Marketing 101
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Marketing in a Nutshell

Marketing the 4 P’s


According to the American Marketing Association marketing is “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create changes that satisfy individual and organization objectives”


More simply put marketing is trying to get a. the consumer to choose to purchase b. a product or service from a particular company or organization instead of that companies competitors.  Any marketing must consist of first finding out what the needs and wants of the consumer are and then identifying a way to get those goods and services into the hands of the consumer.


Any marketing plan must take into consideration the 4 P’s:


  1. Products and services designed to satisfying the consumer’s needs
  2. Promotion, letting the consumer knows where and how those products can be obtained.
  3. Placement which is developing a strategy to get those goods and services into the hands of the consumers
  4. Pricing the product to insure that the consumer will be able to purchase the product.


Marketing – Who is involved

In marketing the consumer is always king.  If a company fails in any aspect of their marketing campaign then it will mean lost time and lost revenues, which in a tough economic climate cannot be acceptable. So all companies must implement some sort of marketing program that attracts and pays into the egos and emotions of their customers in order to insure that the customer’s needs are met and the company makes money. 


Therefore a marketing program cannot be viewed as just something that is created and run out of some back office somewhere it must be viewed as company wide initiative that involves everyone from the mailroom clerk to the CEO of the company itself.  Even the name on the building should like that company with the marketing campaigns the company creates.


Marketing – Mass Marketing

No longer can companies waste their money on just marketing to the masses.  This type of marketing was designed as a hit or miss style of marketing.  A company would spend millions of dollars on advertising in an attempt to reach as many people as possible in a broad range of ages and ethnic groups.  The result? A waste of money because with this type of advertising there are more missies that hits. 


Most of the consumers they were targeting had no interest in what they were advertising.  It did not take long for most business organizations to realize that they could not go on advertising with this hit or miss marketing technique; because there was no way that they would have the resources to satisfy the needs of all consumers. The answer was to target a smaller portion of the marketplace.


Marketing – Hitting the Target

Most firms today use market orientation, which is marketing with precision, by setting your goals around, then searching for and targeting a specific market segment instead of trying to reach the whole market.  Utilizing market orientation business organizations can find those consumers that will be more interested in their product or service, and therefore will be more likely to buy that product or service and remain loyal customers. 


Some firms will even run a test market of a certain product or service before it is released nationally in order to see if they are hitting the targeted group.  Using the 4 P’s (product, price, placement and promotion) the firms will test a product and see if the consumer is interested in their product or service and find out if they are actually meeting the consumer’s needs.  In this way the business organization can test to see if it is profitable to continue to produce and market the product.


Leading companies like Toyota, Coke and General Electric utilize market orientation in order to stay one step ahead of their competition. These companies know the value of setting up a marketing strategy that hits their target.


By constantly measuring where they currently stand in the marketplace and then using that data to set up goals for where they want to be these companies have managed to stay in business and excel in the marketplace when many others have closed their doors and moved on.


Marketing – 4 P’s Revisited

As we have seen marketing is all about the customer, which means discovering and then satisfying their needs all in order to create a repeat customer base.  In reaching the customers the 4 P’s must be analyzed and then utilized in order to insure a loyal customer base.


For example: One company stands out in my mind, Wal-Mart.   Wal-Mart succeeds in the marketplace partly because they seem to have everything under one roof so it is convenient to get in, buy what you want and get out, partly because they control the market and it seems Wal-Mart’s competitors have gone downhill.  


Wal-Mart as a company has been able to create a substantial market edge by undercutting the competition, which again has both good and bad consequences for the market as well as for the local economy.  


Wal-Mart succeeds because they listen to customer’s demands and buy in large quantities, which allows them to keep their pricing lower.  Another of the 4 P’s that Wal-Mart succeeds at is that they always place their stores in strategic locations in order to make them accessible to the largest majority of the people in the surrounding communities.  Who needs to go to the mall anymore?   The pricing and availability is what keeps customer’s going back over and over again.


With the advent of the Super Wal-Mart Centers a customer can even buy their groceries and dry goods at the same time.  The only beef with Wal-Mart is product quality on some items such as clothing, which is very poor thought they are trying to get a better quality clothing line. So over all with the 4 P’s Wal-Mart has the products, prices, they do some promotion and their stores are strategically placed. 


Wal-Mart has succeeded to discover what keeps the customer coming back and then has continued to satisfy the customer over and over again.  Even now when the times are a little tough financially and Wal-Mart as a company has lost some of it’s edge other major retailers continue to play a game of catch up with Wal-Mart.


As you have seen marketing is all about the 4 P’s of product, promotion, placement and pricing.  Succeed and you make a name for your self that transcends time and product like Coke fail and you will go the way of the Edsel.