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Marketing mix - Essay Example

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Marketing mix

All these suggest that the concept of marketing mix has evolved over time as the 4Ps were initially based on the production and supply context of the 1950s (Kent and Brown 2006). The model now encompasses aspects of sociology and cognitive psychology (Hakansson and Waluszewski 2005 cited in Kent and Brown 2006). Without marketing mix capability other concepts such as customer orientation, competitor orientation and inter-functional coordination would not be able to contribute to better firm performance, suggests Shin (2012) thereby highlighting the significance of MM concept in the field of marketing. However, scholars do not agree on the ingredients of the marketing mix. Some authors such as Borden (1964), Frey (1956), and Staudt and Taylor (1965) consider the elements as procedures, policies and processes, while others look at these elements as tools, parameters or instruments (cited by Waterschoot and Bulte 1992). This concept has been criticized as it lacks any specific explanation of characteristics, thereby suggesting that the concept has a major flaw. The elements of marketing mix do not lead to any theory development. Gronroos (1989) postulates that the marketing mix artificially limits the scope of marketing management as the concept suggests that marketing decisions can be taken based on the 4 Ps (cited by Bitner 1991). Since many authors are critical of this concept, the marketing mix will be evaluated based on the typology of critique in marketing designed by Hackley (2009). This typology has four overlapping categories – functional, intellectual, ethical and political critique. Functional critique The functional critique would simply question whether the marketing mix concept works. Even though it is considered an important tool, there is no consensus over the eligibility and agreement of the practical application of the 4Ps of the MM variables (Kent and Brown 2006). The MM concept suggests that the buyers are a homogeneous group of people with common buying behaviour (Bennett, 1997). Resources and capabilities of the organization are organized in a way to satisfy customer needs but Bennett debates whether the customer accepts product benefits and attributes in the same way as the company claims. The customers are not concerned with the elements of the marketing mix and only seek satisfaction from the products and services. The purpose of MM is to improve sustainability performance across economic, ecological and societal indicators (Pomering, Noble and Johnson 2011). Consumers expect firms to be more socially and environmentally responsible and report that they would prefer to purchase from such organizations. However, there is an attitude-behaviour gap in actual consumer purchase, thereby implying that firms that tend to focus on the MM variables do not achieve the intended objectives. Sustainability through MM elements may appear discordant and hollow unless sustainability is addressed at the vision and mission level or at the corporate strategy level. The MM concept focuses on the tactical and managerial aspects of marketing and does not take into account the social, organizational, competitive and economic issues (Bitner 1991). The MM has been criticized for its short-term focus on sales and transactions while undermining the long-term relational thinking and brand equity (Rafiq and Ahmed, 1995 cited in Gordon, 2012). The concept has also been criticized f ...Show more


The concept of marketing mix (MM) introduced by Neil Borden in 1953 referred to the mixture of elements useful in pursuing a certain market response (Waterschoot and Bulte 1992). The elements or the 4Ps were subsequently added by McCarthy and since then MM is considered an important tool for marketing managers…
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