Marketing Mix

Marketing is performed within a certain environment which itself is always changing. The marketing activities have, therefore, to change in consonance with environment to be continuously effective. 

In order to appreciate this process Marketing activities are divided into four basic elements, which are together referred to as the marketing mix. These four basic elements are:
1. Product
2. Promotion
3. Place or Physical Distribution
4. Price

As all these four start with the letter `P' they are, at times, referred to as the four Ps of the marketing mix or the 4Ps in marketing.

1. Product: The word product stands for the goods or services offered by the organisation: Once the needs are identified, it is necessary to plan the product and after that keep on analysing whether the product still satisfies the needs which were originally planned for, and if not, to determine the necessary changes.

2. Promotion: Promotion is the aspect of selling and advertising, or communicating the benefits of the product or service, to the target customers or the market segment involved in order to persuade them to purchase such products or services. 

It includes selling through advertising as well as the sales force. Besides, a certain amount of promotion is done through special seasonal discounts, competitions, special price reductions, etc. collectively called sales promotion.

3. Place or Physical Distribution: It deals with aspect of the channels of distribution through which the product has to move before it reaches the consumer.It includes logistics aspects of distribution such as warehousing, transportation, etc. needed for geographical distribution of the products.It is also concerned with the selection of distribution channels. (Whether to sell through wholesalers or retailers or directly reach consumers)

4. Price: Price refers to the money value that the customer has to pay. The product has to be adequately priced.This involves considerations of the profit margin, the cost, the possibility of sales at different prices and the concept of the right price. 

The optimum method has to be determined in terms of both consumer satisfaction and profitability to the organisation, or optimum use of the organisation's resources.