Your Business Questions And Answers

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Sandy asks…

How does a company design the proper marketing mix?

As I understand things, marketing strategy consists of selecting a segment of the market as the company’s target market and designing the proper marketing “mix” that meets the needs of that segment.  How this is achieved?

Frank answers:

The Marketing Mix is one element that makes up your marketing strategy.

This includes:

  • Price
  • Product
  • Place
  • Promotion

They’re also known as the 4 “P’s.” It’s important for an organization to have a good understanding of these factors. They’re important when developing a marketing plan.

  • Price: What’s the highest amount the customer will pay for the product or service? Many times setting the incorrect price level is the beginning of a lot of problems for an organization. An organization must be sure their price is not too high or too low. Mistakes either way will hurt the organization’s income. When an organization is starting up, it’s important they focus their price levels on at least breaking-even. A break-even analysis is necessary to determine the price to set to avoid a loss.

 

  • Product: What you are trying to sell to the customer. An organization needs to have an in depth understanding about what it is they are marketing. Development of the product’s size, quality, design, brand name, packaging are important when trying to match with customer’s needs and wants. An organization should explain how their product’s features benefit the customer.

 

  • Place: This is where the customer comes into contact with the product. An organization needs to make sure the product or service they’re offering is in the appropriate location where its target market can reach it. An obvious example of poor placement is developing a ski resort in a desert! It’s also important to look at the logistics necessary to reach its customers and any geographical barriers that might exist. A B&B will not get many visitors if they have to travel on a poorly lit, gravel road.

 

  • Promotion: The method of marketing to the customer so they gain knowledge about the product and be persuaded to purchase it. There are many different types of promotional activities that can be used.

However, a recent trend focuses the marketing mix directly on the customer. Instead of the 4 “Ps”, there is the 4 “Cs.”

  • Customer value: how much the customer values the product.

 

  • Cost to the customer: also includes customer’s time and energy, along with price of the product.

 

  • Convenience for the buyer: similar to place.

 

  • Communication: similar to promotion.

The plain truth is many organizations offering services struggle when trying to apply the 4 “P’s” concept to their marketing plan. They’re missing one of the “P’s,” – product. Services are intangible, produced and consumed at the same time, relying heavily on the organization’s personnel and the performance of staff.

Marketing services require a complete dedication to understanding the customer. All staff in the organization must have a complete understanding of the customer and their relationship with the customer. The critical thing here is relationship marketing is the most important concept for service-based organizations.

 

Chris asks…

How does marketing differ in domestic and international environments?

Should international marketing managers standardise marketing ?

Frank answers:

Good question 🙂

Marketing is an art. Good marketing understands different cultures and adapts to people’s needs and desires. It’s much easier to customise a marketing plan for a foreign market, than it is to try to change others’ cultures to sell and promote your products.

Here’s a simple example:
Mc Donalds. It has a customised marketing plan to adapt to other countries in foreign franchises. For instance, in the middle east, they offer rice with meals. Or in the States or Canada, they offer some hispanic meals in hispanic areas.

This thinking keeps the door open for improvement and ensures success. Products can be developed to look more attractive to the target markets and gains their loyalty.

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