General Electric Company (GE) maintains a stable and growing customer base through a marketing mix that incorporates strategies for market penetration. General Electric’s generic competitive strategy and intensive growth strategies influence this marketing mix. A company’s marketing mix (4Ps) is the set of strategies and tactics implemented for the purpose of fulfilling a marketing plan and overall marketing strategy. These strategies pertain to the company’s product, place, promotion, and price (4P) variables. In the case of GE, the target market is composed of customers in multiple industries, including energy and aerospace. Considering this variety, GE’s marketing mix applies to various market conditions relevant to the multinational business. For example, the conditions of the aviation industry are significant considerations in General Electric’s management. Also, market trends and changes influence GE’s marketing success. These trends depend on the dynamics of the company’s industry. Appropriateness and responsiveness to industry trends are necessary in General Electric’s marketing mix success.
In applying the strategies and tactics of the marketing mix or 4Ps, General Electric Company’s management addresses the changing needs of various industries, with consideration for the external factors that affect the business and its remote or macro-environment, as examined in the PESTEL/PESTLE analysis of General Electric Company. For example, product characteristics, place selection, promotion strategies, and price points are established based on market conditions and the dynamics of GE’s competitors, like Siemens and 3M. To secure its status as one of the world’s biggest companies, General Electric must ensure that its marketing mix suits the varying trends of its industries and markets.
General Electric’s Products (Product Mix)
Products are business outputs offered to target customers. This component of the marketing mix or 4P in General Electric Company’s marketing strategy case covers the products appropriate for various industries. For example, the company has products for the energy and aviation industries and their corresponding target markets. GE’s management strategies for marketing are developed to facilitate long-term business growth. The marketing strategy aligns with the goals of General Electric’s corporate vision and corporate mission. The vision and mission guide strategic formulation in product design and innovation. General Electric’s marketing mix includes the following product categories:
- Aerospace engines and avionics
- Software and industrial IoT services
- Additive manufacturing
- Power systems and machinery
- Financial services
General Electric’s product mix is varied and reflects the degree of diversification of the business. For example, the company has aviation products and industrial services. These products are competitive in quality and uniqueness. Also, GE uses diversification to grow the business. This component of the marketing mix involves strategic variation to represent each type of product. Such variation influences General Electric’s organizational structure (company structure) and associated strategic management approaches. Changes in the company’s business strategies refine its product mix. Diversification is an aspect of this component of General Electric’s marketing mix or 4Ps.
Place/Distribution in GE’s Marketing Mix
The place component of the marketing mix refers to the venues or locations where customers can access General Electric’s products. Typically, these access transactions involve purchases or sales. In this case, GE’s strategic management adjusts to the different characteristics of various locations in the global market. For example, the company’s marketing approach for distribution must consider the characteristics of the avionics market in the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries. General Electric’s marketing mix involves the following places for distribution:
- Authorized distributors and sales representatives
- GE online stores
Authorized distributors and sales representatives are the main places or venues that General Electric Company uses to distribute its products. For example, the company has distributors and representatives in Japan and the United Kingdom for data center solutions and other products. Different markets require different management tactics for selling GE’s products. The company’s marketing strategy is designed to ensure business competitiveness through appropriate distribution channels. The company also has online stores for some of its operating segments, such as the GE Grid Solutions Online Store. The distribution approach in this component of General Electric’s marketing mix indicates reliance on entities that are authorized to represent the business in target markets.
General Electric’s Promotion (Promotional Mix)
The promotion component of the marketing mix or 4P sets the tactics for marketing communications to reach and persuade target customers. In General Electric’s case, these tactics prioritize direct marketing, which is typical in many of the various industries where the business operates. For example, firms in the avionics market use direct marketing as a main promotional tactic. GE uses its promotional tactics to varying extents, depending on market dynamics and related strategic management concerns. The following tactics are applied in General Electric Company’s promotional mix or marketing communications mix:
- Direct marketing (primary)
- Sales promotion
- Public relations
General Electric applies direct marketing as its primary tactic of promoting products in target markets. In the context of this marketing mix, direct marketing is used to promote GE’s digital products to business organizations. Similarly, the company directly markets its avionics products to aviation companies around the world. On the other hand, advertising is used in some of General Electric’s target markets. For example, the company advertises to promote its industrial services. In addition, GE implements sales promotion in the form of special offers to promote a variety of products, such as its grid solutions. Also, public relations promote GE and its products through goodwill for the target market. In applying public relations, the corresponding tactics are aligned with General Electric’s corporate social responsibility strategy to satisfy stakeholders. Promotional activities are dependent on and contribute to brand strength, which is one of the strengths of the business shown in the SWOT analysis of General Electric Company. Thus, this component of GE’s marketing mix accounts for the nature of business transactions with other firms in various industries.
Prices & Pricing Strategies in GE’s 4Ps
This component of the marketing mix or 4P determines the price points and price ranges for General Electric’s products. The company’s strategic approach in this case is to consider market conditions and the types of products it offers. For example, GE sets its prices by evaluating supply and demand conditions in target markets for digital industrial services. This strategic approach ensures that the business remains strong against competitors, like 3M and Siemens. General Electric’s management applies the following pricing strategies:
- Market-oriented pricing strategy
- Value-based pricing strategy
In the market-oriented pricing strategy, prices are set after an evaluation of prevailing market conditions. For example, General Electric’s prices for its energy solutions are near or similar to the prices of competing products. This pricing strategy supports GE’s competitiveness and is appropriate to markets where customers have significant price sensitivity. On the other hand, in the value-based pricing strategy, General Electric’s focus is on the uniqueness of its products. For instance, the company sets relatively high prices for some of its avionics products and jet engines. In product lines where value-based pricing is applied, customers are willing to pay higher for products that have higher perceived value. The combination of these pricing strategies influences the ability to withstand competitive rivalry, which is a business concern shown in the Five Forces analysis of General Electric Company. Appropriate pricing is a strategic management factor for GE. Overall, this component of General Electric’s marketing mix or 4Ps responds to competitive challenges.
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- GE Aerospace Systems.
- GE Grid Solutions Online Store.
- GE Renewable Energy.
- General Electric Company – Form 10-K.
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- U.S. Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration – Aerospace Industry.