Marketing function: the elements of marketing mix


Marketing function is often affected by economic and cultural factors. The four elements of the marketing mix are specifically influenced by cultural traditions and economic conditions. Therefore, it is important for companies to examine these factors in order to compete in foreign markets.


Product as a marketing mix element refers to the factors of an item that satisfy consumer needs and demand. Product may be tangible or intangible, good or service. One of the economic factors that affect the product element of the marketing mix is product life cycle (Nellist & TV Choice Productions, 2004). All products go through a life-cycle that includes growth phase, maturity phase and decline phase. Marketers should consider the length of the life-cycle and economic challenges of each phase of the life cycle. Another economic factor is the product mix. A company should expand its product mix in order in order to meet various customer needs and exploit the required resources to produce the product mix. Cultural factors affecting the product include attitudes and perceptions of customers. Marketers should determine the cultural attitude of perceptions of the product before launching it.


This refers to the amount paid by the customer for a given product. One economic factor to be considered in determining the price of a product is profitability. Some companies set prices that will be able to provide them with enough profits. Another economic factor that affects price is cost. Some companies set prices to cover the costs of producing the good/service. Lastly, competition is an economic factor affecting price. Firms consider the prices of competitors before setting their own prices. One of the cultural factors that affect price is religion. Some religions such as Islam do not charge interests on services such as loans. Another cultural factor is consumer interest. If customers from a given community have good interest in given products due to cultural traditions, the prices of the product will be increased because the product price is likely to be inelastic.


This refers mechanisms of creating awareness of a product including advertising. One of the economic factors affecting promotion is availability of resources. In order to develop a good advertising strategy, it is important for a company to have financial and physical resources. Another economic factor affecting promotion is competition. Increased completion leads to intense promotional activities. One of the cultural factors that affect promotion is the cultural attitude of potential and existing customers. Promotion involves communication, so companies should choose channels of communication that are in line with cultural demands and attitudes of existing and potential customers. For instance, some customers prefer word of mouth to written communication mechanisms during promotion.


One economic factor affecting distribution is cost. A company chooses a distribution channel that is less costly. Another economic factor is competition. A company should also choose a distribution channel that makes it unique from other competitors. The cultural factor that affects distribution is company and community beliefs and perceptions. If the community believes in specific brands, franchising will be an important distribution channel.


From this discussion, it is clear that product element of the marketing is the most challenging to manage when competing in foreign markets. This is because the product is designed in consideration to many factors that are difficult to meet. For instance, it is difficult to determine the best qualities that meet consumer needs while at the same time utilizing the least cost in order to attract good prices.

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