Chief amongst the criticism levelled against the traditionalmarketing mix (i.e. 4Ps) rests on the argument that 4P’s mix is too productoriented. Critics of this standpoint (Lauterborm, 1990) hold that a successfulmarketing plan must place the customers in the centre of the marketing plan.Thus, instead of the product-centric nature of the 4p’s one is encouraged topurse a customer-focused strategy which would take as its focus customer needs,convenience, communication and customer’s cost (Lauterborm, 1990).
In hisdefense, the need to move from product to customer oriented model is as aresult of the dynamic nature of the current marketplaces and customers(Constantinides, 2006) who are now informed of the best market offers for themby electronic and competing devices. Hence it 4p’s as a marketing mix hasoutlived its days as the most efficient and relevant for today’s marketers. In a survey carriedout in 1992 using UK’s MarketingEducation Group (MEG) Conference participants and the European MarketingAcademy (EMAC) Conference participants as respondents (mostly professors,associate professors, lecturers and research fellows of marketing and/oreconomics). It was inferred by Rafiq & Ahmed (1995) that 85% of therespondents felt dissatisfaction with the 4Ps, they felt that the 4Ps conceptwas deficient in some respects as a pedagogic tool. The respondents saw 7ps asa better model citing comprehensiveness as the most frequently mentioned strengthof the 7Ps model. It was also thought to be more refined and detailed than the4Ps model and was seen as providing a broader perspective. Some respondentsexplicitly mentioned the inclusion of participants/people as a strength. Theprocess variable was also mentioned but not as frequently the participants/people variable.
The 7Ps mixwas also thought to be more of a modelthan the 4Ps mix. The standardization of the mix by extending the 7Psframework to areas other than serviceswas also mentioned. As a popular marketing mix, it is imperative to understandwhat the 4p does, hence, we shall examine the strengths of 4p or what it isaimed at doing.
It doesn’t only makes marketing seem easy to handle, it alsoallows the separation of marketing from other activities of the firm andthe delegation of marketing tasks to specialists. The components of themarketing mix can change a firm’scompetitive position (Grönroos, 1994). The traditional marketing mix concept also has two important benefits.First, it is an important tool used to enable one to see that the marketingmanager’s job is, in a large part, amatter of trading off the benefits of one’scompetitive strengths in the marketing mix against the benefits of others.
Thesecond benefit of the marketing mix as put forward by Gummesson (1997) is thatit helps to reveal another dimension of the marketing manager’s job All managers have to allocate availableresources among various demands, and the marketing manager will in turnallocate these available resources among the various competitive devices of themarketing mix. In doing so, this will help to instil the marketing philosophyin the organisation (Low and Tan, 1995). CONCLUSIONDespite the numerous criticism pitched against thetraditional marketing mix I believe it is still worth the use.
However, asagainst a complete introduction of another mix, I posit an adjustment of theexisting 4p. This will allow marketers to incorporate elements peculiar tocontemporary market and customers alongside sure general practices that areseemingly unaffected by time and the changing nature of market setting.