The Marketing Mix
The four Ps—product, price, place (distribution), and promotion—are elements of the marketing mix. The basic task of marketing is combining these four elements into a marketing program to facilitate the potential for exchange with consumers in the marketplace.
A firm can spend large sums on advertising or sales promotion, but it stands little chance of success if the product is of poor quality, is priced improperly, or does not have adequate distribution to consumers.
The market must be analyzed through consumer research, and the resulting information must be used to develop an overall marketing strategy and mix.
The Evolution of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)
During the 1980s, firms began moving toward the process of IMC rather than relying primarily on media advertising. The IMC approach helps companies towards relationship marketing.
Relationship marketing, involves creating, maintaining, and enhancing long-term relationships with individual customers as well as other stakeholders for mutual benefit.
- Several factors are favoring relationship marketing:
- Customers have become much more demanding
- Technology is making it possible to configure and personalize a wide array of products and services including computers, automobiles, clothing etc.
Changing face of Advertising & Promotion
In the past, marketers relied primarily on advertising through traditional mass media. Now a day’s other communication techniques such as websites, direct marketing, sales promotion, publicity and public relations (PR), and event sponsorships are being used.
- The mass market is fragmented
- Explosion of new technologies are giving consumers greater control over the communications process
- Rapid growth of the Internet and electronic commerce
- The emergence of global markets
- Economic uncertainties
“An Army of One” Campaign – Case Study of IMC Approach
- During the early to mid 1990s, the U.S. Army was facing trouble in attracting young men to enlist for military service.
- For advertisement they relied on “Be All That You Can Be” tagline and expensive television commercials to deliver the self-actualization message
- Booming economy of the ‘90s created many other opportunities for youths
- The Army’s financial package was not enough
- Youth were not willing to endure the demands of basic training
- Comments such as, “not for people like me,” “for losers,” and, “only for those with no other options” were typical of the feelings young people held toward military service.
- In June 2000, US Army hired of Leo Burnett as its new agency
- The agency felt that the tagline had lost its relevance with young adults and could not be used to reposition the Army.
- A new campaign integrated marketing campaign— “An Army of One” was launched
- It highlighted that soldiers are not nameless or faceless, but the Army’s most important resource and each individual can and does make a difference
- A reality show basic training was launched that gives viewers a glimpse of actual army recruitment process
- The ads also promoted the Army website GoArmy.com
- The “An Army of One” campaign has been a great success. The Army fulfilled its 2001 recruiting goal of 115,000 new recruits one month early.
- The U.S. Army encourages consumers to visit the GoArmy.com website which provides valuable information such as career paths, the enlistment process, and benefits.
- Publicity for the U.S. Army is generated through press releases and public relation activities as well as in movies and television shows.
- At the local level the Army sponsors athletic events and participates in activities such as career fairs to reach its target audience plus incentive and bonuses.