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Marketing mix

Marketers have essentially four variables to use when crafting a marketing strategy and writing a marketing plan. They are price, promotion, product and distribution (also called placement). They are sometimes referred to as the four p's.

A marketing mix is a combining of these four variables in a way that will meet or exceed organizational objectives. A separate marketing mix is usually crafted for each product offering. When constructing the mix, marketers must always be thinking of who their target market are. Mix coherency refers to how well the components of the mix blend together. A strategy of selling expensive luxury products in discount stores has poor coherency between distribution and product offering.

In the long term, all four of the mix variables can be changed, but in the short term it is difficult to modify the product or the distribution channel. Therefore in the short term, marketers are limited to working with only half their tool kit. This limitation underscores the importance of long term strategic planning.

Some commentators have increased the number of p's in the mix to 5, 6 or even 8. "People" is sometimes added, recognizing the importance of the human element in all aspects of marketing. Others include "Partners" as a mix variable because of the growing importance of colaberative channel relationships.

see also: marketing, marketing plan, positioning, marketing management

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