Merchandise, Market, Media and Message

By Terri Jones Cherry

Product, price, place and promotion are the foundation concepts for any traditionally educated marketer. Take any basic marketing course and the four P’s of the marketing mix are soon burned into your brain. But, what do these concepts really mean? Product? Ok, that one’s easy to define. If not what are you doing marketing? Price? The answer is obvious. What about place and promotion? Those become a less clear. Besides how do you put all this together to work for you?

The four P’s of the marketing mix were developed five decades ago; a few things have changed since then. I’m not suggesting we abandon the four P’s; even experienced marketers can use a new view of the basics. Let’s take a look at the four P’s with a modern twist: the four M’s of marketing.

  1. Merchandise: Products aren’t just objects on the store shelves any longer. These days its not just goods that benefit from quality marketing- its anything from services to conceptual ideas. What are you selling? Identify its name, price, the competition, and its perception in the consumers mind.
  2. Market: Identify the market. This is the most skipped over step. Many people rush through this one. We’re going to take our time here. But I have great merchandise that everyone should see now! I hear you. Stay with me, its worth it. You need to define the market to be conquered.  Generals do not attack all fronts at the same time for a good reason. The same goes for your marketing. Be deliberate in your choice of targets and move to step three.
  3. Media: TV, print, radio, or Internet? Of course the Internet is currently the best, new, hot wave of the future, right? Well, not so fast. Every media outlet has both its advantages and disadvantages. The answer for what is the right place for advertising depends on the product and its target market. What is the product and where is your target market likely to see it? Focus on the one medium that works best for your particular merchandise. Once you choose your media, you need to put out a message.
  4. Message: What is it that you want to say to your target market? What is your brand? What do you stand for? The goal should be one clear message on one focused medium targeted at one specific market.


Many marketers skip or rush from step one to step four in order to get the merchandise and message out quicker. But with some time spent in the preparation stage, you can develop a more efficient marketing campaign that leads to more profitable results. For efficient marketing results in the Murfreesboro, TN area, the professionals at Navigation Advertising can help with all aspects of the preparation stage from market to message. All you need is the merchandise.

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