Marketing is when a business enterprise engages in promoting its products and services, with a goal of selling them (and increasing sales as well). Marketing involves advertising and promotional activities such as in-store demonstrations of products – for example a food manufacturer being allowed to give samples of its new product out from a small in-store kiosk or stand inside a supermarket.
The Four P’s of marketing are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. First, a company has to have a product or service that it believes people want. Next, it has to determine the right price for that product. The price has to be fair enough so that customers will pay the price, however, the price must also ensure that the company will generate a profit from sales. Third, a business must ascertain how and where people will buy their product or service. Will they buy from a bricks and mortar location? Will the company only offer the product online? Will network marketing and/or relationship (personal) selling, such as how a company like Avon operates, be the way the company gets its products to consumers?
Finally, a business must let people know about its products and services and this is the promotion aspect of the Four P’s. It is essential that a business reaches as many people as possible with the messages about its products and services. In this way, they can increase their sales, market share, and profits.
An example of marketing in the fast-food world would be McDonald’s. A popular product of the company is its Big Mac burger. This is a Product unique to McDonald’s. They came up with this specific item decades ago - it’s a product they’ve marketed successfully over the years. Part of their marketing strategy for the Big Mac is to offer it as part of a “combo”. Therefore, for a “value price”, a customer gets the Big Mac, an order of fries, and a drink. Here, successful marketing of the Big Mac leads to incremental sales of the company’s other products. So McDonald’s has solved the Product and Price equation here.
Regarding Place, McDonald’s offers its Big Macs (and other menu items) from its stand-alone restaurants on major thoroughfares and streets. However, it has also determined that mall food court locations, and outlets near or in subway stops, bus terminals, airports, and train stations are also great places to market and subsequently sell their Big Macs. So they’ve answered the Place aspect of the Four P’s of marketing here.
Pertaining to Promotion, McDonald’s advertises heavily on TV, the Internet, and in magazines. Furthermore, the company advertises through direct mail, often sending coupon booklets to homes with menu specials, often promoting their Big Mac combo meal in the process. Therefore, McDonald’s and many other fast-food companies are prime examples of successful marketing done to reach the masses to grow sales and profits.