“Marketing  Mix is a set of controllable variables and their levels that the firm uses to influence the target market”.

Thus, according to this definition any variable under the control of the firm that can influence the customer demand is a marketing mix variable.

Importance/ Utility Of Marketing Mix 

Attracting customers-to face competition & to promote its company’s sales it needs to attract customers by providing the best mix.

Better use of resources- Marketing Mix promotes better utilization of limited resources as it helps the marketing manager to understand his customer and invest in the areas in which the customer is interested.

Precision- Marketing Mix provides precision (accuracy) to the study of marketing.

Balanced Approach- Marketing Mix helps in reminding the marketing manager that on one hand, he should be careful to consider the market forces and on the other hand think of a total marketing program instead of relying on any one aspect.

Collectively Effective- The components of marketing mix are individually important but their significance lies in the mix or blend so as to make them collectively effective in the dynamic marketing environment.

Applicable to business as well as non-business organization- Marketing Mix is applicable to business as well as non-business organisation, such as clubs, colleges, associations, etc.

The marketers delivers value to the customer basically  through  his  market offer. He takes care to see that the offer fulfils the needs of the customer.

He also ensures that the customer perceives the terms and conditions of the offer as more attractive vis-à-vis other competing offers.

Marketing Mix is the set  of  marketing tools that the firm uses to pursue  its marketing objectives in the target market. It is the sole vehicle for creating and delivering customer value.

It was James Culliton, a noted marketing expert, who coined the expression marketing mix and described the marketing manager as a  mixer of ingredients.

To quote him, “The marketing man is a decider and an artist – a mixer of ingredients, who sometimes follow a recipe  developed by others and sometimes prepares his own recipe.

And, sometimes he adapts his recipe to the ingredients that are  readily  available and sometimes invents some new ingredients, or, experiments with ingredients as no one else has tried before’.

The dynamics of the marketing process and the versatility of the marketing process and the versatility of the marketing mix tool cannot be described any better.

Subsequently Niel H. Borden, another noted marketing expert,  popularized the concept of marketing mix.

It was Jerome McCarthy, the well known American Professor of marketing, who first described the marketing mix in terms of the four Ps.

Components of Marketing Mix's

The classified the marketing mix variables under four heads, each beginning with the alphabet ‘p’.

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Place (referring to distribution)
  4. Promotion

McCarthy has provided an easy to remember  description  of  the  marketing mix variables. Over the years, the terms-Marketing mix  and four Ps of marketing-have come to be used synonymously.

1. Product:

The most basic marketing mix tool is product, which stands for the firm’s tangible offer to the market including the product quality, design, variety features, branding, packaging, services, warranties

2. Price:

A critical marketing mix tool is price, namely, the amount of money that customers have to pay for the product.

It includes deciding on wholesale and retail prices, discounts, allowances, and credit terms. Price should be commensurate with the perceived value of the offer, or else buyer will turn to competitors in choosing their

3. Place:

This marketing mix tool refers to distribution. It stands for various activities the company undertakes to make the product easily available and accessible to target customers.

It includes deciding on identify, recruit, and link various middlemen and marketing facilitators so that products are  efficiently  supplied  to the target market.

4. Promotion:

The fourth marketing mix tool, stands for the various activities the company undertakes to communicate its products’ merits and to persuade target customers to buy them.

It includes deciding on hire, train, and motivate salespeople to promote its products to middlemen  and other buyers.

It also includes setting  up communication and promotion programs consisting of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and public relations.

Marketing mix or 4 Ps of marketing is the combination of a product, its price, distribution and promotion. It must be designed by marketers in such  a manner that these four elements together must satisfy the needs    of the organisation’s target market, and at the same time, achieve its marketing objectives.