The Traditional Marketing Mix has been in use since a long time. There are a lot of organisations that are still finding it useful for most of their marketing operations. But there are a lot of other organisations too which are feeling need to have more elements in the marketing mix. The emergence of new factors such as technology and ideas along with the development of marketing management forces the fact that 4 Ps – Product, Place, Price and Promotion, are not adequate for the purpose of marketing. Incipient paradigms of marketing such as 7 Ps, relationship marketing, online marketing, personalisation and other vast examples are taking over the dominance of traditional marketing mix. I concur that the conventional Marketing Mix is not any more pertinent to the present market to the full extent. New domains should be introduced in the Marketing Mix to keep it up to date. Different factors like technological, social and economic have influenced the market. New concept and domains will only help the marketer to market their products and services more efficiently. The following research about the 4 Ps and other new paradigms of current market will conclude to the answer for the relevance of the Traditional Marketing Mix.
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Founding and History
The Marketing Mix is the foundation of marketing since the beginning in 1964. When Neil Borden (1964) identified twelve controllable marketing elements that, properly managed, would result to a “profitable business operation”. Jerome McCarthy (1964) reduced Borden’s factors to a simple four-element framework: Product, Price, Promotion and Place.
As per the definition of Philipe Kotler (1994), To initiate the exchange process, the seller must know what the potential buyer needs. To implement the firm’s sales strategy and ensure its success, the marketers must actively manage, facilitate, and expedite satisfying exchange relationships through the creation, distribution, promotion and pricing of high quality goods, services and ideas.Introduction to the marketing framework spread widely as it was widely accepted among field marketers. Surveys suggested that many companies (550 Dutches companies) 70 percent of them have divided 4 Ps in different departments. Many famous authors reviewed it as memorable and practical framework. Later on American Marketing Association (AMA) formulated this framework and made synonymous to marketing. Soon after, it became a sensation and most schools and universities introduced it in their course. It provided a practical framework for marketing decision-making. Marketing Mix is a toolkit or a set of action which an organisation performs to sell their products or services. Traditionally it consists of 4 Ps – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Product means the good or service that is being sold. Price is the value at which it will be sold. Promotion is spreading information about the good. At last the channels of distribution is considered. the Marketing Mix has played also an important role in the evolution of the marketing management science as a fundamental concept of the commercial philosophy, with theoretical foundations in the optimisation theory.
Critique on 4 Ps Framework
But, as we come near to present the relevance of traditional marketing mix become faded.
Some believed that The marketing mix approach is considered too limited (Grönroos, 1990, 2000). The 4 Ps were thought to be most inadequate for services industry, Not-for-profits organisations and industrial marketing. One of the main drawbacks of the traditional Marketing Mix is that we can not long-term relationship with our customers as Kotler argues that 4 Ps framework is beneficial for a short-term horizon. According to a survey in conference of UK’s Marketing Education Group (MEG) Conference held in Salford in 1992 and the European Marketing Academy (EMAC) Conference held in Aarhaus, Denmark in May 1992, A large majority of the respondents (78 per cent of EMAC delegates and 84 per cent of the MEG delegates) felt that the 4Ps concept was deficient in some respects as a pedagogic tool. (The difference in the proportions of MEG and EMAC delegates’ dissatisfaction is not statistically significant.) In fact, 75 per cent of the EMAC respondents had used modified versions of the 4Ps concept at some time or other. Of these, 82 per cent (or 62 per cent of the total sample) said that this was a regular occurrence. Examination of the data showed that the level of dissatisfaction expressed did not appear to be influenced by length of experience in teaching marketing or the status (i.e. the seniority) of the respondents; i.e. full professors were just as likely to be dissatisfied with the 4Ps as junior marketing academics. According to a survey, 51 of the respondents acknowledged that it is unusable and problematic. Numerous authors including Kotler (1984) have criticised lack of customer orientation as a prime limitation. Lack of consumer interactivity and lack of strategic elements are other major limitation of 4 Ps framework.
Critique of Alternative Approaches
There was an extraordinary deal of dissatisfaction with the 4 Ps framework. On the other hand the framework of 7 Ps is now started being accepted. The 7 Ps framework is an extended version of the traditional 4 Ps framework with People, Process and Physical Evidence as the other three Ps. People is for having right personnel to run your business efficiently and effectively. Specialised delivery of your product is Process. Service are intangible but, we are provided with some Physical Evidence that it has been provided. An examination of survey conducted in various field of industries proved the point that the framework of 7 Ps is showing relevance for all types of marketing. Even in introductory and consumer marketing where one might have expected stronger adherence to the 4 Ps framework. One of the main reason for the use of 7 Ps is relationship marketing which is not covered in 4 Ps framework. According to the article of Mosad Zineldin et al. (2007) Relationship Marketing is described as a paradigm shift. The article emphasises that relationship marketing is how you relate to and communicate with people (which is one of the P’s in 7 Ps framework). Relationship marketing is one of the oldest from of carrying out marketing. The concept of relationship marketing focuses of forming relation with client so that we can satisfy and retain existing customers. The criticism of the traditional marketing mix continues. According to Grönroos (1994), Several arguments underlying the limitations of the marketing mix as the Marketing paradigm: Obsolete, not integrative, based on conditions not common to all markets, production oriented, not interactive etc. So, he hypotheses relationship marketing offers all the necessary ingredients to become the new Marketing Paradigm, while the Marketing Mix is not suitable to support a relation-based approachLauterborn (1990) suggest that each variable in marketing mix should be seen from consumers perspective. On the other hand, Davis, Brush (1997) argued that the 4Ps Marketing Mix is not suitable as the conceptual basis for the Marketing of the High-tech Industry. This because:
The 4Ps are based on marketing of consumer products,
International elements are not taken into consideration
Propositions given were 13 strategic elements form the Marketing platform of the High-tech industry.
The E- Commerce markets have rapidly expended since 2003. Most writers believe that 4 Ps are not sufficient and there should be totally new approaches (Mosley 1997; Evans and King 1999; Chaffey et al. 2000; Kambil and Galvin 2000, Schultz 2001, Constantinides 2002). Mosley and Matchett (1997) argued that a successful presence on the Internet is based on a Web site designed on the basis of a Marketing Mix of 5 W’s: – Who: Target audience /market – What: Content – When: Timing and updating – Where: Find-ability – Why: Unique Selling Proposition. Another approach is Consumer’s Marketing. A factor underlining the change is the increasing consumer power and sophistication due to wide availability of affordable personal computing power and easy access to online global commercial firms, networks, databases, communities or marketplaces. These developments have intensified the pressure on marketers to switch from mass marketing approaches towards methods allowing personalisation, interaction and sincere, direct dialog with the customer. Such approaches allow marketers not only to improve communications with their target groups but also to identify the constantly changing and evolving customer needs, respond quickly to competitive movements and predict market trends early and accurately. There is a new approach by adding another P in the marketing mix, it is personalisation. According to the journal of Ronald E. Goldsmith, personalisation is such an important element of the overall marketing strategy that it should be addressed in conjunction with product development, and that decisions regarding the nature and degree of personalisation should help guide product development. As managers develop the product they should build into it the degree of personalisation they intend to offer to the market. This consideration could affect the way the product is manufactured through mass-customisation (Anderson et al., 1997; Kelly, 1996; Oleson, 1998; Pine, 1993) or how individualised a service should be (Lovelock, 1996, p. 42). Many subsequent marketing decisions will be influenced by the personalisation decision. Companies may want to consider personalisation as a philosophy of doing business that treats each customer as an individual rather than as a member of a target segment. Companies should learn about individual consumer needs and wants, design, make, and deliver a customised product (Hof, 1998).