One of the traditionally used marketing tools by the firms to achieve its marketing objectives is the “Marketing Mix.” For growth and survival of an organization the marketing mix plays a vital role. A proper and carefully evaluated mix of these elements enables the marketer in achieving a consensus between the expectations of the target customers and the organizational objectives.
Elements of Marketing Mix
The 4Ps known as the marketing mix elements are the product, place, price, and promotion. Product is something that can be presented to a marketplace for awareness, acquirement, consumption, or use that may satisfy a need or want. It consists of ideas, persons, services, physical objects, and organizations. It relates to the entirety of “goods and services” that the target market is offered by a company (Kotler & Armstrong, 2011).
The most important choices to be decided by the marketer with regard to the element of the product are:
• Product satisfaction for customer wants and needs
• Product features to satisfy those wants and needs
• Product use by customer way of using and place
• Product appearance
• Product experience from customer use
• Product name
• Product branding
• Differentiation from competitors
Place relates to the gathering of actions or the way through which services and goods get to the customer or user. Through the provider from the manufacturer, it is generally called the “Intermediary” or the “Distribution channel.” It includes the logistics, transportation, inventory, locations, assortments, coverage, and channels.
The price element comprises key choices that have a bigger impact on the achievement of the marketing program. The marketer has to come to a decision on:
• Where the customer has to look for the product – this helps in deciding the place to sell – online or offline. If offline, what kind of store will they look in – a specialist store, a supermarket or any other?
• The type of distribution channels to be used. The channel can be direct channel – the firm itself taking the product direct to the customer through their sales force or indirect channel – taking the product to the customers through intermediaries.
• The type of intermediaries – wholesalers, retailers, agents, distributors
• The intermediary channels to be used – avoiding conflict between the companies involved in the channels
• How to differentiate from the competitors? (Kotler & Armstrong, 2011).
If the product is made available at more number of places, it becomes easier for the consumers to buy it and hence it is better for the business. Price refers to the total cost for a service or product, or the total value that customer’s trade for the advantages of using or having the service or product. Price is what the product cost the consumers (Kotler & Armstrong, 2011).
The considerations that the marketer has to make while deciding upon the price factor are:
• The value that the buyer will get upon buying the product or service • Knowledge about the price points for the specific product that exists in the market • The sensitivity of the price to the customer – the result of the decline in value on the profit margin and market share. • The price reduction offered to customers, retailers, and wholesalers • Competitors price comparison
Promotion refers to the actions that correspond to the qualities of the product and influence buying to target consumers (Kotler & Armstrong, 2011). The communications takes the form of advertising, public relations, point of sale, and word of mouth. The main concern with the element of the promotion is: • The communication to the target market of the marketing messages • The selection of the element promotion – as an ad on radio or TV, direct marketing • The timetable of primary promotion and the succeeding promotions. • The selection of promotional elements of the competition and its effect on the selection of promotion. Marketing Mix of KFC
Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation (KFC Corporation) is a highly popular and leading chicken restaurant chain in the world. KFC Corporation is based in Louisville, Kentucky, with more than 36,000 restaurant locations around the world. Product of KFC
The chief KFC product is their fried chicken that has a diverse assortment of snacks and flavors, sides, sandwiches, and plated meals. Along with this they provide variety of salads and desserts. KFC specialize in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy®, Kentucky Grilled Chicken™ and Original Recipe Strips with home-style sides, Honey BBQ Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. The product of KFC is widely famous and unique among consumers for its Original Recipe® fried chicken that was prepared with its special and top secret blend of 11 herbs and spices in the same way as prepared by Colonel Harland Sanders who founded KFC. The products of KFC are customized to suit the tastes of the people in the nation in which it is operating. There are over 300 products of KFC all over the world ranging from the salmon sandwich in Japan made from the commonly available salmon fish to the Kentucky Grilled Chicken in the United States. Place Element of KFC
The channel of distribution of KFC is a single level distribution system wherein KFC distributes its products to the customers directly without any intermediaries. Upon targeting the urban, youth population and the family sector, the outlets of KFC are conveniently placed in malls, and near colleges, shops, theaters, thereby enabling increased footfall to the outlets. In some selected countries, KFC offers free home delivery to offices and homes. Price of KFC Products
The most common pricing strategy followed by KFC in most of its operating markets is the skimming strategy. The products of KFC are priced high initially and are upper middle-class population targeted. The prices are gradually reduced to attract the middle income group. This strategy helps them in achieving better coverage of the market. Promotion at KFC
Of the various tools of promotions, KFC widely uses the advertising and sales promotions to promote its products. The advertisement of KFC featuring its tagline “finger licking good” is most inducing and is frequently broadcasted on television, radios, flyers, and billboards. The advertisement shows how a person gets lost in the taste of the KFC chicken and induces the viewer to taste one. The recurring broadcast of the advertisement not only attracts a new customer but also acts as a reminder call of the previous experience of KFC, thereby increasing the repeat purchase. Also the logo of KFC – the smiling face of colonel is one of the world’s most recognized logo in the world and has an immediate reminding effect in the consumer. They also promote their brand and position themselves as a responsible firm through various programs in the field of education, diversity and animal welfare. It also uses various sales promotion tools like coupons, discounts and gift certificates. The customers are presented with assorted types of incentives from several KFC stores. Specials like complimentary meals and free additions are given to the consumers through coupons. They also provide customers meal vouchers and coupons in the print advertisements, which the customer can redeem at any of the KFC outlet. Conclusion
Thus careful selection of the 4Ps is one of the main factors that contributed to the success of KFC and the Marketing Mix.
Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2011). Marketing: An introduction (10th ed.). Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
KFC (2011). History. http://www.kfc.com/about/history.asp