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Marketing refers to all activities a company does to promote and sell products or services to consumers.
Marketing makes use of the “marketing mix,” also known as the four Ps—product, price, place, and promotion.
At its core, it seeks to take a product or service, identify its ideal customers, and draw the customers’ attention to the product or service available.
At its most basic level, it seeks to match a company’s products and services to customers who want access to those products. Matching products to customers ultimately ensure profitability.
Product, price, place, and promotion are the Four Ps of marketing. The Four Ps collectively make up the essential mix a company needs to market a product or service. Neil Borden popularized the idea of the marketing mix and the concept of the Four Ps in the 1950s.
Product refers to an item or items the business plans to offer to customers. The product should seek to fulfill an absence in the market or fulfill consumer demand for a greater amount of a product already available. Before they can prepare an appropriate campaign, marketers need to understand what product is being sold, how it stands out from its competitors, whether the product can also be paired with a secondary product or product line, and whether there are substitute products in the market.
Price refers to how much the company will sell the product for. When establishing a price, companies must consider the unit cost price, marketing costs, and distribution expenses. Companies must also consider the price of competing products in the marketplace and whether their proposed price point is enough to represent a reasonable alternative for consumers.
Place refers to the distribution of the product. Key considerations include whether the company will sell the product through a physical storefront, online, or through both distribution channels. When it’s sold in a storefront, what kind of physical product placement does it get? When it’s sold online, what kind of digital product placement does it get?
Promotion, the fourth P, is the integrated marketing communications campaign. Promotion includes a variety of activities such as advertising, selling, sales promotions, public relations, direct marketing, sponsorship, and guerrilla marketing.