The marketing mix
The marketing mix is the mix of controllable marketing variables that the firm uses to pursue the desired level of sales in the target market. The marketing mix elements of price, product, promotion, and place (or distribution) are the basic, tactical components of a marketing plan.
When preparing a meal or dish, most cooks tend to use a recipe. This lists all the ingredients and quantities required to produce a successful and tasty dish. These ingredients are mixed to produce the final product. As all amateur cooks know, changing any of the ingredients or their quantities may produce a very different looking and/or tasting dish! This analogy applies well to the 'ingredients' of the marketing mix.
The term "marketing mix" was first used in 1953 when Neil Borden, in his American Marketing Association presidential address, took the recipe idea one step further and coined the term "marketing mix". The prominent marketer, E. Jerome McCarthy, proposed a 4 P classification in 1960. The four Ps concept is featured in almost all marketing textbooks and classes.
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We examined these additional Ps in an earlier section when we compared the marketing of goods and services.
We go on to look at all these Ps in more detail in subsequent sections.
A word of warning: Examiners seldom ask questions that want just a simple list of the famous four; it's more how you relate them to the specific product or market featured in the question, so read on!