All marketing decisions ultimately reflect analysis regarding the four As of marketing, which are otherwise known as the marketing mix. The four As of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. These factors are widely used by marketing managers to implement marketing decisions. Many in the field of business have questioned whether the four As have outlived their use and there is now need for an alternative. It has become clear that the marketing mix has become obsolete, so why do businesses continue to use it?
The marketing mix, as stated before, are product, price, place, and promotion. The Net MBA Business knowledge center states that: “the four As are the parameters that the marketing manager can control, subject to the internal and external constraints of the marketing environment (Net MBA). “Examples of product decisions involve brand names and quality issues. Some pricing decisions include determining the appropriate pricing strategy and bundling items together to protect inventory waster.
Examples of place, which is also known as distribution, involve marketing coverage and order processing. Some examples of promotion include advertising and decisions involving personal selling. Since the marketing mix is simple in its construction, it remains the most common template for marketing decision making. The idea for the term marketing mix precedes the development of the four As by nearly ten years. According to the Wisped description of marketing mix, “The term ‘marketing mix’ was coined in 1953 by Neil Borden in his American Marketing Association presidential address.
However, this was actually the reformation of an earlier idea by his associate, James Scullion, who in 1948 described the role of the marketing manager as a ‘mixer of ingredients… (Wisped, Marketing Mix). The concept of the four As became associated with the marketing mix in 1960 when “a prominent marketer, E. Jerome McCarthy, proposed a Four P classification… Which has seen wide use. The Four As concept is explained in most marketing textbooks and classes (Wisped, Marketing Mix).
Despite the wide use of the marketing mix, there is one major limitation that causes many to question its effectiveness. The Net MBA article describing the marketing mix states: “the marketing mix framework was particularly useful in the early days of the marketing concept when physical products represented a larger portion of the economy (Net MBA). ” The problem these days is simple: there is a large abundance of intangible items and services present in today’s market that renders use of the marketing mix to be impractical.
The Wisped page for marketing states: “many companies today have a customer focus… This implies that the company focuses its activities and products on consumer demands (Wisped, Marketing). ” Recently, marketers have proposed an alternative to the four As that focuses more on customer orientation. The concept replaces the four As with solution, value, access and information with an acronym of SIVA. This model replaces: product with solution; price with value; place with access; and promotion of information.
SIVA is a much more versatile concept than the four As as the first portion “solution” can be applied to any product, service, 4 As marketing By register the grocery store shelf they do not view the items as products, they view them as solutions to their current problem that will help them bridge their current state with their desired state. The rest of the model follows a similar consumer focused model. It can be argued that a business that views the product, service, or idea that they are racketing as a solution rather than a product then they will be much more successful.
Wisped states: “if any of the ups had a problem or were not there in the marketing factor of the business, the business could be in trouble… (Wisped, Marketing). ” A business marketing a creative writing therapy service could start to determine their product strategies and find conceptual problems since that business is not marketing any sort of product they are instead marketing an intangible service. A weakness in the company’s product strategies would create a gaping hole in their equines concept leading to an eventual collapse. Another alternative to the four As has been proposed for the use of marketing.
This model keeps the original product, price, place, promotion and adds three additional Up’s making this model known as the Seven As or the Service Marketing Mix. The three additional As are people, process, and physical evidence. The concept of people is explained by the Learn Marketing Website as “an essential ingredient to any service provision is the use of appropriate staff and people… If the organization wants to obtain a form of competitive advantage laryngitis’s. Net, service marketing mix). “The next concept, process is explained as “… He systems used to assist the organization in delivering the service (laryngitis’s. Net). “The final concept of physical evidence is self explanatory regarding a service: physical evidence is the tangible outcome that comes as the result of a service. An example of this is leaving the barber with a new haircut. The haircut is the tangible evidence of the service that the barber provided. If there are well developed alternatives to the marketing mix, than why does the four P marketing ix remain the most widely used model by marketing managers in spite of its lack of reference to services?
The four P marketing mix is simple to design and simple to implement leading managers to take the path of least resistance rather than finding the model that best meets their needs. The Net MBA article pertaining to the marketing mix reiterates this point by stating: “… The marketing mix most commonly remains based on the 4 As. Despite its limitations and perhaps because of its simplicity, the use of this framework remains strong and many marketing textbooks eve been organized around it (Net MBA, Marketing Mix). For now, it seems that the four As are here to stay.