The Marketing Mix in the fundamentals that company’s for a means of successful sales. The Marketing Mix consists of four elements, these are known as the four P’s, Product, Price, Place and Promotion. If companies use the four P’s effectively and stick to their criteria the success of the sales of their product will prevail.
In most cases Product is the main ingredient in creating the successful product, a poor level of product will not grasp the market even if there is lots of excellent marketing.
Product in view of Derby County would include their unique selling point as well as branding quality. For Derby County the unique selling point would be using the brand name and sponsor as a technique for the process of exploiting the fans, as they will be more appealed to buy their replica shirt. But also the club also exploits the fact that there will always be a percentage of devoted and hardened fan base who are brand loyal to buying the shirt of their football team purely for the intangible benefits. This is proved in the questionnaire (appendix) where 50% of season ticket holders said they were prepared to buy a new shirt each time a new one was released. By having the shirts made by a highly recognised make and company emphasises the fact that branding quality it an extremely important factor in branding quality of the product. Derby County have their replica shirts made by Errea (Appendix B 1i) which are a company which has a very high reputation in their market due to the level of services in creating high levels of quality.
“Errea are proud to sponsor six English professional football clubs – Middlesbrough, Derby County, Brighton and Hove Albion, Cheltenham Town, Northampton Town and Rushden and Diamonds. We work closely with Errea on these projects and relish the opportunity to supply the same “pro quality” products to football clubs at all levels.
Our customer base also includes universities, colleges, schools and leisure centres”
Price is an important part in the marketing mix for any product as it’s the factor that contributes to good or bad revenue. With many products if the price is too high customers will buy other products meanwhile if prices are too low quality may be questioned. There are many factors that affect the pricing of different products.
With the majority of products there are very high levels of competition, this is evident in businesses that sell lots of products of necessity that are price elastic, an example of this is supermarkets selling food or petrol stations selling fuel. But with the minority of products such as football shirts where there is a fan base that buys the product because they support that team the competition in product is very minimal. There may be an exception to this however as the public who are non-supporters are more likely to by a team’s replica shirt that is successful. This is because it is seen to have a higher level of quality than that of a division one team like Derby County (questionnaire question 10), therefore the competition between the sales of replica shirts is still slightly there.
Even if the price of replica shirts change taking into the consideration in which point in price increase would discourage sales, the appeal of buying replica shirts in relation to price is not affected. Therefore the pricing methods of replica shirts is set in the price leader method where the leading business will set the price of the general product. In relation to football shirts this will be comparable to Manchester United football club which are the leading Premiership football team, as their standard cost of their replica shirts is £39.99 (appendix B2) and the standard cost set by Derby County’s replica shirt is £39.99 (appendix B3). This show that the difference in pricing of football shirts is very minimal, as if teams did set the cost of the replica shirts lower than the standard £39.99 levels of profit will be cut on the replica shirts therefore they must follow the market leader.
But other methods companies use to price their products are:
* The price taker method, where the business will match the market price, which could be determined by the state of economy and levels of inflation.
* The predator method, which is where a business undercuts the market price.
* The Skimming method where businesses set the price of their product at a high cost when a product is introduced, this maximises initial return.
* The Generation *** process which is where a business sets the cost of their product at a low price which guarantees entry into the market.
The marketing mix for all products consist of a balance for the four P’s, but without Place they sales of products will not be possible. This is because if there was not a distribution channel in means of selling the product through outlets, the public will not be given the availability to buy the product.
Because of the extremely high levels of competition in all the different markets Companies and Businesses need to consider all the different distribution channels they can use in a means of increasing sales. They also have to consider how effective these processes are as well as how the products will be put into these distribution channels. With the means of advances in technology the sales of these products have meant that levels in opportunity for sales has increased.
Derby County has used these advances to their advantage, as online shopping has taken a great foothold in sales of all different products due to higher levels of security. On the Derby County homepage (www.dcfc.premiumtv.co.uk/home/view/home_page) you can purchase any of the products they sell in the club shop (appendix B4) this has helped online fans, as the buying of replica shirts is so easy. But also the chance of sales through the Internet has given Derby County the access to the international market as anyone can access the website anywhere in the world.
But Derby County has also been able to increase sales through a more traditional way as they have opened another Rams Superstore in the Derby city centre which has increased customers comfort of purchase as it is situated in a more convenient place. This has given people who are already shopping in the city centre better access to as before the second store was opened the customer had to go to the superstore at Pride Park stadium on PridePark (appendixB5). Mail order (appendix B6) is a process in which certain groups of customers that do not have access to the Internet and cannot easily reach the superstores have favourbility with. This is because the process is easy as well as also giving a chance for Derby County to fill the gap in chances of sales with people that trust the mail but not the Internet.
The final P in the Four P’s theory is Promotion. Promotion is the process in which a way a company or business or even sole traders use to help improve communication to potential customers to their product or service. Promotion is process of persuading these potential customers into buying their product. The levels of promotion depend ion a whole how competitive the market they are situated in is, this is the same in relation to the availability of the product as well as how easily their product can be differentiated in the market. But also the levels of promotion required could depend on the point in which the product is situated in the product lifestyle. Higher levels of promotion will be required for new products, as they will need help to gain a foothold on the market by the means of gaining customer’s interest. Otherwise these potential customers will not realise the products are available and therefore sales will not prevail.
Promotion should be informative persuasive and reassuring is used in many different ways. Above the line promotion of products is the most favourite and mostly used way of promotion this is used through consumer media such as means of television, radio and newspapers.
Derby County have selected Radio in a means of expressing above the line promotion, the Radio station Ram FM (102.8 fm). Everyday there are updates this can be ticket sales and also club news.
But Below the line promotion is also used through direct sales, such as the means of telephone is beginning to become a key way of letting the public know about new products, a company may let current customers know about new products and services.
A way that Derby County promote their products if this means replica shirts or even ticket sales is by the use of bill boards and flyers. These are simple and cost effective, they are cheap to create but also a large amount of the public will see them, as they are placed in the public eye. They have placed many by the sides of the main roads in Derby showing the newest offers. Flyers have been placed in most public houses in Derby along with fixture lists as well as ticket and season ticket hotline numbers.
Therefore Derby County I feel have a quite balanced means of promotion which is not too expensive, they are very effective by a means of getting a balance between coverage and cost. The coverage of television is massive but it is very expensive whereas more efficient ways are used by Derby County.