‘Marketing’ has a lot of definitions, but what they boil down to is an approach to business which emphasises the importance of attracting and retaining customers. Key to this is ensuring that any product offered to a customer is designed to meet their needs and is available to the customer where and when it is required. The customer must also be made aware that the product is available and will meet their needs. In marketing terms, a ‘product’ is any item or service that an organisation offers its customers.
The marketing mix describes the combination of all the aspects which need to be considered to market a product successfully. It provides a framework for considering all of the elements and how they can be balanced to best suit the customer and the need for profitability. These elements include product strategy, packaging design, pricing, sales promotion, advertising and distribution. The elements are grouped into what are known – at least in English – as the four Ps – product, price, place and promotion. These four elements are the variables that you can adjust to make your business different from your competitors, and thus more attractive to your target customers.