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Managing the Market Mix

Every marketing program contains four key components:

  • Products
  • Promotion
  • Place
  • Pricing

These are combined into an overall marketing program:

Products and Services: Product strategies may include concentrating on a narrow product line, developing a highly specialized product or service,  or providing a product-service package containing unusually high-quality service.


Promotion:  Promotion strategies include advertising and direct customer interaction. Good salesmanship is essential for small businesses because of their limited ability to spend on advertising. Good telephone book advertising is also important. Direct mail is an effective, low-cost medium available to small business.


Price: The right price is crucial for maximizing total revenue. Generally, higher prices mean lower volume and vice-versa; however, small businesses can often command higher prices because of their personalized service.


Place: The manufacturer and wholesaler must decide how to distribute their products. Working through established distributors or manufacturers’ agents generally is easiest for small manufacturers.  Small retailers should consider cost and traffic flow in site selection,  especially since advertising and rent can be reciprocal: A low-cost, low-traffic location means spending more on advertising to build traffic.  The nature of the product or service is also important in making decisions.  If purchases are based largely on impulse, then high traffic and visibility are critical. On the other hand, location is less a concern for products or services that customers are willing to go out of their way to find.  The recent availability of highly segmented mailing lists,  purchased from list brokers,  magazines, or other companies,  has enabled certain small businesses to operate from any location yet serve national or international markets.


The marketing mix principles (also known as the 4 P’s.) are used by business as tools to assist them in pursuing their objectives. The marketing mix principles are controllable variables, which have to be carefully managed and must meet the needs of the defined target group.


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