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Marketers need to imply how demand of a new product will respond to different category of marketing-mix before it is launch. The mix is “the particular group of variables offered to the market at a particular point in time. These variables are principally: product, price, promotion and place or distribution.” (Cole2004). In today world, there are four ways in which business can affect their relationship with customers to maximise sales and profitability. What are the four marketing mix and how does Apple iPod use the appropriate marketing-mix strategies to market his products and services?
Marketing is about projecting the right product at the right price in the right place to the right customers. Bringing a product to a market involves balancing several key elements such as the 4p’s of the marketing mix which are: product, price, promotion and place.
This is about targeting the market in which the organisation wants to operate thus making it suitable to the market segment the organisation is trying to market. Those products include goods and services and all features available to offer to its customers. Lazer argued that: “product is the most important aspect of marketing mix for two main reasons. First, for manufacturers, products are the market expression of the company’s productive capabilities and determine its ability to link with consumers. Secondly, it is imperative to realise that the product of any organisation is both a component and a determinant of the marketing mix as it has a great influence on the other elements of the mix: advertising, personal selling, channels of distribution, physical distribution and pricing. So without proper product policy, a company can not pursue for further elements of marketing mix.” (Lazer1971). Indeed, “Successfully introducing new products or services into the market is vital to the long-term growth of a company.” (Kotler and Keller 2006). Marketers need to create marketing programs which will allow chancing of success before a new product launch. Organisation such as Apple, who is now in a growth stage and where customers are aware of its products, is constantly increasing product demand, making huge sales and increasing its profit. Apple’ products include: all year warranty which come along with an optional three-year Apple Care warranty; features to the iPod such as large disk storage capacity, lower weight, thinner device, long battery life, 4G wireless, GPS and improved camera; Same taste as all other Apple products; a special edition version is to be introduced (including the iPod Beatles edition celebrating their 40th anniversary); the cheaper version is to be introduced with less features along with a more advanced version for professional use.
This is an important element of the marketing mix as it is the only one that produces revenue and therefore marketers have to be very careful when pricing their products because it is not easy as it seems to be. Price can be used when introducing new products as well as when it comes nearly to the end of their natural life. “Normally it has been taken as a general law that a low price will attract more customers. It is not a valid argument as customers always link price to value so that a lower price does not obligatory mean expanded sales if the product is not fulfilling the expectation of the customers “(Lazer, 1971). Many factors such as market share, competitors’ prices and costs can affect the price of an item. Apple uses cost base method to set up its prices. They add 65% profit margin to the cost of the product to gain efficient revenue.
This is how products are advertised to the general public, what method they use to communicate. One of the ways that Apple uses to encourage sales is by advertising and promoting their products. Promotion is seen as an integrate Apple message of revolutionary communication and audio-visual campaign together in all media advertisements. Its touch screen functionality differ it from others phone thus it is original but pleasant advertisement at the same time. Indeed, Apple makes sure that a huge TV campaign is set up before launching the iPod. Advertising will be keep regularly to maintain public awareness. However, one of the biggest marketing mistakes of Apple was when he reduces the iPod retail price by -33% rebates ($599 to $399) in 2007 just 3 months after the first product launch which left loyal customers feel betrayed and exploited also and 66% less than the launch price of just one year earlier it is now sold at $199.
The place is the channel in which marketers reaches his customers. This is about where the product is distributed although, it is crucial for marketers to “get the right amount of product to the right place at the right time” (Capon 2004). Like every organisation, Apple has multiple channels of selling his products and services to consumers between them are: all reputable major retailers worldwide with huge launch; huge online’ launch, showrooms and also every cell providers. They also use their own Apple stores and website which will devote them to the iPhone that will also be display on Apple stores before it become release worldwide.
IPod has been very successful over the past years. Over 250 million of iPod have been sold around the world until 2009. This was partly due to its product’s features (high-tech) and also to its massive promotion and advertisement method on the market.
A spectacular increase value of share was noticed from the period of March 2003 to July 2008 by 2500% ($7 to $180). Indeed, iPod have captured the world without any doubt even though its first three years on the market place have not been so successful. Today, iPod sales exceed 20 million units per quarter and those amounts do not even cover its product research and development costs. To sum up, iPod has achieved an incredible mix of its 4P’s strategy and is well placed to face the future. The iPod is source of the fortune of Apple, and it is the key success of the company growth.
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