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The 4Ps of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, and Place

Needs are obviously met by the product itself. Needs, however, can also be met by the other components of what is called the marketing mix. These other components are Price, Promotion, and Place. The Price component of the marketing mix is defined as the original price that a producer sets for its product. This original price may be different from the final price paid by buyers because of promotional offers or because of individual retailers’ pricing strategies. The Promotion component, as discussed above, includes all activities that inform and attract buyers to purchase the product. The last component of the marketing mix is Place. This element encompasses the distribution of the product and determines how the product and the customers are brought together. These four elements of the marketing mix, Product, Promotion, Price, and Place, form the ubiquitous “4Ps” of marketing. With an eye on how the 4Ps may collectively and individually satisfy customer needs, the characteristics of each of the Ps are briefly summarized next. A more detailed discussion is presented in Chapter 4.The Product P can be best described using three concentric circles. At the heart of the three circles is the core product. The Core Product satisfies the fundamental need for which the product is made. The Augmented Product consists of the core product and other features that make the product more functional. The Über Product comprises all the other additional intangible aspects of the product such as the brand promise. To illustrate the concentric notion of Product, consider the example of a general purpose household cleanser. The cleanser is the core product, the addition of a tilted nozzle that allows spraying in hard to reach areas comprises the augmented product. The augmented product and a trusted brand-name that promises killing 99.9% of the bacteria make up the Über product. Another illustration of the concentric model of product in the consumer services area could be - body massage (core product), soothing high-class ambience in addition (augmented product), and a mystical name reminding customers of the saunas in Egypt (Über product). Similar examples are abundantly available in the B2B arena. The core product is the computer, the augmented product includes the product warranty and post-sales service and support, and the Über product could additionally nclude the possibility of customizing the product for world-wide usability. Generally speaking, the outer layer consists of intangible image attributes that are hard to duplicate. Thus, Crest toothpaste’s image of preventing tooth decay are intangible attributes in the outer layer that, once established, are hard for competitors to dislodge or copy. Though much more intricate details of intangible product attributes and brand image and promise will be discussed in Chapter 9, it should be clear to the reader that these intangible attributes do indeed satisfy many needs of the consumers. The notion of Pricing is as rich as the conceptualization of Product. While Chapter 4 discusses several different pricing strategies, such as Cost-plus, Skimming, Penetration, Value, Competitive, and Experience-curve, for the purposes of discussing “need-satisfaction” potential of Price, we consider a simple pricing strategy - low or high. A high, premium price would mean that the product is priced at the higher end of prices that prevail in the product category.

Premium pricing conveys a better image of the product to consumers, even if the objective quality of the product is not any better than the average product in the category. The Promotion P also plays an important role in satisfying the needs of customers. Bargain-hunting for items on sale makes shoppers feel smart. Swanky advertisements build positive brand image which in turn makes consumers feel good.

The final P, Place, determines how the product and the customer are...
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