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MFM Batch 2011-14


Marketing Finance


Marketing decisions like pricing, product mix, expansion, etc


Sr. No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Name Laxmi Dodeja Priya Hemani Sagar Parekh Densil Pinto Supriyo Sengupta Manali Pansare Punit Mevada

Roll No. 69 74 93 97 103 91 87

The basic task of marketing is the delivery of product(s) to consumers so that their needs are fulfilled and organisational objectives are also achieved. This involves several important decisions, e.g. deciding about the product or products which should be offered for sale, price of the product, markets where products may sell and the means of communication with the consumer for the sale of the product. All these decisions form part of marketing-mix.

Concept and Characteristics of Marketing Mix:The process of marketing or distribution of goods requires particular attention of management of business because production has no relevance unless products are sold. Marketing mix, simply stated, is the process of designing and integrating various elements of marketing in such a way as to ensure the achievement of enterprise objectives. The elements of marketing mix have been classified under four heads - product, price, place and promotion. That is why marketing mix is said to be a combination of 4 Ps. Decisions relating to the product include product designing, packaging and labelling and varieties of the product. Decision on Price is very important because sales depend to a large extent on product pricing. Whether uniform price will be charged or different prices will be charged for the same product in different markets are examples of decision pertaining to the price of the product. The third important element is place, which refers to decision regarding the market where products will be offered for sale. Promotion involves decisions bearing on the ways and means of increasing sales. Different tools or methods may be adopted for this purpose. The relative importance to be attached to the various methods is decided while concentrating on the element of promotion in marketing mix. Lastly, the marketing manager has to take into account the impact of external factors like consumer behaviour, competitors strategy, and Government policy on each element of marketing mix.

In short, marketing mix involves decisions regarding products to the made available, the price to be charged for the same, the incentives to be provided to the consumers in the markets where products would be made available for sale. These decision are taken keeping in view the influence of marketing forces outside the organisation.

Characteristics of Marketing Mix

(i) Marketing-mix is the crux of marketing process: Marketing mix involves many crucial decisions relating to each element of the mix. The impact of the mix would be the best when proper weight age is assigned to each element and they are integrated so that the combined effect leads to the best results.

(ii) Marketing mix has to be reviewed constantly in order to meet the changing requirements: The marketing manager is required to constantly review the mix and conditions of the market, and make necessary changes in the marketing mix according to changes in the conditions and complexion of the market.

(iii) Changes in external environment necessitate alterations in the mix: Changes keep on taking place in the external environment. For many industries, customer is the most fluctuating variable of environment. Customers tastes and preferences change very fast. Brand loyalty and purchasing power too change over a period of time. The marketing manager has to carry out market analysis constantly to make necessary changes in the marketing mix.

(iv) Changes taking place within the firm too necessitate changes in marketing mix: Changes within the firm may take place due to technological changes, or changes in the product line, or changes in the size and scale of operation. Such changes call for correspondent changes in the marketing mix.

Elements of Marketing Mix

As mentioned earlier the elements or constituents of marketing mix may be grouped broadly under four head:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Product Price Promotion Place

Product refers to a physical product or a service or an idea which a consumer needs and for which he is ready to pay. Physical products include tangible goods like grocery items, garments etc. Services are intangible products which are offered and purchased by consumers. Services may involve also an innovative idea on any aspect of operation. Products is the key element of any marketing mix.

3 LEVELS OF PRODUCT. 1. Core Product It is the most basic level and simply looks at what people set out to buy and what benefits the producer would like their product to offer buyers. For example a camera is expected to take pictures but there may be other benefits that the producer wants the buyer to enjoy such as a wide lens, face recognition and high definition videos. So prior to designing any product designers should list the core benefits the product needs to provide to the customers.


Actual Product It is about translating the list of core product benefits into a product that people will buy. There may be competitor products offering the same benefits so the aim at this stage is to design a product that will influence people to purchase their product. It involves deciding

on the quality level, product and service features, styling, branding and packaging. For example Apple's iPhone design has enabled it to become a smart phone market leader so that by September 2012 it was able to launch the iPhone 5, the 5th version of this product. There are other smart phones in the market but Apple has managed to design a product which people pre-order and camp overnight outside Apple's retail stores so that they can be the first ones to buy the product.


Augmented product It involves deciding the additional non tangible benefits that a product can offer. It includes after sales service, help lines, warranties, free/cheap delivery and so on. Non tangible benefits such as product warranties offer customers peace of mind.

The decisions concerning product may relate to Product attributes Branding Packaging and labelling Product support service Product mix

Product attributes refer to the quality, features and design of the product. A product should serve the purpose for which it is made, in terms of utility and quality. In a competitive market, products are differentiated on the basis of certain features or design. For example, in the whirlpool washing machine. Agitate wash is the distinctive feature.

Branding is a crucial decision. In a competitive market, many products are sold by brand names. You might have come across Indian brand names, like Maruti, HMT, Godrej, TATA. Amongst foreign brand names Sony, Samsung are well known. Brand is an identification of product. It plays an important role in creation of demand while branding a product, it should be ensured that the name is simple, easy to read and pronounce and if possible, it should have an appeal.

Packaging and labelling of product are quite important decisions Packaging means putting the products in suitable containers or packets such as tin, plastic jar or card board box, etc. Packaging should be such that product is protected and easily handled. Sometimes, the container may have its own usefulness. For instance Baidyanath chyawanprash (pack) is available in a plastic jar which can be reused after consuming the chyawanprash. Certain polythene and plastic are not considered good as packaging material from the environment point of view. Their usage should be avoided. Labelling serves the purpose of indicating the contents, weight or measure, instructions for use, price, name of the producer, date of manufacture and expiry, etc. The information on the label is essential for various reasons. For example, the date of expiry in case of medicines and date of manufacture in the case of eatables prevent the sale of products which may prove harmful.

Product support service is another important element of product decision. It includes decision pertaining to the type of service and availability of the service. Service may be by way of installation service, training in product use, after sale service, credit and financing service, etc. It should be decided whether services would be provided free or against separate charge. Secondly, how the services would be made available by the producers or agencies, are also important decisions to be made particularly with respect to durable consumer goods like TV, washing machines electric fans, etc.

The markets in which products will be offered is yet another important decision. A company may decide to a single or a variety of products, add new products, or withdraw certain products. Relevant decisions are made keeping in view the scope of marketing. Such decisions are called product line or product mix decisions. Product life cycle is a guiding factor while decisions are made.

Product life cycle Product life cycle denotes different stages through which the sale of any product changes over a period of time. Generally, there are four stages in the life of each product introductory stage, growth stage, maturity stage, and declining stage. When any product is introduced in the market, heavy expenditure is incurred on advertising and other methods

of increasing the sale. This is known as introductory stage. During the growth period, sale of the product increases fast and cost of production comes down due to increase in scale of production. Profits earned increase substantially. During the maturity stage, the growth in sale of the product slows down. Profits also start declining. After the maturity stage there is a stage of decline, when the product starts losing its acceptance. There is a pressure for price cut. Firms generally start withdrawing the product after maturity stage. Some firms start preparing for introducing alternative product at the end of growth stage. Product life cycle, thus, helps in deciding about the product or products which should be offered in different markets.

Price is what you give/pay in return for goods or services. It is the most flexible marketing mix element that produces revenue. It is easy to change the price of the product, but very difficult to make changes in the product it-self like packaging, advertising or distribution channels. Price competition is the number one problem faced by companies yet many companies do not handle it well. In setting the price of a product or offering, one has to ensure that the price is not higher than the perceived value of the offering by the consumer. Pricing decisions of a company are affected by both internal as well as external factors.

Internal factors: Internal factors, affecting the price of a product, are many. Cost of the product sets the floor. Any company would like to charge a price which covers the cost of the product and a fair rate of return. Cost of the product means total cost i.e., fixed plus variable costs. Fixed costs do not change with the change in volume of production upto a certain level. Variable costs change proportionately. In the period of recession, companies continue to supply at a rate which covers variable costs and as much of costs as possible. The Companys marketing objective is yet another important variable for price fixation. If it is survival, the company would stay in the market as long as it covers variable costs fully and fixed costs partly. In case it is market leadership, a low price will be fixed initially. After wards prices may be enhanced. Surf Excel is an example. At the time of introduction, its price was just equal to other close substitutes, but today it has its own market. It is bought by consumers without comparing its price with other substitutes.

The relative importance of pricing decision in marketing mix, also affects price fixation. Sometimes pricing decision is the control decision and all other decisions are taken afterwards.

It may also happen that other variables of marketing mix like promotion become more important. Price is fixed after considering other variables. Who will fix the price is yet another important decision. In small organisations, top management sets the price. In large companies, product line managers perform this job. For industrial markets, sales managers are permitted to negotiate prices within a specified range. These days many companies set up a separate department to handle pricing decision.

External factors Besides internal factors, external factors also influence the pricing decision of a company. These factors are called environmental factors. Nature of demand, competitors costs, price offers and government policy are very important factors to be considered while fixing prices. The relationship between price and demand should be analysed properly. No company can ignore the costs, prices and offers of substitute items from competitiors. Economic factors, like

rate of interest, state of industry (boom or recession), inflation, etc. affect the price-fixing decision. In case of certain products, e.g. products which fulfil basic needs, government may impose price control. Thus, it would also affect price of the product. PRICING QUALITY STRATEGIES. There are 9 pricing strategies that accompany follow depending on whether the company is charging a high, medium or low price for a high, medium or low quality product.

Nine Price-Qualities Strategies

In the fig. Companies following 1st,5th and 9th strategy can all co-exist in the same market as long as there are 3 groups of buyers: Those seeking high quality and willing to pay a premium price for it. Those who are price sensitive and willing to compromise on quality AND Those seeking a balance between the Two. Companies following 2nd, 3rd and 6th are the ones who pose a tough competition to the companies in the diagonal position. These are all companies which offer value for money.

Companies following strategies 4th,7thand 8th generally have a short life. They either believe in making quick money and getting out, or they have to finally change their pricing strategy if they want to stick around for a longer period of time.

SETTING THE PRICING POLICY OF A FIRM Many factors are to be taken into consideration while setting the pricing policy of a firm. A sixstep procedure in setting the pricing policy is as follows:1. Selecting the pricing objective. 2. Determining demand. 3. Estimating costs. 4. Analyzing competitors costs, price and offers 5. Selecting a pricing method. 6. Selecting the final price


Selecting the pricing objective Company decides the strategy it wants to follow whether it is survival, maximum current profit, maximum market share, maximum market skimming or product-quality leadership. Survival is when a company has excess capacity is faced with intense competition and changing consumer wants. In this case, profits are secondary, covering costs is more important. Though if the company wants to stay in business for a long time, it has to change the objective and learn how to add value. Maximum current profit is again a short sighted objective. It will definitely give current profits, but in the long run it might affect performance. Maximum market share or market penetration is the objective that is generally followed by companies which operate in a highly price sensitive market and where economies of scale result in lower production costs with increased production. Also they seek to deter potential competition because of low prices. Maximum market skimming is the strategy followed by the companies who generally introduce new to the market products. They charge a high price on the assumptions that a sufficient number of buyers have a high current demand, unit costs of producing a small

volume are not so high that they cancel the advantage of charging high price, the high initial price detracts competitors and the high price communicates the image of a superior product. This strategy is followed by Intel which introduces a new microprocessor every 12 months. Product-quality leadership is the strategy followed by companies who harp on quality. They charge a higher price, but give superior quality. This strategy is followed by Sony.


Determining demand: Each price will lead to different levels of demand and therefore have a different impact on the companys marketing objectives. The relation between alternative prices and the corresponding demand can be represented by a demand curve. An increase in price would normally result in a decrease in demand except in the case of some products which have a prestige value attached to them. Price Elasticity of demand: The demand for a product is said to be price elastic if a small change in price leads to a significant change in demand. Similarly, demand for a product is said to be price inelastic if a small change in price does not lead to a significant change in demand


Estimating costs: Cost is the minimum price that a company can charge for its products. The price has to at least cover all the different costs associated with the product. Costs take two forms variable costs and fixed costs. Analyzing competitors costs, prices and offers: The company has to keep a track of what the competition is offering and at what rate. The value of the offering has to be equal to or more than the competitive offering, otherwise it would become difficult to survive in the market.



Selecting a pricing method: Based on the information the company has about the customers demand schedule, the cost function, and the competitors prices, the company has to set its own price. The cost

sets the floor of the price, the competitors prices and the price of substitutes gives an orientation point, and the customers assessment of unique product features, their perceived value establishes the ceiling price. The company can base its price on different pricing method.


Selecting the Final Price: Once the company goes through all the above steps, it is ready to select its final price. In doing so, it has to consider certain additional factors like psychological pricing, the influence of other marketing-mix elements, company pricing policies and impact of price on other parties like distributors, dealers and government.


1. MARKUP PRICING: It is the most elementary pricing method in which standard mark-up is added to the products cost. Markups are generally higher on seasonal items, specialty items, slower moving items, items with higher storage and handling costs and demand inelastic items. Mark up pricing ignores current demand, perceived value and competition.

Markup Price

unit cost

(1- desired return on sales)

For example:Variable cost per unit = Rs.10/Fixed cost = Rs.3,00,000/Expected unit sales = Rs.50,000/Hence,

Unit cost

Variable cost

Fixed cost

Unit Sales






Say mark up is 20 % on sales required then,

Markup Price

unit cost

(1- desired return on sales)

Markup Price




2. TARGET-RETURN PRICING: The firm determines the price that would yield its target rate of return on investment (ROI).

Example: Say Investment = Rs.10,00,000/-

Unit cost + Desired Return*Invested Target Return Price = Capital

Unit Sales

16 + 0.30 * 10,00,000 50,000

Rs. 22/-

Promotion refers to using methods of communication with two objectives: (1) informing the existing and potential consumers about a product, and (2) to persuade consumers to buy the product. It is an important element of marketing mix. In the absence of communication, consumers may not be aware of the product and its potential to satisfy their needs and desires. Various tools of communication form part of promotion mix. Companies must decide which tool(s) should be used for larger sales and in what proportion. The tools should be combined. These decisions are known as promotion-mix decisions. There are four components of promotionmix i.e., advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and public relations. Thus, promotion mix is a companys total communication program which consists of different blends of its components and which is used to achieve the companys marketing objectives.


Advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity & packaging are the major tools. The marketing manager must recognise the characteristics of each tool and costs involved while deciding on the promotion-mix.



Personal selling

Sales Promotion




Advertising is an impersonal form of communication for which the seller pays in order to promote a physical product or service. It may be in print form as in newspapers and magazines, or in audio form as on the radio and other similar methods, or in audio-visual forms as on the Television, cinema screen, etc. The merits of advertising is that it reaches a larger number of people, the message can be repeated, its cost is not high, and with the development of art and computer graphics, simple statements can be transformed into forceful messages. The other side of advertising is that it does not provide any feedback, it is not as forceful as personal selling, it is not flexible, and good advertisements cost a lot. Promotion mix really successful because their are various medias through

which advertisement can be carried out like in-store displays, Web pages, banner ads, posters, signs, motion pictures, Print ads, radio, television, and billboard. Advertising makes the people aware of a product or service and it enhances buying in consumers. This shows that advertising can promote a product or service to a large audience and it enhances the sales volume of the company. Some of the common personal advertising tools are direct mail, brochures and catalogues, and emails.


Personal selling is a personal communication with one or more prospective buyers for the purpose of selling a product or service. These days, personal selling is considered to be the most effective tool because of various characteristics which are listed below: a. it involves personal interaction, hence feed back is received immediately; customers under-standing. c. it is more persuasive; buyers can be convinced about the utility of the product;

b. it is quite flexible, salesman can adjust communication according to the level of

d. impressive salesman leaves an impression on the prospective buyer; it may increase sales in the future. Personal selling suffers from a few drawbacks too. It is the most expensive tool of promotion. Secondly, it requires too much dependence on sales force.


Sales promotion means the use of short-term incentives which are designed to encourage immediate purchase of a product or service by the buyer. It may include offer of discounts,

free gifts, free sample, coupons, demonstration, store display, etc. One tooth brush free with one 100gm. Close-up dental cream is an example of sales promotion. Generally this tool supplements the efforts made through personal selling and advertisement. Most of the sales promotion activities come in the form of some incentive for the buyer; hence sales generally increase immediately. Big business enterprises use sales promotion tools while introducing a new product. It adds to the effectiveness of total promotional efforts of a company. Sales promotion has certain demerits e.g. it does not leave a lasting effect. Some customers also feel that sales promotion schemes are launched to clear old stocks.


Publicity takes place when a favourable presentation is made through mass media about a product or service. People believe more on such news than in advertising. It covers people who do not entertain personal selling and sales promotion approaches. It is a non-paid form of communication but sometimes it is not regarded as a promotional tool within the reach of a company. Very few products or services are covered by publicity.


Packaging is also considered as a powerful sales promotion tool these days. It immediately attracts the buyer and makes him buy the product. This tool has produced good results in case of consumer goods. To some extend, packaging has replaced the counter salesman.



Push strategy : a. A push promotional strategy makes use of a company's sales force and trade promotion activities to create consumer demand for a product. b. The producer promotes the product to wholesalers, the wholesalers promote it to retailers, and the retailers promote it to consumers.


Pull strategy : a. A pull selling strategy is one that requires high spending on advertising and consumer promotion to build up consumer demand for a product

b. If the strategy is successful, consumers will ask their retailers for the product, the retailers will ask the wholesalers, and the wholesalers will ask the producers.

FACTORS GOVERNING PROMOTION-MIX 1. Nature of product: Different types of products require different promotion mix. In case of consumer goods, advertisement is considered to be the most important because the goods are non-technical and produced on a large scale. But for industrial goods personal selling is regarded as the most important tool because the products are technical in nature, costly and persuasion is considered essential for their sale.


Type of the market: If the number of customers is quite large and they are spread over a vast area, advertisement is more helpful because it can reach people everywhere. However if number of customers is not very large and they are concentrated geographically, personal selling and sales promotion may be more effective.


Stage of the product life cycle: The promotional mix depends upon the stage of the product in product life cycle. During introduction, heavy expenditure is incurred on advertisement followed by personal selling and sales promotion. During the growth stage, customers are aware of the benefits of product. Hence advertisement along with personal selling will be more effective. At the maturity stage, competition is more intense. Sales promotion becomes the most important tool to boost sales.


Budget: Funds available for promotion also decide promotion mix, e.g. advertisement is a costly tool. If sufficient funds are not available this tool may not be adopted. Personal selling involves continuous spending. Thus, budget is a deciding factor for promotion-mix.


Push vs. Pull Strategy: When the firm pushes the product to the middlemen they in turn push it to the consumers, it is known as push strategy. In this case, personal selling or display should be more effective.

To sum up, it may be said that all promotional tools are complementary and not competitive. The degree of emphasis on each tools will differ depending upon the influence of certain factors. A proper combination of promotional tools should be designed to attain better results.

Place is another important element of marketing mix. Once the goods are manufactured, packaged, priced and promoted, they must be made available to the consumers. Activities related to placing the products are covered under this element of marketing-mix. It consists of decisions relating to channels of distribution and physical distribution. Channels of distribution refer to the individuals and organisations which facilitate moving the goods from manufactures to consumers. It is important that regular and smooth flow of goods is maintained so that products are not spoiled and supplies are not delayed. To ensure this, various facilitating services need to be arranged like transportation, warehousing, inventory control, and order processing. These are known as components of physical distribution. The below are two sub-elements of placeA) B) Channels of distribution Physical distribution

A) Channels of Distribution: Channel of distribution denotes the intermediaries involved in the process whereby a product passes from the manufacturer to consumers. It is very important for the producers to involve middlemen in order to reach consumers. Middlemen reduce the problems of both producers and consumers. Secondly, middlemen help in distributing the products over a large area. Middlemen also supply useful market information to the producer for improving the product. Involvement of middlemen adds to the convenience of consumers

because they are able to lay many items from a single store. Some people feel that by involving more middlemen in the process of distribution, the final price of a products is considerably raised which is ultimately paid by the consumer. Therefore the number of middlemen involved should be limited, if at all necessary: There can be various levels of channel. It is for the producer to decide which level would suit the sale of his product.

Number of Channel Levels Generally we do not buy goods directly from the producers. The producers/manufacturers usually use services of one or more middlemen to supply their goods to the consumers. But sometimes, they do have direct contact with the customers with no middlemen in between them. This is true more for industrial goods where the customers are highly knowledgeable and their individual purchases are large. The various channels used for distribution of consumer goods can be described as follows:

(a) Zero stage channel of distribution



Zero stage distribution channel exists where there is direct sale of goods by the producer to the consumer. This direct contact with the consumer can be made through door-todoor salesmen, own retail outlets or even through direct mail. Also in case of perishable products and certain technical household products, door-to-door sale is an easier way of convincing consumer to make a purchase. Eureka Forbes, for example, sells its water purifiers directly through their own sales staff.

(b) One stage channel of distribution




In this case, there is one middleman i.e., the retailer. The manufacturers sell their goods to retailers who in turn sell it to the consumers. This type of distribution channel is preferred by manufacturers of consumer durables like refrigerator, air conditioner, washing machine, etc. where individual purchase involves large amount. It is also used for distribution through large scale retailers such as departmental stores (Big Bazaar, Spensors) and super markets.

(c) Two stage channel of distribution





This is the most commonly used channel of distribution for the sale of consumer goods. In this case, there are two middlemen used, namely, wholesaler and retailer. This is applicable to products where markets are spread over a large area, value of individual purchase is small and the frequency of purchase is high.

(d) Three stage channel of distribution






When the number of wholesalers used is large and they are scattered throughout the country, the manufacturers often use the services of mercantile agents who act as a link between the producer and the wholesaler. They are also known as distributors.

Choice of channel of distribution There are a number of factors which govern the choice regarding channel of distribution. These are listed below: Nature of product For perishable goods, shorter channel is preferred whereas for durable goods channel 3 is more popular. If goods are made to order, direct selling may be effected. For technical products and costly products, manufacturers generally go for direct selling through agents specially hired for this purpose.

Nature of market If the market is concentrated and not scattered, producers may go for direct selling but for scattered market, middlemen are involved. If there are more buyers, there may be a need to include more middleman. For consumer product market retailers are essential but in case of industrial products a shorter channel is preferred, hence middlemen may be eliminated. Middlemen Middlemen who can provide desired marketing services are given preference. The availability of middlemen also affect channel decision. The middlemen must be co-operative and honest. The channel which generates largest sales volume at lower unit cost will be given priority. Size and Policy of the Company There are many factors related to company which influence channel decision. A big size company with broader product line can afford to have shorter channel. New companies heavily rely on middlemen. A company with sufficient financial resources can spend heavily on advertisement and its own outlets. Hence need for middleman is reduced. Companies desiring efficient control over channel members will always prefer shorter channel. Marketing Environment During recession or depression shorter channels are preferred because of being less costly. In times of prosperity a wide choice is available. Technological inventions also have an impact e.g. distribution of perishable goods to distant places has become possible due to cold storage facilities in warehousing and transporting. Such facilities have expanded the role of intermediaries.

Competitors Channels of distribution used by competitors also influence this decision. Some organisation may like to follow the same chains as used by competitors. On the other hand, some organisation may avoid channels already customary. They may have their own decisions. Thus after visualising the impact of the factors mentioned above a company adopts the best channel from among the available alternatives.

B) Physical Distribution : Physical distribution comprises all those activities which deliver customer satisfaction by supplying right type of products at right place and at right time regularly. Economical and satisfactory customer service is the primary goal of physical distribution. Providing the right type of goal at right place and at right time is the ultimate goal of any marketing department. These goals may be conflicting, sometimes, e.g., for meeting sudden and unforeseen demand for goods, maintenance of large inventory is suggested but this involves cost as well as risk. This means that a proper balance between the cost and service should be achieved.

Components of physical distribution : Order Processing: Physical distribution begins with customers order. Both the company and customer are benefitted if order processing is carried out quickly and accurately. These days computers are used which establish a link between retailers and producers. Producers keep a watch on the stock position at retailers place retailers may also place orders through computer. This facility speeds up the process.

Warehousing: Every company must store goods to maintain a proper flow. Storage facilities are important because production and consumption cycles generally do not match. Companies need to decide the number, space and location of warehouses. The cost of these should be in balance with customer service. Companies may own warehouses or take them on rent.

Inventory: Inventory level also affects customer satisfaction. Marketers would like that company having enough stock to fulfil all customers order immediately. But it involves heavy cost. Companies should, therefore, carefully plan when to order and how much to order.

Transportation: Transportation has infact, facilitated the physical distribution of goods and services over a larger area. Modes of transportation may include road, rail, water, air, etc. The choice of mode of transport affects the pricing and condition of goods. Hence this is an important decision and requires lot of thinking As marketing became a more sophisticated discipline, a fifth P was added People. And recently, two further Ps were added, mainly for service industries Process and Physical evidence.


Anyone who comes into contact with your customers will make an impression, and that can have a profound effect positive or negative on customer satisfaction. The reputation of your brand rests in your peoples hands. They must, therefore, be appropriately trained, well motivated and have the right attitude. It is essential to ensure that all employees who have contact with customers are not only properly trained, but also the right kind of people for the job Many customers cannot separate the product or service from the staff member who provides it. This shows the importance of your people. The level of after sales support and advice provided by a business is one way of adding value to what you offer, and can give you an important edge over your competitors. This will probably become more important than price Traditionally, adding the sixth and seventh Ps would be for service industries. However, they are worth considering for products too, especially in B2B.

The process of giving a service, and the behaviour of those who deliver are crucial to customer satisfaction. Issues such as waiting times, the information given to customers and the helpfulness of staff are all vital to keep customers happy. Customers are not interested in the detail of how your business runs. What matters to them is that the system works. Process is one of the 'P's that is frequently overlooked. A customer trying to reach your company by phone is a vital source of income and returning value; but so often customers have to stay on hold for several minutes listening to a recorded message before they are able to get through. Many of these customers will give up, go elsewhere and tell their friends not to use your company just because of the poor process that is in place. Even if they do get through, they will go away with a negative impression of the company The reason for this is that the systems are not usually designed by marketersthey are designed for the company's benefit, not the customer's. This part of the process is the first experience of a company that many customers have. There's no value in making the rest of the company run perfectly if this part is faulty. As a consequence, this 'P' could be a great source of competitive advantage if used wisely.


A service cant be experienced before it is delivered. This means that choosing to use a service can be perceived as a risky business because you are buying something intangible. This uncertainty can be reduced by helping potential customers to see what they are buying. Facilities such as a clean, tidy and well-decorated reception area can also help to reassure. The physical evidence demonstrated by an organisation must confirm the assumptions of the customer a financial services product will need to be delivered in a formal setting, while a childrens birthday entertainment company should adopt a more relaxed approach. Although the customer cannot experience the service before purchase, he or she can talk to other people with experiences of the service. Their testimony is credible, because their views do not come from the company. Some companies engage these customers and ask for their feedback, so that they can develop reference materials. New customers can then see these testimonials and are more likely to purchase with

confidence. Each of the ingredients of the marketing mix is a key to success. No one element can be considered in isolation you cannot, for example, develop a product without considering a price, or how it will reach the customer.

A NIVEA case study

NIVEA is an established name in high quality skin and beauty care products. It is part of a range of brands produced and sold by Beiersdorf. Beiersdorf, founded in 1882, has grown to be a global company specialising in skin and beauty care. In the UK, Beiersdorf's continuing goal is to have its products as close as possible to its consumers, regardless of where they live. Its aims are to understand its consumers in its many different markets and delight them with innovative products for their skin and beauty care needs. This strengthens the trust and appeal of Beiersdorf brands. The business prides itself on being consumer-led and this focus has helped it to grow NIVEA into one of the largest skin care brands in the world. Beiersdorf's continuing programme of market research showed a gap in the market. This led to the launch of NIVEA VISAGE Young in 2005 as part of the NIVEA VISAGE range offering a comprehensive selection of products aimed at young women. It carries the strength of the NIVEA brand image to the target market of girls aged 13-19. NIVEA VISAGE Young helps girls to develop a proper skin care routine to help keep their skin looking healthy and beautiful.

Market orientation and product orientation The market can be developed by creating a good product/range and introducing it to the market (product-orientated approach) or by finding a gap in the market and developing a product to fill it (market-orientated approach). Having identified a gap in the market, Beiersdorf launched NIVEA VISAGE Young using an effective balance of the right product, price, promotion and place. This is known as the marketing mix or 'four Ps'. It is vital that a company gets the balance of these four elements correct so that a product will achieve its critical success factors. Beiersdorf needed to develop a mix that suited the product and the target market as well as meeting its own business objectives.

The company re-launched the NIVEA VISAGE Young range in June 2007 further optimising its position in the market. Optimised means the product had a new formula, new design, new packaging and a new name. This case study shows how a carefully balanced marketing mix provides the platform for launching and re-launching a brand onto the market

PRODUCT The first stage in building an effective mix is to understand the market. NIVEA uses market research to target key market segments which identifies groups of people with the same characteristics such as age/gender/attitude/lifestyle. The knowledge and understanding from the research helps in the development of new products. NIVEA carries out its market research with consumers in a number of different ways. These include: Using focus groups to listen to consumers directly Gathering data from consumers through a variety of different research techniques Product testing with consumers in different markets.

How research improved the product Beiersdorf's market research identified that younger consumers wanted more specialised face care aimed at their own age group that offered a 'beautifying' benefit, rather than a solution to skin problems. NIVEA VISAGE Young is a skin care range targeted at girls who do not want medicated products but want a regime for their normal skin. Competitor products tend to be problem focussed and offer medicated solutions. This gives NIVEA competitive advantage. NIVEA VISAGE Young provides a unique bridge between the teenage market and the adult market. The company improved the product to make it more effective and more consumer-friendly. Beiersdorf tested the improved products on a sample group from its target audience before finalising the range for re-launch. This testing resulted in a number of changes to existing products. Improvements included: Changing the formula of some products. For example, it removed alcohol from one product and used natural sea salts and minerals in others Introducing two completely new products

A new modern pack design with a flower pattern and softer colours to appeal to younger women Changing product descriptions and introducing larger pack sizes.

Each of these changes helped to strengthen the product range, to better meet the needs of the market.

PRICE Lots of factors affect the end price of a product, for example, the costs of production or the business need to maximise profits or sales. A product's price also needs to provide value for money in the market and attract consumers to buy.

PRICING STRATEGIES There are several pricing strategies that a business can use: Cost based pricing this can either simply cover costs or include an element of profit. It focuses on the product and does not take account of consumers. Penetration price an initial low price to ensure that there is a high volume of purchases and market share is quickly won. This strategy encourages consumers to develop a habit of buying. Price skimming an initial high price for a unique product encouraging those who want to be 'first to buy' to pay a premium price. This strategy helps a business to gain maximum revenue before a competitor product reaches the market. On re-launch the price for NIVEA VISAGE Young was slightly higher than previously. This reflected its new formulations, packaging and extended product range. However, the company also had to take into account that the target market was both teenage girls and mothers buying the product for their daughters. This meant that the price had to offer value for money or it would be out of reach of its target market.

PRICE LEADER As NIVEA VISAGE Young is one of the leading skin care ranges meeting the beautifying needs of this market segment, it is effectively the price leader. This means that it sets the price level that competitors will follow or undercut. NIVEA needs to regularly review prices should a competitor enter the market at the 'market growth' point of the product life cycle to ensure that its pricing remains competitive. The pricing strategy for NIVEA is not the same as that of the retailers. It sells products to retailers at one price. However, retailers have the freedom to use other strategies for sales promotion. These take account of the competitive nature of the high street. They may use: loss leader: the retailer sells for less than it cost to attract large volume of sales, for example by supermarkets Discounting alongside other special offers, such as 'Buy one, get one free' (BOGOF) or 'two for one'.

PLACE Place refers to: How the product arrives at the point of sale. This means a business must think about what distribution strategies it will use Where a product is sold. This includes retail outlets like supermarkets or high street shops. It also includes other ways in which businesses make products directly available to their target market, for example, through direct mail or the Internet.

Distribution channels NIVEA VISAGE Young aims to use as many relevant distribution channels as possible to ensure the widest reach of its products to its target market. The main channels for the product are retail outlets where consumers expect to find skin care ranges. Around 65% of NIVEA VISAGE Young sales are through large high street shops such as Boots and Superdrug. Superdrug is particularly important for the 'young-end' market. The other 35% of sales mainly comes from large grocery chains that stock beauty products, such as ASDA, Tesco and Sainsburys. Market research shows that around 20% of this younger target market buys products for themselves in the high street stores when shopping with friends. Research also shows that the majority of purchasers are actually made by mothers, buying for teenagers. Mothers are more likely to buy the product from supermarkets whilst doing their grocery shopping.

NIVEA distributes through a range of outlets that are cost effective but that also reach the highest number of consumers. Its distribution strategies also consider the environmental impact of transport. It uses a central distribution point in the UK. Products arrive from European production plants using contract vehicles for efficiency for onward delivery to retail stores. Beiersdorf does not sell direct to smaller retailers as the volume of products sold would not be cost effective to deliver but it uses wholesalers for these smaller accounts. It does not sell directly through its website as the costs of producing small orders would be too high. However, the retailers, like Tesco, feature and sell the NIVEA products in their online stores.

PROMOTION Promotion is how the business tells customers that products are available and persuades them to buy. Promotion is either above-the-line or below-the-line. Above-the-line promotion is directly paid for, for example TV or newspaper advertising. Below-the-line is where the business uses other promotional methods to get the product message across.

Promotional activities Promotional activities include: Events or trade fairs help to launch a product to a wide audience. Events may be business to consumer (B2C) whereas trade fairs are business to business (B2B). Direct mail can reach a large number of people but is not easy to target specific consumers cost-effectively. Public relations (PR) includes the different ways a business can communicate with its stakeholders, through, for example, newspaper press releases. Other PR activities include sponsorship of high profile events like Formula 1 or the World Cup, as well as donations to or participation in charity events. Branding a strong and consistent brand identity differentiates the product and helps consumers to understand and trust the product. This aims to keep consumers buying the product long-term. Sales promotions, for example competitions or sampling, encourage consumers to buy products in the short-term.

NIVEA chooses promotional strategies that reflect the lifestyle of its audience and the range of media available. NIVEA realises that a 'one way' message, using TV or the press, is not as effective as talking directly to its target group of consumers. Therefore NIVEA does not plan to use any above-the-line promotion for NIVEA VISAGE Young.

Consumer-led promotion The promotion of NIVEA VISAGE Young is consumer-led. Using various below-the-line routes, NIVEA identifies ways of talking to teenagers (and their mothers) directly. A key part of the strategy is the use of product samples. These allow customers to touch, feel, smell and try the products. Over a million samples of NIVEA VISAGE Young products will be given away during 2008. These samples will be available through the website, samples in stores or in 'goody bags' given out at VISAGE road shows up and down the country. NIVEA VISAGE Young launched an interactive online magazine called FYI (Fun, Young & Independent) to raise awareness of the brand. The concept behind the magazine

is to give teenage girls the confidence to become young women and to enjoy their newfound independence. Communication channels are original and engaging to enable teenagers to identify with NIVEA VISAGE Young. The magazine focuses on 'first time' experiences relating to NIVEA VISAGE Young being their first skincare routine. It is promoted using the Hit40UK chart show and the TMF digital TV channel. In connection with FYI, NIVEA VISAGE Young has recognised the power of social network sites for this young audience and also has pages on MySpace, Facebook and Bebo. The company is using the power of new media as part of the mix to grow awareness amongst the target audience.

NIVEA VISAGE Young is a skincare range in the UK market designed to enhance the skin and beauty of the teenage consumer rather than being medicated to treat skin problems. As such, it has created a clear position in the market. This shows that NIVEA understands its consumers and has produced this differentiated product range in order to meet their needs. To bring the range to market, the business has put together a marketing mix. This mix balances the four elements of product, price, place and promotion. The mix uses traditional methods of place, such as distribution through the high street, alongside more modern methods of promotion, such as through social networking sites. It makes sure that the message of NIVEA VISAGE Young reaches the right people in the right way.

We now live and work in a world of unprecedented social and technological upheaval, which has introduced new levels of competition for all kinds of organisations. Business is becoming global, customers are more demanding, many mature markets now offer little room for growth, brand valuation is recognised on financial balance sheets, environmental pressures are growing and the pace of change is quickening all the time. Speed of market introduction and acceptance are important factors. Taken together, all these issues constitute a new challenge to the marketer. Just as the economic context is changing, so too are the disciplines of marketing. New social trends and corporate structures have opened up fresh avenues of opportunity for marketers to become even more central to business success. Relatively recent technologies, such as database









communications, have made many more things possible than was the case a generation ago. One of the strengths of marketing is the way it constantly adapts and responds to changing conditions. Today, as organisations introduce streamlined management hierarchies and more flexible working practices, so the marketing approach is proving itself a valuable interdisciplinary asset to the company which wants to break down functional boundaries and focus intensely on its core capabilities.

Current research suggests that a number of distinct trends are emerging. Firstly, renewed emphasis is being placed on the collection, analysis and use of more (and better) marketing information. Advances in information technology are playing a key role in this development, for example, in more sophisticated customer databases for direct marketing campaigns.

Secondly, more importance is being attached to measuring and monitoring performance, and more sophisticated tools are being developed to do so, as part of the general drive to be more accountable.

Thirdly, there is growing investment in staff training and development, with particular emphasis on continuing professional development so that companies can more effectively defend the competitive advantage that successful marketing gives them.

In conclusion, the marketing mix is a very important aspect of creating a marketing strategy. Once the company develops a product or service that will meet the customer's needs, it will then look into determining how the consumer is ultimately going to receive the product. It will be either through direct or indirect channels of distribution and in some cases may have multiple channels. The company will then determine how to communicate to the public about the new product or service. Finally, the company will determine a price for the product or service that ensures a profit.

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