Online Custom «The 4Ps of Marketing» Essay Sample
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Marketing depends on a number of equally important factors, and if the company’s management carefully observes and correctly follows these principles, the success will definitely come. The most known is the model of the 4Ps of marketing that makes the basis for every business. In this paper, the four Ps of marketing are discussed on the example of one of the companies operating in the UAE, namely, the Al Ghurair Centre in Dubai. The Al Ghurair Group operated in a number of segments predominantly in the entertaining industry. The Al Ghurair Centre is one of the most vivid examples for this research as the activity of the enterprise directly depends on these four main principles of marketing. If at least one of them fails, the Centre will not be able to function properly and to its full capacity.
According to Professor Borden, the initial complex of marketing of the so-called marketing mix consisted of a great number of elements such as the price formation, branding, distribution, personal sales, promotion, advertising, packaging, service, and product developing, among many other factors. After determining the complete list of the necessary actions, McCarthy grouped all the elements into the marketing mix of the 4P’s in order to make them easy to remember and use quickly (Chaffey, Mayer, Johnston, & Ellis-Chadwick, 2009). The main aim of this marketing complex is to develop a strategy that will help increase the accepted product’s value and maximize the company’s long-time income.
The First ‘P’ – Product
The definition of the company’s product depends on the company itself. The same product in different forms, for example, the tissue segments or rolls, can be considered either the same product or different products, depending on what customers’ needs should be met. If the same goods or services in any other form focus on the different target clients, the more likely it will require a separate positioning and promotion; therefore, it is advisable to treat it as a different product.
It is particularly important to provide a clear definition of the company's product for the service sector, because the definition of the product depends on how the services are provided and on the nature of the services in general. For example, a product in the hairdressing business can be either the appearance of the customer after the new haircut, for example, whether it is stylish, trendy, or the reaction of the others to a client with a new haircut, for example, the attention of the opposite sex, or a friendly service and a pleasant atmosphere, background music, smells, and communication with the staff for a customer. Any of these options can be applied in practice; everything depends on what target audience the company will choose (Beer, 2013).
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Usually, people believe that a good product sells itself. However, over time, the bad products disappear, and only the good ones survive in the market to a greater or lesser extent. In addition, the buyers even have a right to return a good product if they are not satisfied with it, of course, only within two weeks from the date of a purchase (Chandrasekar, 2010).
Therefore, in terms of the first and perhaps the most important ‘p’ - the product, the question is whether the product that the company produces is exactly what the customer wants or not. In order to answer this question, it is crucial to find the solution to the first ‘p’ of marketing – the product.
When analyzing the range of products offered by the Al Ghurair Centre in Dubai, it is evident that the general aim of the company is to satisfy almost all the entertaining interests of the customers of all ages. The Al Ghurair Centre has occupied the niche in opening a wide range of shops for kids, men, and women, as well as the haircuts, barbershops, supermarkets, and amusement stores, in which people can find the entertaining activities for every family member. Besides, there is a number of cafes, cinemas, and dining places; all these products offer the visitors to have some food while shopping. Moreover, the Centre also offers a business product: the offices for those who prefer working at a well-furnished place situated in the city center.
The product is what is offered to the buyer, otherwise, the workpiece. While speaking of this ‘P’, the following attributes of the product should be considered: functionality, quality, appearance, packaging, brand, accompanying services, support, warranty, and after-sales service, even when the warranty expires. The product that is offered by the Al Ghurair Centre satisfies almost all the criteria of a profitable product as the customers are offered a range of services for satisfying their interests. The Center has good functionality, high quality, and pleasant appearance, as well as support and warranty services.
The Second ‘P’ – Price
The second marketing principle is the price. In fact, it is not so much about the price, but about the pricing strategies or pricing policy. The category of the price offers a number of options that include the discounts, which grant the lowest price, mid-market prices, and premium segment prices that are higher than the average ones in the market. Some companies prefer making price cheaper than the market leader, among a number of other options.
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The first option - the sale of goods at the lowest prices is usually a road to nowhere. It is the worst option of all. In addition, in most cases, it cannot be implemented at all. The prices must meet the principle that will offer the customers to buy the products at the price that will let the company receive a maximum profit.
The managers can say a lot about meeting the needs of the client, but the business has the only task, which is to make money. The marketing philosophy says that the best way of making money is to meet the customer’s needs. In reality, the needs of the customers are, at best, in the second place. In fact, the first place among the aims of any company is always occupied by the money.
There is also a radical approach to pricing, which can have a huge success - giving away the product for free. It is the issue with a free newspaper in the metro, the total daily circulation of which is nearly eight million copies. Even though, the newspaper is distributed free of charge in the underground in more than 11 countries, it is extremely profitable.
The price is the monetary expression of the value of goods. In the centralized economy, it is determined by the cost of labor and materials spent on the design, manufacture, and marketing of the products and a firmly fixed rate of return, which is the same for all companies offering a particular product. The prices are centrally set and are characterized by the stability and unity. The companies never have problems with the prices, which are always allocated. The market economy is more complicated. In it, the price is no longer the result of the increased cost calculations for the planned profit. The price in the market economy is the fruit of the accurate calculations of the costs and intuition of managers, knowledge of the current and future market conditions, and the competently carried out advertising and marketing strategies. The price is a measure of the company’s well-being (Chandrasekar, 2010). It is the most important element of the marketing mix. An enterprise tries not to succumb to the market forces but make everything possible in order to offer the prices favorable for both the customers and the company.
The essence of the price is determined by its role and functions. The role of the price in the economy is unambiguous as it is a measure of well-being not only of the company but also of the respective society in general, as it includes earnings, which are formed due to all kinds of budgets: the enterprise, district, city, region, and state (Hoffmann, 2008). For example, the Al Ghurair Centre in Dubai offers very good prices, which let the customers buy everything they need and be satisfied as they pay affordable sum of money and get a wide range of the high-class services. The best example is the five-star hotel, the Al Ghurair Rayhaan By Rotana, which offers a number of services, including the restaurant and swimming pool, at a rather medium price for the almost luxury hotel rooms and first-class services. Besides, when speaking about the dining opportunities of the Al Ghurair Centre, in general, the prices are rather moderate, and the product range is wide.
The Third ‘P’ - Place
In the theory of the four ‘Ps’ of marketing, the third place is occupied by the place. There is a good saying ‘At the right time and in the right place.’ This ‘P’ can be the key point if the company manages to change the image of the general distribution in the minds of the customers. Some market players and whole industries have succeeded in this task. All companies that managed to organize their distribution effectively do not depend on the place of a shop or location of customers anymore. Recently, a number of companies that offer the products at a good price with the option of delivering to any place have appeared.
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Nowadays, most companies, which are highly profitable, effectively use this business idea. Its effectiveness has been proven in many countries all over the world. The same goes for those companies that deal with selling the goods via the Internet. Many traditional stores even cannot withstand the competition with them since there are no online dealers of the retail space, staff, and other elements that exist in the classical business. The distribution system also includes the organization of sales direct to the consumers through the dealers, distributors, and other sources. It is also called the distribution channel. The distribution is a part of the marketing activities; it ensures the physical possibility of purchasing the company's products by the potential customers. Besides, it is the availability of these products to the consumers. The consumer should have the physical opportunity to purchase the product; otherwise, the deal will not happen at all. Therefore, the provision of such availability is one of the most important tasks of marketing. In order to solve this problem, it is necessary to provide the potential consumer with the opportunity to select, pay for, and receive a product.
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It is fundamentally important to note that all these three options need not to be withdrawn by the consumer at a certain place and time. The user can choose the goods in a retail outlet but buy the selected item at a different store or wish to get the goods at home after some time. Every user always wants to have a choice. Therefore, he/she should see more than one option that can meet his/her current needs and be able to compare these options. The comparison can take place both in person, for example, on the trading floor of the retail outlet, via correspondence, for example, the brochures, via reviews in the press, on the basis of specifications, and via the opinion of the other consumers. The task of providing the consumer with the possibility of a full-time comparison is a crucial tool in the distribution of the correspondence as the promotional tool (Simeon, 2013).
In the today's world, there are numerous payment options for the product, which range from the most common payment in cash at the point of sale to the payment with the bonus points granted by the multi-brand loyalty program. Each user can choose the preferred method of payment. Most preferences are determined by the three main factors: physical usability of the means of payment, the need to carry any objects or show documents, and the number of necessary operations. Among the other important issues, there are the costs of using the means of payment, for example, the commission paid by the consumer, as well as the financial and other risks. For example, some consumers are afraid of paying by a credit card over the Internet because the fraudsters can take possession of the data entered and gain access to the bank account of the consumer.
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The opportunity for consumers to use their preferred means of payment is more than a plus if the company chooses to meet the customer’s needs. However, it is essential to keep in mind that most of the expansions in the payment methods entail additional costs. That is why, the presence of the most popular methods of payment and the costs of the company to launch them should stay in proper balance.
When analyzing the state of this category for the Al Ghurair Centre in Dubai, it is evident that the question of the right place is brilliantly solved. The entertaining store is situated right in the middle of the city. It is the most convenient location for all the purposes both for the visitors to find it and for the suppliers to provide the goods and services timely and at a good cost for delivery as the route is short and clear – right to the city center.
The Fourth ‘P’ - Promotion
The final but not least important element of the whole complex is the fourth ‘P’ – the promotion. Its mission is to inform the target audience of the company about the wonderful products, which the company sells at a fantastic price at the remarkable places. Therefore, it persuades the potential consumers to purchase with the company. The main principle of a good cooperative work is that, after the forth ‘P’, the customer should have the desire to make a purchase. For this purpose, all possible and impossible means of promotion will work, including advertising, public relations, sales, testing, and special offers, among many others. In the end, the client should become happy, and the company should make money. The promotion is any form of communication of the information, beliefs, and reminders of the products, product lines, brands, or the company itself. It is any information exchange of the company with the market participants, which is aimed at increasing the sales in either the short or long term. The promotion in the marketing mix is responsible for informing about the product and its properties as many consumers as possible. Besides, it should help the clients understand whether the product of this particular company is better than any other similar product from another company or not. Finally, it affects whether the consumer will have any strong incentive to buy that product at the time of the purchase decision or not. The more convincing ‘yes’ the company gets to every question, the higher the likelihood of the consumer choice in favor of the company's product is. Respectively, the higher will be the sales of the company's product. Therefore, the promotion is aimed at increasing the consumer awareness of the products, brands, companies, creating a stable positive image of the products and brands, and encouraging the consumers to make a certain choice at the time of the purchase. It is believed that the information, which is obtained by the potential customers even outside of the time and place of purchase, can affect their preference and increase the likelihood of buying the advertised brand or product.
The main document in the management of the promotion program is the plan promotion, which ensures the consistency of all the tools applied in promoting with the achievement of the common short-term and long-term goals. Both the methods and tools of promotion include advertising that is the impersonal mass communication, sales promotion, promotion of consumers, promotion of marketing intermediaries including the direct sellers, and encouraging employees of the company, as well as creating a goodwill through building the relationships with the public (Simeon, 2013).
Sometimes, direct marketing and Internet marketing are considered the independent methods of promotion. In addition, the list can include the personal sale, but the task of promotion is rather debatable, in this case.
All these tools are aimed at promoting the sales by encouraging the vendors, resellers, and customers. Their goal is not only to increase the sales and create the image for the new products but also to promote and consolidate the image of a brand. Nowadays, the most popular are the ATL and BTL promotions. ATL means Above the Line and represents the traditional non-personal communication and advertisement through the usual advertising media: flyers, outdoor advertising, signs, and other sources. BTL, on the other hand, means Beyond the Line and includes any unconventional personal stimulating actions affecting the consumers either indirectly or directly at the time of the purchase decision; it often is of a short-term nature. Recently, the notion of TTL, Through the Line, has also appeared; it is the integration of the ATL and BTL promotion tools in a single promotion program.
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As for the Al Ghurair Centre, its level of promotion is rather significant. It distributes at all levels; not only its particular services are advertised but also the Center has promotion, in general. Advertising takes place at all levels of the Group’s activity, including the ATL and BTL, as well as sponsorship, corporate programs, and concerts. This strategy makes the Al Ghurair Center one of the most attractive centers for amusement and entertainment.