Description of Elements of the Marketing Mix
The concept of the marketing mix reportedly originated in 1953 by Neil Borden through an extension and expansion of the work initiated by James Culliton in the year1948 . The marketing mix was described as a collaboration of varied inputs or ideas which are effectively used in the design of strategies pertinent to the organization’s 4Ps (Management Study Guide, 2013). The marketing mix is therefore composed of the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion.
The product is described as the goods manufactured or produced by an organization; or the services offered to the clientele. As such, products were deemed tangible, or those which could be perceived through the sense of touch; or intangible, such as the services such as laundry, haircutting, transportation, and the like. These products or services are usually offered to the customers in exchange of money.
The price, as another element of the marketing mix, is the money which the consumer or buyer pays, in exchange of the product or services that is purchased or availed of. There are many factors that an organization considers when designing pricing strategies; such as the demand for the product, the supply of the product, the number of competitors offering the same product or services within a strategic location, among others.
The place is the exact location where the products or services are offered and where consumers could purchase or avail. In contemporary locations, place could mean physical location or actual store which houses the products that are for sale. Likewise, place could also mean virtual location where the products or services offered are listed in online sources through the Internet and official websites of offering organizations.
Finally, promotion is described as the different strategies designed and implemented in terms of discerning which would cater to the needs and demands of the clientele and how these clientele could be best reached using different informational media (Management Study Guide, 2013). From among the various promotional techniques or approaches, the following are commonly used: advertisements and word-of-mouth.
Marketing Mix as Applied
The organization which would be used to describe how each one of the four elements of the marketing mix affects the development of the organization’s marketing strategy and tactics is Coca-Cola Company, considered as one of the most powerful brands in the world, and ranked number 3 next to Apple and Microsoft . An evaluation and description of each of the four elements of the marketing mix is presented below:
Coca-Cola Company is one of the most recognized brands globally due to its beverages, particularly the signature product, Coca-Cola, a carbonated soft drink beverage. Other beverages include Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Dasani, Minute Maid, Ciel, Powerade, Simply Orange, Coca Cola Light, Fresca, glacéau vitaminwater, Del Valle, glacéau smartwater, Mello Yello, Fuze, Fuze Tea, Burn, Honest Tea, Nos, Odwalla, and Powerade Zero . It actually boasts of offering as many as 500 sparkling and still brands, including ready-to-drink coffee, juices, and other juice products . As could be deduced, the company’s strategy in terms of product is to offer an encompassing comprehensive array of carbonated (sparkling), as well as non-carbonated (mineral water, juice, and ready-to-drink beverages) that are deemed preferred by contemporary consumers worldwide.
Likewise included in product strategies are labels, packaging, and innovation strategies that produce other flavors to currently manufactured products. Thus, depending on the popularity of the products launched and marketed worldwide, the intensive marketing research arm of the organization determines the popularity of each brand in each strategic market location. As such, packaging strategies could be changed depending on consumer feedback or the need to make them more attractive to the target markets.
The pricing strategy of Coca-Cola, more than being pegged to be competitive in the beverage industry, was disclosed to be based more on perceived value that is created; and not based on quantity of products sold. According to Tharakan (2013), “Coke has one of the most formidable consumer research capabilities in the world. It is deeply interested in how you perceive, find, view, reach, buy, hold and drink their products. With this knowledge, they can deliver exactly the KIND of value the customer wants in any situation” (par. 4). It is this value perception that is instrumental for the success of Coca Cola in ensuring that their products remain appealing to the consumers due to the expected fulfillment and satisfaction derived from consuming the products they purchased.
As per the research conducted by Tharakan, the current pricing strategy of Coca Cola’s most preferred products are compared in terms of contents, packaging and prices. While the 355 ml can reportedly sells for $1.48 per liter, the same content in a glass bottle has the effect of increased price to $3.86 per liter. Likewise, while the 710 ml plastic bottle sells for $1.17 per liter, it was allegedly disclosed that the 2 liter party size bottle, which obviously contains a greater amount of softdrinks, sells for only $1.34 per liter – or just an increase of $0.17 (Tharakan, 2013).
It could therefore be deduced that despite apparent similarity or dissimilarity in contents, prices allegedly vary depending on factors that add to perceived value of the consumer; as well as on the conveniences of products packed in specifically identified containers to serve varied consumers’ needs.
Since Coca Cola is renowned globally, facts from its official website revealed that the organization has successfully employed an efficient and effective beverage distribution system which enabled them to reach as much as 200 international countries and where the rate of consumption was disclosed to be about 1.8 billion servings in a single day . This is an indication that Coca Cola distributes its products in strategic locations which could be easily accessed and purchased by various consumers, ranging from shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores, and just about any retail store outlets where beverages are served. Thus by applying a comprehensive and widely encompassing envelope strategy, Coca Cola is able to sustain its market leadership on a global scale.
Thus, aside from the physical strategic locations where Coca Cola products are traditionally sold, the company has used its official website and social networking engines to provide more contemporary information on its various products, events, and other consumer-related endeavors .
Coca-Cola has recognized that need to tap virtual place through social networking sites to promote and advertise its products. As such, Furrier (2013) has acknowledged that “successful brand marketers like Coca-Cola understand that traditional marketing disciplines must be supplemented with new models rich with content, engagement, conversation, and analytics – the essence of social commerce” (Furrier, 2013, par. 3). As such, apart from using the traditional advertising and promotional mediums (television ads, print, radio, billboards), consumers could find our more information on Coca Cola products and recent activities in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and flickr .
Likewise, it was announced that the organization has forged an agreement with “Thismoment to design a concept called ‘Pantry’ (which) provides Coca-Cola with the ability to consolidate valuable content and democratize access to it. Through a central registry, regional content rights, analytics, discoverability, collaboration, future-proofing and a simple, easy-to-use interface, Pantry provides Coca-Cola with the ability to execute the revolutionary strategy it envisioned” (Furrier, 2013, par. 2). The use of social networking and the electronic medium is a crucial promotional strategy that effectively taps consumers who prefer to access the virtual place.
The current discourse has effectively described the four components of the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. Likewise, through the experience of Coca Cola, one of the most famous global brands in beverages, these components were appropriately described and expounded to explain the development of strategy and tactics which are deemed crucial towards the achievement of identified goals. Through the length of time that Coca Cola Company has evidently supported a successful marketing campaign to emerge as the global market leader in the beverages market, it only confirms that through market research on consumers’ behavior and through tapping contemporary technological applications, marketing strategies on product, price, place and promotions could be adjusted to adapt to the changing needs of the times. Coca Cola has continued to emerge victorious as it has consistently satisfied the needs and desires of its discerning global clientele through the strategies design in their marketing mix.
Coca Cola Company. (2013). Product Description. Retrieved from coca-colacompany.com: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/brands/product-descriptions#coca-cola
Forbes. (2013). The World's Most Powerful Brands. Retrieved from forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list/
Furrier, J. (2013, June 18). Coca-Cola Leveraging Social To Drive Leadership in Social Media Marketing. Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/siliconangle/2013/06/18/coca-cola-leveraing-social-to-drive-leadership-in-social-media-marketing/
Management Study Guide. (2013). Marketing Mix - Meaning and its Elements. Retrieved from managementstudyguide.com: http://www.managementstudyguide.com/marketing-mix.htm
Tharakan, K. (2013). Steal Coke’s Pricing Strategy Based on Value Created Instead of Quantity Sold. Retrieved from strategypeak.com: http://strategypeak.com/how-to-price-based-on-value-created-instead-of-quantity-sold/