The Procter & Gamble Company’s marketing mix (4Ps) is typical in the consumer goods industry. A firm’s marketing mix or 4P (product, place, promotion, and price) refers to the strategies and tactics used to achieve goals in the marketing plan. In this case, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has a marketing mix that utilizes various channels to maximize market penetration. Market penetration is one of the company’s main growth strategies, as explained in Procter & Gamble’s generic competitive strategy and intensive growth strategies. The global market presents challenges linked to the diversity of products and consumers. P&G offers a wide variety of products that satisfy the preferences of numerous consumer types and market segments. Procter & Gamble’s marketing mix addresses such concerns to ensure high business performance. Nonetheless, the consumer goods market is highly dynamic. This condition requires Procter & Gamble to adapt its marketing mix to match the opportunities and challenges in the global market.
A multi-pronged marketing mix for the global distribution of consumer goods enables Procter & Gamble to optimize its performance. However, the company’s approach remains typical in the industry. This condition makes P&G vulnerable to the aggressive competitive strategies of other firms, such as Unilever. Changes in the marketing strategy and other strategies, especially in distributing products through online platforms, can improve the marketing mix in using the competencies enumerated in the SWOT analysis of Procter & Gamble.
Procter & Gamble’s Products (Product Mix)
This element of the marketing mix identifies the organizational outputs that are offered to target customers or buyers. In this case, Procter & Gamble’s products are classified as consumer goods. The company included foods and beverages in its product mix until the Pringles brand was sold to the Kellogg Company in 2012. Streamlining efforts to focus the business on the most profitable product lines have also corresponded to changes in Procter & Gamble’s organizational structure (company structure). These changes were aimed at making the company easier to manage. At present, Procter & Gamble’s product mix has the following segments:
- Health Care
- Fabric & Home Care
- Baby, Feminine & Family Care
These segments are based on how Procter & Gamble manages its consumer goods business. For example, each segment of products has dedicated management personnel and is reported as a segment in P&G’s annual filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Procter & Gamble Company’s Beauty segment includes products, like Pantene shampoo and Safeguard soap. Blades, razors, pre-shave and post-shave products, and related appliances are grouped under the Grooming segment. Procter & Gamble groups oral care products and supplements into the Health Care segment. The Fabric & Home Care segment includes laundry detergents, fabric enhancers, and related products. The Baby, Feminine & Family Care segment includes Procter & Gamble’s Pampers diapers and related products, Tampax feminine care products, and Bounty and Charmin tissue paper products. The variety and range of these product lines indicate that the company has expanded its operations. Even though there are opportunities to expand this element of the marketing mix based on the PESTEL/PESTLE analysis of Procter & Gamble, the company focuses on managing a simpler and more streamlined organization.
Place/Distribution in P&G’s Marketing Mix
The venues for transacting with target customers or consumers are determined in this element of the marketing mix. The Procter & Gamble Company’s vision statement and mission statement require providing products to consumers around the world, thereby guiding the company’s endeavors for this element of the marketing mix. There are many entities involved in the distribution of the company’s consumer goods. However, the following are the main places or locations that Procter & Gamble uses:
- Authorized distributors
- Company-owned e-commerce websites
Retailers are the main venues through which Procter & Gamble reaches its target consumers. For example, retailer stores are strategically located to maximize accessibility to consumer goods from firms, like P&G. On the other hand, authorized distributors are third parties that cater to the needs of businesses that require Procter & Gamble products in large amounts. Thus, authorized distributors use bundle pricing. E-commerce websites allow the company to reach its target consumers. However, these sites’ reach is limited, focusing mainly on the American market. Thus, Procter & Gamble’s approach in this element of the marketing mix is largely dependent on retailers. Nonetheless, the movements of products through all three types of venues or channels are used as a basis for managing the company’s inventory as a part of Procter & Gamble’s operations management and productivity measures.
Promotion (Promotional Mix)
This element of the marketing mix, also known as the marketing communications mix, identifies the company’s communications tactics in reaching target customers or consumers. In this case, Procter & Gamble makes use of all five types of communication tactics. However, the company’s reliance on advertising is typical in the consumer goods industry. Procter & Gamble’s communications tactics are as follows, arranged according to their significance in the business:
- Direct marketing
- Sales promotion
- Personal selling
- Public relations
Advertising serves as Procter & Gamble’s primary communications tactics in delivering product details and related information to target markets. For example, the company uses television, radio, and print and online media for its advertisements. On the other hand, direct marketing involves communications between Procter & Gamble and its corporate clientele, as well as communications between P&G’s authorized distributors and their corporate clientele. Sales promotion and personal selling are sometimes applied for some product lines, especially as an introduction to new products or variants of current consumer goods. Procter & Gamble’s organizational culture (work culture) influences the training of workers involved in personal selling. The company’s public relations activities involve various sponsorships. For instance, Procter & Gamble gives sponsorships for winners of contests on TV shows, for sports events, and for online communities. This element of Procter & Gamble’s marketing mix shows the importance of advertising in supporting the effectiveness of the marketing strategy in communicating with the target market.
Prices & Pricing Strategies in P&G’s 4P
Price points, price ranges, and price bases are determined in this element of the marketing mix. Procter & Gamble applies prices that maximize revenues and profits. The company adjusts its prices according to the conditions of the consumer goods market. The following pricing strategies are relevant to Procter & Gamble’s business:
- Market-oriented pricing strategy
- Product bundle pricing strategy
- Premium pricing strategy
In the market-oriented pricing strategy, competitors’ prices and related pricing trends are used in determining the prices of many of Procter & Gamble’s consumer goods. For example, this pricing strategy is used for the company’s Tide detergent products. On the other hand, the product-bundle pricing strategy implements prices for groups or sets of products. For instance, Procter & Gamble uses this pricing strategy in sales to businesses via P&G Professional. This strategy is also occasionally applied for special offers that promote certain products via retail stores. The premium pricing strategy sets prices that are relatively higher than the market average. Procter & Gamble uses this strategy for some of its products, such as those under the Olay brand. This strategy contributes to maintaining the perceived premium value for the company’s premium brands. Based on this element of the marketing mix, Procter & Gamble has a multi-pronged approach to setting the prices of its consumer goods.
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