The Marketing Mix
This chapter will consider a tactical tools used by marketers, namely the marketing mix. All marketers must understand the fundamentals of communication if they are to gain insights into customers. Increasingly, marketers must use communications approaches where they have less control. Customers want to have easy access to products and services, and marketers must focus on convenience. The basics of product portfolio management will be addressed, and the chapter will consider how sustainability factors (such as the greening process) are changing marketers’ approaches. Pricing is strategically important and highly visible to senior management, connects the customer to the supplier and conveys signals (e.g. about quality and exclusivity) to the marketplace. Pricing is primarily used operationally, to generate the revenue required to cover costs and to make profit. However, it can be used in a much more sophisticated sense, tactically and strategically: to gain entry to markets and to create barriers to entry for others. This chapter provides the key underpinning perspectives on pricing and then considers the factors that shape pricing, pricing strategies/techniques and the role of technology. Consumers are more discerning and prepared to move if they are not satisfied with a service. Sometimes problems occur because of the perception of the service rather than the reality. Hyper-competition means that moving from one provider to another is easy. Competitive advantage can be obtained by delivering consistently higher-quality service than competitors.