Marketing refers to the process an organization undertakes to engage its target audience, build strong relationships to create value in order to capture value in return. It is one of the primary components of business management and commerce. Marketers can direct their product to other businesses (B2B marketing) or directly to consumers (B2C marketing). Regardless of who is being marketed to, several factors apply, including the perspective the marketers will
use. Known as market orientations, they determine how marketers will approach the planning stage of marketing. The marketing mix, which outlines the specifics of the product and how it will be sold, affected by the environment surrounding the product, the results of marketing research and market research, and the characteristics of the product’s target market. Once these factors are determined, marketers must then decide what methods will be used to promote the product, including use of coupons and other price inducements. The term marketing, what is commonly known as attracting customers, incorporates knowledge gained by studying the management of exchange relationships and is the business process of identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers’ needs and wants.
B2B (business-to-business) marketing refers to any marketing strategy or content that is geared towards a business or organization. Any company that sells products or services to other businesses or organizations (vs. consumers) typically uses B2B marketing strategies.
Examples of products sold through B2B marketing include:
- Major equipment
- Accessory equipment
- Raw materials
- Component parts
- Processed materials
- Business services
The four major categories of B2B product purchasers are:
- Producers- use products sold by B2B marketing to make their own goods (e.g.: Mattel buying plastics to make toys)
- Resellers- buy B2B products to sell through retail or wholesale establishments (e.g.: Walmart buying vacuums to sell in stores)
- Governments- buy B2B products for use in government projects (e.g.: purchasing contractor services to repair infrastructure)
- Institutions- use B2B products to continue operation (e.g.: schools buying printers for office use)
Business-to-consumer marketing, or B2C marketing, refers to the tactics and strategies in which a company promotes its products and services to individual people.
Traditionally, this could refer to individuals shopping for personal products in a broad sense. More recently the term B2C refers to the online selling of consumer products.
Consumer-to-business marketing or C2B marketing is a business model where the end consumers create products and services which are consumed by businesses and organizations. It is diametrically opposed to the popular concept of B2C or Business- to- Consumer where the companies make goods and services available to the end consumers.
Customer to customer marketing or C2C marketing represents a market environment where one customer purchases goods from another customer using a third-party business or platform to facilitate the transaction. C2C companies are a new type of model that has emerged with e-commerce technology and the sharing economy.
One of the limitations of the 4Ps approach is its emphasis on an inside-out view. An inside-out approach is the traditional planning approach where the organization identifies its desired goals and objectives, which are often based around what has always been done. Marketing’s task then becomes one of “selling” the organization’s products and messages to the “outside” or external stakeholders. In contrast, an outside-in approach first seeks to understand the needs and wants of the consumer.
From a model-building perspective, the 4 Ps has attracted a number of criticisms. Well-designed models should exhibit clearly defined categories that are mutually exclusive, with no overlap. Yet, the 4 Ps model has extensive overlapping problems. Several authors stress the hybrid nature of the fourth P, mentioning the presence of two important dimensions, “communication” (general and informative communications such as public relations and corporate communications) and “promotion” (persuasive communications such as advertising and direct selling). Certain marketing activities, such as personal selling, may be classified as either promotion or as part of the place (i.e., distribution) element. Some pricing tactics, such as promotional pricing, can be classified as price variables or promotional variables and, therefore, also exhibit some overlap.
Other important criticisms include that the marketing mix lacks a strategic framework and is, therefore, unfit to be a planning instrument, particularly when uncontrollable, external elements are an important aspect of the marketing environment.
Modifications and extensions
To overcome the deficiencies of the 4P model, some authors have suggested extensions or modifications to the original model. Extensions of the four P’s are often included in cases such as services marketing where unique characteristics (i.e. intangibility, perishability, heterogeneity and the inseparability of production and consumption) warrant additional consideration factors. Other extensions have been found necessary for retail marketing, industrial marketing, and internet marketing
include “people”, “process”, and “physical evidence” and are often applied in the case of services marketing. Other extensions have been found necessary in retail marketing, industrial marketing and internet marketing.
- Physical- the environment customers are in when they are marketed to
- People- service personnel and other customers with whom customers interact with. These people form part of the overall service experience.
- Process- the way in which orders are handled, customers are satisfied and the service is delivered
- Physical Evidence- the tangible examples of marketing that the customer has encountered before buying the advertised product
- Productivity- the ability to provide consumers with quality product using as few resources as possible