Marketing Mix The elements of the Marketing Mix refer to the tools that will be employed in the marketing efforts of a product, service or concept, to a particular targeted or segmented group. If the right Marketing Mix is used, it will aim all of the company’s efforts at satisfying it’s customers at a profit or other notable success. A typical Marketing Mix includes “The four P’s”, which are product, price, promotion, place and sometimes people.
Since consumers are surrounded by the controllable variables of the Marketing Mix, a marketer/marketing team must pay particular attention to these variables when creating a marketing plan, before the implementation process. The ultimate goal in using a Marketing Mix is to, “create a product that a particular group of people want, put it on sale some place that those same people visit regularly, and price it at a level which matches the value they feel they get out of it; and do all that at a time they want to buy” (Mind Tools Ltd. 1995-2009). Some of the controllable variables associated with “Product” of the Marketing Mix are quality, product variety, size/portion, features, designs and any applicable warranties. The seller should be particularly concerned with what the potential customers needs are, and what particular features need to be included to accommodate the customers preferences. The seller may also concern itself with how their chosen product design compares to the competitors as well as the production costs associated with the product/service.Order now
The controllable variables associated with the “price” are the product price, competitor’s price, discounts/allowances, payment period, and credit terms. Price is very vital in the marketing process since it generates income for the seller and the price has to be a value to the consumer otherwise they won’t buy it. A question that the seller will want to know the answers to associated with costs is primarily, what is the value of the product/service to the buyer and how the projected cost compares to competitors? Promotion” variables include sales promotion, advertising, sales force, direct marketing and public relations. The seller should be concerned with what type of promotion will be employed e. g. , billboards, television/radio, direct mail or the internet and when is the best time to promote the product/service. Controllable variables associated with the four P’s that represent “Place and People” are locations, transport of inventories and demographics respectively.
Other questions that need to be answered by the seller is, where customers will look for and find the seller’s product/service and who the potential customers will be? “The questions listed above are key; however they are just a subset of the detailed probing that may be required to optimize your marketing mix” (Mind Tools Ltd. , 1995-2009). “The four P’s represent the seller’s view of the marketing tools available for influencing buyers. ” (Kotler & Keller, 2009, p. 23). The breakdown of the how the four P’s work as a model for the Marketing Mix simplifies its purpose and objectives.
Marketing Mix at McDonald’s Mc Donald’s is the largest retail restaurant chain in the world, its success is evident and it has been consistent over the past decades in providing products that its customers want, at a price they can afford, that is also conveniently accessible. Through marketing research efforts, Mc Donald’s has been successful at determining what menu items it will sell, and that its customers have significant choice in the products that they offer. McDonald’s focuses on the four P’s of the Marketing Mix e. g. Product, Price, Promotion and Place in their Marketing Strategy. McDonalds is an internationally well-known brand and that brings with it, certain expectations from the customers. McDonald’s recognizes branding as an effective marketing tool and a vital part of their marketing strategy. McDonald’s uses its brand effectively, and it is communicated through logos, color schemes, slogans, characters and other images. One it most notable characters is “Ronald McDonald”. The most notable feature of McDonald’s brand is the “M” logo, better known as the “Golden Arches”.
In addition to television, radio, and newspaper, McDonald’s makes considerable use of billboards, print ads, and signage, as well as sponsoring sporting events ranging from Little League games to the Olympic Games. In addition, McDonald’s has used various marketing slogans in their advertising campaigns, e. g. , you deserve a break today, look for the golden arches, and I’m loving it. McDonald’s uses Market Research to find out what targeted or segmented groups they want; it looks at factors outside the company’s control such as changes in the economy or the law, and added reasons why people buy, such as image and enjoyment of the brand.
Similarly, McDonald’s commercials are focused on the entire McDonald’s experience, not just the product and McDonald’s has never engaged in negative or comparative campaign of its competitors. McDonald’s uses demographic segmentation with age as a parameter and the main targeted segments are children, youth and young urban families. This is demonstrated through their “Happy Meals” that come with toys that range from hot wheels cars to several Walt Disney characters. The toys are usually current with what children are familiar with, whether it’s a cartoon character like “SpongeBob” or a character from a movie like “Shrek”.
Special “Play Places” aimed at making McDonald’s a fun place to eat and also targeting young urban families that want a spend quality time with their children. Urban families can utilize the amenities, which include “Play Places” and have McDonald’s host their child’s birthday parties at a cost the consumer will distinguish as a value as well as a convenience. [McDonald’s strengthened its position through enhancements to its Global Children’s Marketing Guidelines, which have further integrated its system around a common set of principles for marketing to children.
The ultimate goal is to further improve the strategic framework and guidance to the McDonald’s System to keep improving its performance in regard to responsible marketing practices for children] (McDonald’s Corporation, 2009). The “price” must match the consumer’s idea of what the product is worth and also be considered to be a value for the price. McDonalds has adopted pricing and packaging strategies e. g. , happy meal, combo/value meal etc to increase overall sales volumes. To target teenagers, McDonald’s uses an aggressive pricing strategy.
In addition, amenities that offer Wi-Fi are provided to attract teens/students. McDonald’ operates over 31,000 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 1. 5 million people in over 118 countries on six continents, which makes the “Place” element of the marketing mix efficiently covered. Understanding that a product’s life cycle runs from the launch of the product to when it goes in decline, Over the years, McDonald’s has consistently launched new products and has phased out the old ones which were at the end of their Product Life Cycle.
The introduction is timed such that the new product does not cannibalize the product already in the maturity or growth stage. McDonald’s marketing research is also focused on showing what customers want. How a product is “promoted” is an important part of the marketing process and includes television/press which is considered “above-the-line advertising” and competitions, exhibitions and public relations, which is considered “below-the-line advertising”. A skillful promotional campaign combines several elements to produce an effective package.
McDonald’s covers an additional element of the Marketing Mix in their marketing strategy, “People”. McDonald’s doesn’t just recognize the value of its customers; it also recognizes the value of its employees. McDonald’s continuously focuses efforts both “Internally as well as their external marketing efforts; which is integrated into the process of hiring, training and motivating its employees. This encourages employees to serve customers well and the end result is a happy customer which is the ultimate goal.
McDonald’s implementation of the marketing strategies it employs is facilitated by their marketing officers internationally and used by marketing agencies with whom it works to communicate about McDonald’s products at country and regional levels. McDonald’s is perhaps the force it is because of the effective and efficient way it uses the essentials of the marketing mix; which refers to price, product, promotion, place—of course “people” are an integral part of the marketing mix. References Mind Tools Ltd. 1995-2009). The Marketing Mix and 4 P’s – Understanding how to position your market offering. Retrieved on December 19, 2009 from http://www. mindtools. com/pages/article/newSTR_94. htm Kotler, P. , & Keller, K. L. (2009). Marketing Management (13th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. McDonald’s Corporation. (2009). Marketing Guidelines – About McDonalds’s. Retrieved on December 19, 2009, from http://www. aboutmcdonalds. com/mcd/csr/report/nutrition_and_well-being/promotions. html