A highly desired product, at a price that appeals to a wide range of consumers will struggle to achieve success if the product is hard to find or sold out whenever consumers attempt to make a purchase. Place considerations now also include issues related to ordering online and how easy (or difficult) it is to navigate the purchase process.
While it can be easy to think of marketing as being all about promotion, the truth is that promotion is only one of the four elements that go into achieving marketing success. Businesses with high-quality products, desired by consumers, priced appropriately and readily and conveniently available, need to consider how they will communicate about the product to target consumers. That's where promotion comes in and may include such tactics as advertising, public relations or special events.
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