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Question
Explain why the balance of the marketing mix is as important as any single elemen

Answer
Explain why the balance of the marketing mix is as important as any single element
PRODUCT---Marketing Mix

The Marketing Mix model (also known as the 4 P's) can be used by marketers as a tool to assist in implementing the marketing strategy. Marketing managers use this method to attempt to generate the optimal response in the target market by blending 4 (or 5, or 7) variables in an optimal way. It is important to understand that the Marketing Mix principles are controllable variables. The Marketing Mix can be adjusted on a frequent basis to meet the changing needs of the target group and the other dynamics of the marketing environment.
Once you've developed your marketing strategy, there is a "Seven P Formula" you should use to continually evaluate and reevaluate your business activities. These seven are: product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people. As products, markets, customers and needs change rapidly, you must continually revisit these seven Ps to make sure you're on track and achieving the maximum results possible for you in today's marketplace.
Product
To begin with, develop the habit of looking at your product as though you were an outside marketing consultant brought in to help your company decide whether or not it's in the right business at this time. Ask critical questions such as, "Is your current product or service, or mix of products and services, appropriate and suitable for the market and the customers of today?"
Whenever you're having difficulty selling as much of your products or services as you'd like, you need to develop the habit of assessing your business honestly and asking, "Are these the right products or services for our customers today?"
Is there any product or service you're offering today that, knowing what you now know, you would not bring out again today? Compared to your competitors, is your product or service superior in some significant way to anything else available? If so, what is it? If not, could you develop an area of superiority? Should you be offering this product or service at all in the current marketplace?
Prices
The second P in the formula is price. Develop the habit of continually examining and reexamining the prices of the products and services you sell to make sure they're still appropriate to the realities of the current market. Sometimes you need to lower your prices. At other times, it may be appropriate to raise your prices. Many companies have found that the profitability of certain products or services doesn't justify the amount of effort and resources that go into producing them. By raising their prices, they may lose a percentage of their customers, but the remaining percentage generates a profit on every sale. Could this be appropriate for you?
Sometimes you need to change your terms and conditions of sale. Sometimes, by spreading your price over a series of months or years, you can sell far more than you are today, and the interest you can charge will more than make up for the delay in cash receipts. Sometimes you can combine products and services together with special offers and special promotions. Sometimes you can include free additional items that cost you very little to produce but make your prices appear far more attractive to your customers.
In business, as in nature, whenever you experience resistance or frustration in any part of your sales or marketing activities, be open to revisiting that area. Be open to the possibility that your current pricing structure is not ideal for the current market. Be open to the need to revise your prices, if necessary, to remain competitive, to survive and thrive in a fast-changing marketplace.
Promotion
The third habit in marketing and sales is to think in terms of promotion all the time. Promotion includes all the ways you tell your customers about your products or services and how you then market and sell to them.
Small changes in the way you promote and sell your products can lead to dramatic changes in your results. Even small changes in your advertising can lead immediately to higher sales. Experienced copywriters can often increase the response rate from advertising by 500 percent by simply changing the headline on an advertisement.
Large and small companies in every industry continually experiment with different ways of advertising, promoting, and selling their products and services. And here is the rule: Whatever method of marketing and sales you're using today will, sooner or later, stop working. Sometimes it will stop working for reasons you know, and sometimes it will be for reasons you don't know. In either case, your methods of marketing and sales will eventually stop working, and you'll have to develop new sales, marketing and advertising approaches, offerings, and strategies.
Place
The fourth P in the marketing mix is the place where your product or service is actually sold. Develop the habit of reviewing and reflecting upon the exact location where the customer meets the salesperson. Sometimes a change in place can lead to a rapid increase in sales.
You can sell your product in many different places. Some companies use direct selling, sending their salespeople out to personally meet and talk with the prospect. Some sell by telemarketing. Some sell through catalogs or mail order. Some sell at trade shows or in retail establishments. Some sell in joint ventures with other similar products or services. Some companies use manufacturers' representatives or distributors. Many companies use a combination of one or more of these methods.
In each case, the entrepreneur must make the right choice about the very best location or place for the customer to receive essential buying information on the product or service needed to make a buying decision. What is yours? In what way should you change it? Where else could you offer your products or services?
THE  BALANCING  OF  THE  PRODUCT  MARKETING
MIX   IS  CRITICAL  IN  MARKETING  IN  ANY
MARKETING  PROGRAMS.

ESPECIALLY  AS  THE  PRODUCT  MOVES
THROUGH  THE  PRODUCT  LIFE  CYCLE.

marketing mix change as the product moves through its life cycle
PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

Products pass through a series of stages. Successful products progress through four basic stages: (1) Introduction; (2) Growth; (3) Maturity; and (4) Decline.

The product life cycle concept provides important insights about developments at the various stages of the product's life. Knowledge that profits assume a predictable pattern through the stages and that promotional emphasis should shift from product information in the early stages to product promotion in the later stages should allow the marketing manager to improve planning.

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PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE   BENEFITS


Here is a brief description of what is expected to take place in the stages of the life cycle:

1.   Initiation starts with the initial conception or discovery of the product idea and runs until it has been evaluated, has become specific, and has been approved for development.

2.   Development covers the various activities that transform an abstract product idea into a concrete prototype model of the product (if it is a tangible good) that can be manufactured.

3.   Market plans and tests is our term for the final gestation phase, in which the product would pass its last tests and everything be ready for commercialising it.

4.   Introduction starts when the offering is made available to buyers, probably on a limited scale, and continues as it is tried by innovators and experiences show slow sales growth.

5.   Growth begins when numerous tryers like the product, word of its virtues spread, and the product sales "take off". Since the product is not established until this takes place, we include it in this chapter of "evolving products6.   Maturity comes eventually, for the halcyon days of sharply rising demand vanish when most potential buyers have become actual customers. This may be a very long period during which demand decelerates and then reaches a plateau.

7.   Decline sets in persistently when the product eventually becomes obsolete. When it actually starts to toboggan, it is time to give the product a merciful death and burial.

The marketing strategist should never assume that the PLC operates inexorably, but should rather examine a brand's or product's actual position carefully. Further a serious effort should be made to find a winning strategy can revive a slumping demand, rather than summarily abandoning the possibility. In that context, the PLC does pose a hypothesis of product or brand behaviour that is useful for sales forecasting. It also enables us to clarify strategies in terms of their timeliness.

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WHY YOU  SHOULD USE THE  PRODUCT  LIFE   CYCLE  CURVE    
FOR ANALYSIS

The product life cycle curve can be extremely important in generating strategist, and it should be monitored and controlled by the marketing manager. This is necessary due primarily to five reasons:

1 . Rapid Maturity of Products
2. Life Cycle Product Mix
3. Strategic Implications
4. Product Planning
5. Changing the Life Cycle Curve

=============================

THE PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

Successful products progress through four basic stages: Introduction. Growth. Maturity and Decline. This progression is known as the Product Life Cycle.

1.INTRODUCTION

The company's objective in the early stages of the product life cycle is to stimulate demand for the new market entry. Since the product is not known to the public, promotional campaigns stress information about its features and benefits. They also may be directed toward marketing intermediaries in the channel to induce them to carry the product.

In this phase, the public becomes acquainted with the merits of the product and begins to accept it.

Losses are common during the introductory stage due to heavy promotion and extensive research and development expenditures.

However, the ground is being laid for future profits. Companies expect.to recover the costs and to begin earning profits when the new product moves into the second phase of its life cycle   the growth stage.


2.GROWTH

Sales volumes rise rapidly during the growth stage as new customers make initial purchases and early buyers re purchase the product. 'Word of mouthl and advertising induce hesitant buyers to make trial purchases.

As the company begins to realise substantial profits from its investment during the growth stage, the product attracts competitors.

Success breads imitation and other companies rush into the market with competitive products. The majority of firms in a particular market enter during the growth stage.


3.MATURITY

Industry sales continue to grow during the early part of the maturity stage, but eventually they reach a plateau as the backlog of potential customers is exhausted. By this time, a large number of competitors have entered the market, and profits decline as competition intensifies.

In the maturity stage, differences among competing products diminish as competitors discover the product and promotional characteristics most desired by the market. Heavy promotional outlays emphasise subtle differences among competing products, and brand competition intensifies.

In this stage, often available products exceed industry demand. Companies attempting to increase their sales and market share must do so at the expense of competitors.

As competition intensifies, the competitors tend to cut prices in an attempt to attract new buyers. Even though a price reduction may be the easiest method of inducing additional purchases, it is also one of the simplest moves for, competitors to duplicate.

Reduced prices result in decreased revenues for all firms in the industry unless the price cuts produce enough increased purchases to offset the loss in revenue on each item sold.

     
4.DECLINE

In the final stage of the product's life, innovations or customer preferences bring about an absolute decline in industry sales.

Sales and profits decline and companies begin to leave the industry in search of more profitable products.
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FOR    EFFECTIVE   MARKETING EFFORTS  YOU     WORK  WITH PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

1.INTRODUCTION

**ORGANISATION CONDITIONS   

-High Costs

-Inefficient Production Levels

-Cash Demands  HIGH
------------------
**ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS   

-Few or No Competitions

-Limited Product Awareness and Knowledge

-Limited Demand
--------------------------
**MARKETING EFFORTS   

-Stimulate Demand

-Establish High Price

-Offer Limited Product Variety

-Increase Distribution
------------------------------
=============================
2.GROWTH

**ORGANISATIONAL CONDITIONS   

-Smoothing Production

-Lowering Costs

-Operation Efficiencies

-Product Improvement Work
----------------------------------
**ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS   

-Expanding Markets

-Expanded Distribution

-Competition Strengthens

-Prices Soften a Bit
---------------------------------
**MARKETING EFFORTS   

-Cultivate Selective Demand

-Product Improvement

-Strengthen Distribution

-Price Flexibility
------------------------------------
=============================
3. MATURITY


**ORGANISATIONAL  CONDITIONS

A. EARLY  MATURITY      
  
-efficient scale of operation         
-production modification work
-LOW  profit      

B. LATE MATURITY

-product standardization
-Decreasing Profits
------------------------------
**ENVIRONMENTAL  CONDITIONS      
     
A. EARLY MATURITY      
     
-slowing growth      
-strong competition      
-expanded market      
-heightened competition   

B. LATE  MATURITY

-Faltering demand
-fierce  competition
-shrinking  number of  competitors
-established  distribution  pattern
-----------------------------------
**MARKETING EFFORTS

A.EARLY  MATURITY
  
-Emphasise Market Segmentation   
-Improve Service  and Warranty   
-Reduce Prices
  
B. LATE  MATURITY      

-ultimate  in  market segmentation
-competitive pricing
-retain distribution
--------------------------------
===================================
4.DECLINE

**ORGANISATION CONDITIONS

-Permanently Declining Demand
-------------------------------
**ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS   

-Reduction of Competitors

-Limited Product Offerings

-Price Stabilisations
----------------------------
**MARKETING EFFORTS
  
-Increase Primary Demand

-Profit Opportunity Pricing

-Prune and Strengthen Distribution
--------------------------------
=============================
EXAMPLE  OF  MARKETING   PROGRAM   FOR
STAGES IN PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE


A.INTRODUCTION.

1.MARKETING  OBJECTIVE
-successful  entry in the market.

2.SALES
-increase sales.

3.CUSTOMERS
-identify  customer  segments

4.ENVIRONMENT
-Comply With  External Regulations   
& Accepted  Values

5.PRODUCT
-Assure High  Quality

6.PRICE
-use cost plus  strategy

7.PROMOTIONS
-build product awareness

8.DISTRIBUTION
-build  and  channels

==================================
B. GROWTH.

1.MARKETING  OBJECTIVE
-gain market share
-increase  profitability

2.SALES
-increase / maximize  sales volume.

3.CUSTOMERS
-determine  customer  acceptance.

4.ENVIRONMENT
-determine  channel  responses.

5.PRODUCT
-offer  extensions or value added  like service.

6.PRICE
-penetrate  deeper into  the  market

7.PROMOTIONS
-induce trial.

8.DISTRIBUTION
-use selective  distribution
--------------------------------------------------------
====================================
C.MATURITY.

1.MARKETING  OBJECTIVE
-consolidate  market share
-maximize  profit.

2.SALES
-maximize  sales.

3.CUSTOMERS
-determine  re-purchase  rates.

4.ENVIRONMENT
-monitor  competitive  activities

5.PRODUCT
-diversify  the  brands  or  models

6.PRICE
-price war with  competitors

7.PROMOTIONS
-stress  favourable  evaluations

8.DISTRIBUTION
-more intensive  distribution
-----------------------------------------------------------
=====================================
D.DECLINE.

1.MARKETING  OBJECTIVE
-arrest  the  market share decline.
-minimize effort/time in  marketing  expenses.

2.SALES
-retain  sales volume.

3.CUSTOMERS
-evaluate  customer complaints.

4.ENVIRONMENT
-search  for  new  opportunities.
5.PRODUCT
-phase out  weak  items
6.PRICE
-cut price or offer other incentives
7.PROMOTIONS
-maintain loyalty
8.DISTRIBUTION
-depend on  middlman         
         
AN  EXAMPLE

Market  Development is the outcome of marketing mix elements
IN  THE  PRODUCT  LIFE  CYCLE.

The  marketing   strategy  is   usually  built  around
the  4Ps
P1=PRODUCT
P2=PRICE
P3=PROMOTIONS
P4=PLACE [ SALES/DISTRIBUTION]
====================================
The  marketing  strategy  must  respond  to  the  nature
of  the  product / market  situation.
The  marketer  would use different weightages for   the  4Ps
as  per  the situations.

FOR  MARKET  DEVELOPMENT

EXAMPLE
IN CASE  OF   A  NEW  PRODUCT, AT  THE  LAUNCH,
TOOTH  PASTE
========================================
EXAMPLE   ONE
MARKET   DEVELOPMENT

AT  THE   INTRODUCTION  STAGE.  

**ORGANISATION CONDITIONS   

-High Costs

-Inefficient Production Levels

-Cash Demands  HIGH
------------------
**ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS   

-Few or No Competitions

-Limited Product Awareness and Knowledge

-Limited Demand
--------------------------
**MARKETING EFFORTS   

-Stimulate Demand

-Establish High Price

-Offer Limited Product Variety

-Increase Distribution
------------------------------
===============================
Market Penetration Strategies.

P1
1.ATTRACTING COMPETITORS' CUSTOMERS.

Sharper product differentiation.

Finding other products' uses.

Increasing promotional effort.
---------------------------------------
P2
2.INCREASING PRESENT CUSTOMERS' RATE OF USAGE.

Increasing the units of sales.

(Special price packages/cross selling products)

Reduction in price.

Price incentive for increased use.
-----------------------------------------------
P3
3.REDUCING NUMBER OF LOST CUSTOMERS.

Improving communication with present customers.

Promotion aiming at existing customers.

Understand reasons for losing customers.
---------------------------------------------------------

P4
4.   CONCENTRATING RESOURCES ON MOST PROFITABLE CUSTOMER SEGMENTS.

Concentrating on distribution channels reaching most profitable segments.

Offering total customer service at higher price.

This is why the balance of the marketing mix is as important as any single element
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