Page 2: The marketing mix
For most organisations the marketing function is vital for survival. The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as:
‘Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying consumer requirements profitably.’
This definition outlines the key purposes of the marketing function. These are:
- to compete in a competitive marketplace
- to identify and anticipate consumer requirements and then satisfy these requirements
- to make a profit.
As a market-orientated organisation adidas continuously identifies and reviews consumers’ needs to ensure its products meet these needs. It aims to exceed customer expectations by adapting its product portfolio to meet the changing needs of consumers. It is this focus on its customers, teamed with product and marketing innovation, that plays a key role in adidas’ success.
Every organisation must look at its marketing in relation to the marketing mix. The marketing mix, often referred to as the 4Ps, is a means of assessing how to balance the elements of the mix in order to meet customers’ needs. The elements include:
- the right product
- sold at the right price
- in the right place
- using the most suitable form of promotion.
No two businesses are identical, as such, every organisation must decide on its own balance of the 4Ps to suit its consumers’ needs. There are many internal and external factors that will influence an organisation’s marketing mix. Key factors include the size of the business, the markets it operates in and available resources.
For a global organisation like adidas its marketing mix is tailored to specific markets. This is known as international marketing as it takes cultural and social differences into account when planning marketing activity. Sports marketing is a key focus for adidas’ marketing mix. The growing popularity of sports as entertainment has led to a huge increase in sports marketing. The founder of adidas was one of the first people to see the potential of this form of marketing when he sponsored the FIFA World Cup back in 1978. Sponsorship involves a business paying to be associated with another organisation, event or TV programme.
Like many new developments, the sports marketing function has changed dramatically since its introduction. Just consider Sony’s first ever Walkman in 1979 to today’s iPod. The same dramatic difference is evident in the sports marketing arena with sponsorship deals now worth tens of millions of pounds. Rather than simply trying to gain positive associations with particular sports, companies use sports marketing to drive the brand and increase sales.