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Product as a component of the marketing mix

As we have seen in our blog last week, Philip Kotler and E. Jerome McCarthy’s marketing mix (sometimes known as the 4Ps) has developed into one of the most dependable and well-liked frameworks in the field. From its original 4Ps (products, price, place and promotion), the marketing mix has evolved to 12Ps adding to the mix people, process, positioning, presentation or packaging, purpose, principles, performance and personas. Each of these 12Ps will be discussed individually as part of our Marketing series blogs and, this week, we will focus on product.

What is a product?

A product can be defined as what the company makes or provides to their customers, i.e., what the company is selling. It is an item that fulfils the demands or desires of the customer. Products can either be physical or tangible (goods) or intangible or abstract (services, ideas, or experiences).

Products are goods and services that customers require in order to solve their issues and meet their demands. A product either answers a need or fills a gap in the market and provides a special or unique experience that increases demand.

Marketing decisions made about products

The marketing mix's components all interact with one another. The usual marketing decisions made with respect to the product a company wants to sell are:

  • The design features and quality of the product.

  • The product assortment – this refers to the product range, product mix and product lines.

  • Branding, packaging, and labelling.

  • Services (complimentary service, after-sales service, service level).

  • Guarantees, warranties and returns.

  • Managing products through their lifecycle.

Questions you should ask yourself when making the decisions are:

  • What product will our company offer to customers?

  • Will the product be a specific or generic?

  • Does the product fulfil a specific need, fill a gap in the market or provide a unique experience?

  • What would the product accomplish? What benefits will the product provide?

  • Who is our target market, and which target market will benefit the most?

  • What will differentiate the product from that of the competition?

In summary, it is crucial to fully understand a product before promoting it. You need to develop a unique selling proposition (USP), define your target market and find out information about the target audience's preferences, as even the best effort on the other components of the marketing mix will be useless if the product doesn't offer a certain level of performance. You may invest a lot on marketing, but if your goods are subpar to those of your competitors, you will have trouble growing your company.

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