Facebook Inc.’s Marketing Mix (4Ps) Analysis

Facebook Inc. marketing mix, 4Ps, product, place, promotion, price, recommendations, social media networking, case study analysis
Facebook’s headquarters entrance signage at 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, California. Facebook Inc.’s marketing mix (4Ps) highlights the importance of viral marketing to promote its social media business. (Photo: Public Domain)

Facebook Inc. uses a marketing mix that supports and capitalizes on the company’s popularity. A marketing mix is the combination of strategies and tactics that an organization employs to succeed with its marketing plan, with focus on Products, Place Promotion and Prices (4Ps). In Facebook’s marketing mix, some of the main considerations include the online nature of its social networking website and mobile apps. The social behaviors of users are also a significant factor determining the company’s marketing strategies. The market focus is on individual users and advertisers who pay for the company’s display advertising services. An analysis of Facebook’s marketing mix reveals the benefits of the online and social characteristics of the business in supporting marketing efforts.

The marketing mix (4Ps) of Facebook Inc. facilitates efficient reach to target customers. The strategies and tactics contained in this marketing mix shows that Facebook could benefit from broadening its online advertising services, and from increasing the market penetration of its social networking website and mobile apps.

Facebook’s Products (Product Mix)

Facebook Inc. is known for its social networking website and online social media services. This component of the marketing mix identifies the organizational outputs that the company offers to its target market. The following are the main products of Facebook Inc.:

  1. Online social media services
  2. Display advertising service

As an online business, Facebook is known for social media services available through its social networking website and mobile apps. In addition, the company manages and operates Instagram (another social media service) and WhatsApp (an instant messaging service). These services attract users on the basis of their social nature. Facebook Inc. uses the popularity of its social media services as a foundation for its display advertising service. This display advertising service becomes more attractive as the company’s social networking website gains more users. These conditions show that Facebook’s marketing mix is primarily dependent on the membership of the firm’s online social network.

Place/Distribution in Facebook Inc.’s Marketing Mix

As an online technology firm, Facebook Inc. offers its services through the Internet. This component of the marketing mix determines the venues where the firm offers its products. In Facebook’s case, these places are as follows:

  1. Facebook’s social media websites
  2. Mobile apps

Facebook Inc. provides social media services through its websites (Facebook and Instagram). Users could also access the same services through corresponding mobile apps. Advertisers use these same websites and apps to access the company’s display advertising service and related data. Based on this component of the marketing mix, Facebook Inc.’s strategies focus on digital technologies to enable effective and efficient global access to its products.

Facebook’s Promotion (Promotional Mix)

Facebook promotes its social media services to gain more users for a larger membership. This component of the marketing mix describes the company’s marketing communications activities with its target customers. Facebook Inc. uses the following promotion activities, arranged according to importance:

  1. Viral marketing (most important)
  2. Direct marketing
  3. Advertising
  4. Public relations

Facebook’s business heavily relies on viral marketing, which involves word-of-mouth promotion. For example, because of persuasion from friends, new members create accounts with the company’s social networking website. Viral marketing is a critical success factor in boosting Facebook’s social media popularity worldwide. Direct marketing also contributes to the company’s business success. For example, the firm directly recommends advertising campaigns to Facebook page owners, such as businesses and other organizations. This tactic involves showing samples of display advertisements to page owners to persuade them to pay Facebook for display advertisements on its social media website and mobile apps. In addition, the company advertises its online social network through various display advertisement networks, including Google’s. Moreover, Facebook’s corporate social responsibility programs promote its brand and social media services around the world. This component of the marketing mix shows the significance of viral marketing in Facebook’s global success.

Facebook’s Prices and Pricing Strategy

Facebook employs a combination of pricing strategies. In this component of the marketing mix, the company’s prices and pricing strategies are considered. Facebook Inc. uses the following pricing strategies for its online display advertising service:

  1. Market-oriented pricing
  2. Pay what you want

In using the market-oriented pricing strategy, Facebook Inc. uses competitors’ prices as basis for pricing its display advertising services. These prices are typically applied per view and per click, among other user-generated actions on the company’s social networking website and mobile apps. On the other hand, in using the pay-what-you-want pricing strategy, Facebook Inc. allows advertisers to decide how much to pay above a certain minimum price. Based on this component of the marketing mix, flexibility in pricing is a factor that attracts advertisers to Facebook’s online display advertising service.

References
  • Facebook Inc. Form 10-K, 2015.
  • Goi, C. L. (2009). A review of marketing mix: 4Ps or more? International Journal of Marketing Studies1(1), 2.
  • Van Waterschoot, W., & Van den Bulte, C. (1992). The 4P classification of the marketing mix revisited. The Journal of Marketing, 83-93.
  • Yun-sheng, W. (2001). Perfection and innovation of 4P Marketing Mix – How to evaluate 4P Marketing Mix. Commercial Research5, 6.
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