The foundation and management of a successful Business Enterprise often stands dependent on The Four Fundamentals – Product, Price, Place and Promotion’ – which go on to complete the marketing mix. A poorly versed homework of these elements can result in outright failure of a business operation; whilst, an understanding and correct implication of these can lead to the right mix needed to progress towards profitability and growth.
It then becomes crucial and signiﬁcant to examine in detail what these four fundamentals are and thereafter, how they work. These words are cohesive enough for self explanation. Where ‘product’ refers to the tangible item being marketed for sale; its ‘price’ classifies its target segment while its ‘placement’ suggests the places at which its availability would gain direct access to its consumers. Last but not the least, ‘promotion’ determines the mode of communication to be utilized to create both exposure of the product and create a channel for conveying the necessary information about the product over a span of time to both existing and potential customers.
So does that mean a particular product can confine in one mix over time and over a geographic stretch?
Consider asking yourself the following five question and then re-read the above statement to access an evolution of your understanding on the matter.
1. Would a North Face product be more relevant for Gilgit or Karachi?
2. Is the Purchasing Power of individuals the same in Karachi as Sibi?
3. Would Comfort Fabric Conditioner have a high demand in Siachen?
4. Would the packaging of 2001 still attract customers in 2016?
5. Has the concept of a market place evolved since 1947?
So if an answer to the statement: ‘does a particular product confine in one mix over time and over a geographic stretch?’ for you is a NO, it becomes relevant for entrepreneurs and marketers, such as yourself, to consider which factors influence and require a change in the mix of a given product significantly with a change of space and time?
Given, we are dealing with the same product in different geographical regions, would the four Ps remain consistent? The first question answers this very query, the product variety, its pricing, and its promotion set by North Face would be greater in Gilgit then in Karachi due to the cold over warm weather accordingly.
One would assume, given the product is the same, its target market is probably the same too. Let’s consider the second question to clarify this, do we not find more sachet based products in small towns compared to larger packages in bigger cities? Detergent companies launch different sizes with different price ranges to capture market to avail dough despite the changing purchasing power parity.
Does a need of a product become inexistent altogether within a given country? Would Unilever Pakistan place Comfort Fabric Conditioner in Siachen? Given the harsh cold and freezing water, one can only assume that a use of a conditioner that requires a longer time to wash clothes would only build a grudge in the heart of its user that dares to try it out.
Does the aesthetic sense of individuals evolve with time? Has the introduction and influence of media not made the good and compelling appearance of all things a necessity? There was a time when Washing Powder Nirma had a white package with a picture of a girl, still famous back in 2001. Today we see Detergents such as Surf Excel and how extravagant their packaging has become with loud colors and design based depictions of special ingredients. So today, in 2016 the former product would seem inferior only because of its packaging is too simple and does not with the customer’s aesthetic sense of the day.
So have market places evolved since 1947; if yes, how has that influenced the placement and promotion of products? Have we not been exposed to more than a supermarket in the last few years? The Online Markets and Social Media platforms that have become virtual markets available from home changed the marketing dynamics. The promotional ads have become personal. We are no longer being targeted v via general Billboard and TV Ads; today based on our Google and Facebook searches, certain c companies show relevant ads to us as s sponsored Instagram and Facebook posts. We will only see what we are perhaps most concerned about and therefore making advertisements more effective than ever.
An under-exaggerated and true assumption, to say the least. The marketing mix will always need revising to stay ahead of the game.
I hope it is safe to assume, a foundation stone has been set on the importance of the ever changing environment in which the businesses have to persevere. In the next edition, a step towards an implication of this concept will be worked towards. The article to follow will highlight a comparative analysis between the market of Islamabad and Karachi. This will assist entrepreneurs and marketers to develop a detailed understanding of the markets around them – hopefully, directing their efforts to apply the right mix for their products and brands in the future.