4P’s of marketing mix – Critical Review – Journal Article

4 ps of marketing mix

A critical review of journal article – 4P’s of the marketing mix

In the present article, the researcher identified the importance of the 4P’s of the marketing mix in the present marketing management paradigm. Along with this, the researcher identified various factors that affect the future of marketing mixes such as changes in the environment, changing trends and tastes of customers, and market developments. In this article, the 4P’s in five traditional marketing areas such as Services, Marketing, Consumer Marketing, Retail Marketing, Industrial Marketing, Relationship Marketing, and e-Marketing is reviewed critically. The researcher identified two limitations of the marketing mix: internal orientation and lack of personalization which are common in all marketing areas as well as various area-specific limitations.

The main objective of this research is to identify the importance of the 4P’s of the marketing mix in the marketing management concept. In this article, different views and opinions of different authors and implications for future research were discussed.

Hire a Professional Essay & Assignment Writer for completing your Academic Assessments

Flexible Rates Compatible With Everyone’s Budget

Theoretical framework

For the last four decades, the development of commercial landscapes and changes in consumer and organisational attitudes encouraged marketing researchers to investigate new views and approaches that help solve marketing problems and increase marketing scope. In this context, various significant evolutions have occurred in different decades in the ’70s, the concept of marketing was broadened, in the ’80s, exchange transaction was introduced, in the ’90s, total quality management, and relationship marketing were developed and in the 21st century, information and communication technologies have emerged. On the other hand, the taste and preferences of consumers also changed during this long period. Along with this, the international market has changed into the form of a global, customized, personalized and segmented market. This market has faced various major issues such as innovation; relationship building, customization, and networking.

The development of the 4Ps marketing mix framework is the subject of controversy and scientific debate. It is anticipated that academic discussion will generate new concepts and methodologies of marketing. The philosophy of marketing mix and the fundamentals of the management school of marketing have opposing views. The management school has given views that are similar to the marketing concept and the market orientation principles. These views focus on customer needs and want that should be used in marketing activities. At the same time, Kotler (2003) has given the model that has four controllable factors included with the market input.
The debate in this article focused on various issues such as changing the behaviour of customers and organizations, increasing the use of technology in marketing, and enhancing the complexity of the environment. There is increasing stress on marketers to understand and fulfil the changing needs of customers and organizations and develop long-term relationships with clients. In this article, five traditional marketing areas are critically discussed with the importance and relevance of 4P’s of the marketing mix.

Buy high-quality essays & assignment writing as per particular university, high school or college by UK, USA & Australian Writers

Marketing mix and consumer marketing

From the last decades of the 20th century, technological advancement, demographic, social, cultural, and economic factors influence the nature, behaviour, and needs of customers. The new customer is neither reactive to marketing tools nor responsive towards brands. But his/her behaviour is influenced by the family members and other types of reference groups. Along with this, more researchers stated that modern customer is more demanding, independent, individualistic and more critical to understand. The main reason behind the changes in consumer behaviour is the increasing power of consumers because of information technology, the internet, and communication technology that makes easy access for online businesses and markets.
So, these developments encouraged marketers to use marketing activities that are helpful to direct communication and interact with customers. This direct communication is helpful for marketers to identify the changing needs of customers, give responses to their queries and problems quickly and forecast trends of the market early as compared to competitors (Lewis and Bridger, 2000). At the same time, several researchers argued that the 4P’s of the marketing mix is not suitable for the consumer marketing management due to several reasons such as lack of interaction with customers, lack of strategies and internal orientation. Doyle (1994) and Yudelson (1999) argued that the marketing mix avoids the changing nature of consumers who require great worth and high control of transactions and communication. Vignali and Davies (1994) argued that the lack of the element of strategies is a big issue in this framework that makes it irrelevant in the strategic planning for the external environment.
Various authors proposed other frameworks while some authors want to accept the modified versions of 4Ps. For example, Kotler (2003), proposed that the marketing mix should include environmental variables, customers, competitive variables and two more Ps in traditional 4Ps such as political power and public opinion formulation. Doyle (1994) wanted to add two more factors in the 4P’s of marketing mixes such as services and staff. Yudelson (1999) proposed 4 new Ps that are based on exchange activities: product (performance), promotion (perceptions), price (penalty) and place (process).

In the period the 60s and ’70s, marketers had the main aim to increase the volume of sales with the help of intermediaries and traditional marketing tools. But the changes have occurred in marketing that shifts marketing from transaction-oriented to relations-building. Marketers need to offer personalization and lifelong customer value as well as develop relationships with existing or new customers. For the relationship development, there are various drivers behind this such as saturation of the market, financial crises, and tough global competition and changing consumer behaviour (Wang, Head, and Archer, 2000). At the same time, few researchers argued that relationship marketing needs a different approach for customers. It is identified in research that advertising and other promotional tools are important in marketing to retain the customers but developing a long-term relationship with the customers is the main aim of marketing for most companies.
At the same time, it is argued that the traditional 4Ps marketing mix framework is not helpful for relationship marketing due to some reasons such as product orientation, one-way communication and no interactivity. All authors proposed new conceptual frameworks that focus on communication, personalization, and interaction. For example, Patterson and Ward (2000), proposed 4 information-intensive strategies with new C’s of marketing including customization, communication, collaboration, and Clairvoyance. Lauterborm (1990) proposed 4Cs replacing of 4Ps that indicate the customer orientation such as customer needs, cost, convenience, and communication.

Marketing mix and service marketing

During the period of 70s, various researchers focus on the unique features of services, various methodologies and marketing conceptual frameworks for service marketing. The service marketing area is acquired an important position among other marketing areas due to some reasons: services are the leading producer of money in the economy and the primary resource of revenue in the corporate sector and services are an important part of the physical product because of product differentiation and competitive advantages. Beckwith (2001) argued that in the present world, the marketing of services needs to pay attention to customer satisfaction by using a new marketing framework and refusing traditional marketing mixes.
Most of the authors agreed on the unique features of services that must be highlighted in service marketing. The human element is important in service marketing because the personnel are an important element for customer influence and a major factor that affect the perception of customers regarding the quality of delivered services. Along with this, direct interaction with customers and good quality of services are the main factors that are missing in 4P’s framework. Additionally, some important elements such as direct communication and developing relationships with customers are not included in the 4Ps of the marketing mix. So, most researchers proposed new elements for the traditional marketing mix or other alternative mixes with different approaches. For example, Beckwith (2001) proposed four keys of service marketing such as price, brand, packaging, and relationships.

Stuck with a lot of homework assignments and feeling stressed ? Take professional academic assistance & Get 100% Plagiarism free papers

Marketing mix and retail marketing

For twenty years, it was considered by most consumer products manufacturers that direct communication with the end customer is the main goal of marketing and business. So, they organized mass marketing campaigns to increase awareness about the product, brand recognition in the minds of customers and share their values and ideas with customers. At that time, in the marketing process, retailers and other intermediaries were measured as secondary actors for stocking and re-selling of products. But globalization and private branding have changed the retailing sector. Through the power of supply chain power, retailers gain more control in the marketing process. So, marketers and business organizations put pressure on them to use some professional and advanced commercial techniques that help to develop good market positions and gain a competitive advantage over the competitors.
In the retail marketing theory, elements of both service marketing and relationship marketing are included. At the same time, it is argued that the 4P’s of service and relationship marketing can be extended to retail marketing. Along with this, retail marketing involves some additional features such as shopping experience, physical evidence, atmosphere and personalized contacts. The researchers argued that the 4Ps of marketing are not adequate for developing marketing and promotional activities in retail marketing. So, the authors suggest replacing the marketing mix with new frameworks or adding new aspects such as employees, the format of the retail market and presentation.

Marketing mix and industrial marketing

Industrial and business-to-business marketing is an independent marketing sub-discipline. In this context, some researchers agreed with the same concept of industrial marketing and consumer marketing but various researchers argued that industrial marketing is completely different from consumer marketing due to some factors such as buying behaviour of customers, decision-making process, differences in choices and special demands of the industrial customer (Melewar and Saunders, 2000). At the same time, it is argued that industrial marketing focuses on a personalized and collaborative approach that is different from the traditional marketing mix which focuses on mass-oriented, impersonal and acquisition-oriented approaches. Along with this, the relationship of buyers-sellers in industrial marketing faces two more issues lack of strategic elements and operational orientation. So, various authors proposed new elements and alternatives for the marketing mix.

Marketing mix and e-marketing

With the increasing use of the internet emerged a new platform for business and commercial activities that are known as e-commerce. At the same time, it includes various challenges such as new methods of communication and interaction, more customer empowerment, business operation at a global level, greater transparency in marketing and business activities and hard to maintain a competitive advantage for the firms (McKenna, 2003). In the 90s, the number of online users and internet firms increased which are inspirations for other online projects. At the same time, researchers argued that the traditional marketing mix is not suitable and relevant for e-marketing. Other authors argued that minor changes in 4P’s framework make it suitable for the internet environment. But there are some limitations of the marketing mix such as lack of strategic components, lack of interactivity, personalization, lack of community building and internal orientation that are not suitable for e-marketing.
Summary: In this article, most of the researchers and authors argued the relevance of the 4P’s of the marketing mix in different areas and they proposed alternative approaches, new elements to mix and replacing elements. Along with this, some weaknesses are identified such as lack of human element, interactivity & strategic components and offensive posture. But the two limitations are common in all areas: lack of personalization and internal orientation.

Beckwith, H. 2001. The Invisible Touch – the Four Keys of Modern Marketing. UK: Texere Publishing.
Doyle, P. 1994. Marketing Management and Strategy. USA: Prentice-Hall.
Kotler, P. 2003. Marketing Management, 11th Edition. USA: Prentice-Hall International Editions.
Lauterborn, B. 1990. New marketing litany: four Ps passe: C-words take over. Advertising Age, 61 (41), p. 26.
Lewis, D. and Bridger, D. 2000. The soul of the new consumer: authenticity – what we buy and why in the new economy. London: Brealey.
McKenna, R. 2003. Total Access: Giving Customers What They Want in an Anytime, Anywhere World. UK: Harvard Business School Press.
Melewar, T.C. and Saunders, J. 2000. Global Corporate Visual Identity Systems: Using an Extended Marketing Mix, European Journal of Marketing, 34(5/6), p. 538-550.
Patterson, G.P. and Ward, T. 2000. Relationship Marketing and Management Handbook services Marketing and Management. USA: Sage Publications Inc. p 416.
Vignelli, C. and Davies, B.J. 1994. The Marketing Mix Redefined and Mapped, Introducing the MIXMAP model. Management Decision,32(8), p 11-16.
Wang, F., Head, M. and Archer, N. 2000. A relationship-building model for the Web retail marketplace. Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, 10(5), p. 374 384.
Yudelson, J. 1999. Adapting McCarthy’s Four P’s for the Twenty-first Century. Journal of Marketing Education, 21(1), p. 60.