Marketing and Marketing Mix
Abstract This chapter discusses the definition of marketing as a social science and the role played by the marketing-mix elements in a successful business. The function of marketing and the role of each element in the mix are explored from both social and normative science perspectives.
Keywords Marketing • Marketing mix • Product • Price • Place • Promotion
Although there are various definitions of marketing, the American Marketing Association (AMA) currently defines it as follows:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, exchanging, delivering, and communicating offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large1 [emphasis added].
If you look at this definition closely, you will see that the formal definition of marketing basically has four major components:
- 1 creating an offering for consumers
- 2 exchanging the offering at the right value with consumers
- 3 delivering that offering to consumers
- 4 communicating that offering to consumers.
© The Author(s) 2017
S.U. Kucuk, Visualizing Marketing,
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The 4P elements (product, price, place and promotion) known as the marketing mix are discussed broadly in many marketing courses. Creating an offering is generally conceptualized as “product,” exchanging is conceptualized as “pricing,” delivering is conceptualized as “place distribution,” and finally communicating is discussed as “promotion.” Without a consumer who is willing and able to buy the product under the influence of these elements, all marketing efforts will be wasted. Thus, consumers sit at the heart of every marketing activity and marketers try to reach them by combining the elements of the marketing mix. The survival of each marketing-mix element is dependent on its ability to influence and impact the consumer’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. As in our solar system, the elements spin around consumers for attention, seeking to transform their energy into meaningful and effective marketing responses (see Fig. 2.1). Without the light of consumer demand, the solar system of companies and their marketing cannot exist.
Fig. 2.1 Marketing solar system
The modern consumer-centric marketing approach is conceptualized as SIVA (Solution, Information, Value and Access) by Dev and Shultz (2005) as follows:
Product » Solution Price » Value Place » Access Promotion » Information
If the product or service does not provide solutions to consumers’ needs, if promotion fails to convey the necessary information for consumers to make decisions, if pricing fails to give the right value to consumers, and finally if place distribution does not make the product available at the right time and place, and in the right quantity, there is no marketing interaction with consumers. These four must work together harmoniously to create a marketing synergy for long-term success.
Furthermore, although marketing can be defined as a social science, it is easy to find both artistic and scientific approaches in many marketing practices. Increasing efforts to quantify marketing and the development of marketing metrics lead to the important question: “Is marketing art or science?” Understanding the scientific and artistic origins of each element in the marketing mix helps to explain their role in the marketing solar system (see Fig. 2.2).
PRODUCT is a central element. Without a product there can be no pricing, place, or promotion. Thus, entrepreneurial focus and attention is on developing products or services that satisfy consumer needs and wants. From this perspective, scientific findings and innovations could be the starting point of products or services. Scientific or engineering methods are needed to build a product and adjust it to meet the current consumer market. On the other hand, a product also needs a soul and identity in order to better communicate with consumers. That function is carried out by branding. In other words, if the product is the body, the brand is its soul. Without these two, no product will achieve market success and consumer acceptance.
PRICE mostly involves the science of economics and uses theories of modern behavioral economics to explain pricing in different situations that deviates from traditional economic theories. All human beings act on their emotions to make spontaneous decisions once in a while. Thus, price seems more dependent on social science and its methods than on normative science.
PLACE, or the actual distribution of products and services, deals with logistics and problems of space-time optimization. Place can be defined as
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Fig. 2.2 Is marketing art or science?
the silent marketing-mix element as it is highly dependent on the ability of the other 3Ps (product, promotion, and price) to create marketing effects in markets. Previously unknown products cannot create consumer demand if they are in storage. However, place can play a very active role creating demand and market impact for especially frequently purchased products in consumer markets.
PROMOTION focuses on developing appropriate communication with consumers about the company and its products and services. Developing a brand identity that matches consumers’ ideal selves can promote their psychological and social wellbeing. Creation of a successful brand identity involves a deep-seated analysis of identity using a wide variety of semiotic, ethnographic, and anthropological methods. Thus, promotion benefits from the disciplines of human psychology and sociology in its use of art and a variety of communication tools.
Although these marketing-mix classifications can help us to better understand the role ofthese elements in a marketing solar system, we need to discuss each marketing-mix element individually to reveal the real value they provide.
1. http://www.marketingpower.com/aboutama/pages/definitionofmarket ing.aspx.
Dev, C. S., & Schultz, D. E. (2005). In the mix: A customer-focused approach can bring the current marketing mix into the 21st century. Marketing Management, 14(1), 16-22.