Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Integrated Marketing Mix (4 P's)
Today, Apple unveiled its new product, the iPad. The much publicized rumor about a tablet created by Apple is now a reality. Tablet pc's have been around for a long time, but what makes the iPad different from the other market offerings? What strategy does Apple have in place in order to make this a runaway hit like its iPhone and iPod product lines? We'll use the marketing mix(4 P's) to see how Apple strategized its goal to make the iPad a bestseller.
Marketing Mix is the set of controllable,tactical marketing tools that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market. Price, product, place and promotion are the 4 P's or components that make up a marketing mix.
The iPad is a tablet device that has several features. It looks like a bigger iPhone or iPod Touch and possess a led touch screen interface. Its dimensions are 9.56 in x 7.47 in. It is also very thin and has a battery life of ten hours. This product has the ability to surf the internet, listen and purchase music, watch videos, view photos, read e-mail, read and purchase e-books and execute multiple applications. In fact, the multiple applications available for the iPhone will be fully compatible with the iPad! There will be different versions of the iPad at launch with different hard drive capacities and 3g capability. There will be a 16 gb, 32 gb, and 64 gb variants. Also all iPads will have wi-fi and are wireless-n capable. The iPad will also feature the latest bluetooth profile and will have an on-screen keyboard for inputs.
The iPad can be purchased at multiple price points. The base model (16gb) without 3g capability is the cheapest at $499, 32gb at $599, and 64gb will retail for $699. If a customer wants 3g capability they will have to pay an additional $130 on top of the base price. The consumer also has the option to sign up for AT&T data plan that allows them to have access to the internet virtually anywhere and in areas without wi-fi connections. The data plan is two tiered: the customer has a choice between $14.99/month for 250mb or $29.99/month for unlimited access. The data plan will also allow the consumer to access various AT&T hotspots for free. Unlike the iPhone, the customer will not be locked into multi-year contractual obligation and they can terminate it at any time. As far as discounts go, Apple is known for charging higher, premium prices however, they usually offer $100 off certain products to college students. They also do special bundles for purchasing certain products during different times of the year. For example, I purchased a Macbook Pro during the summer and they had a promotion that gave me a free iPod and a free printer plus the $100 discount because I was a college student. They have done the same promotion for the previous two years as well.
The iPad will most likely be sold in place where other Apple products are sold. There several retail outlets that carry various Apple products so purchasing this product should not be difficult. There are multiple Apple stores across the United States, 284 of them, in which these products will be sold. Customers can also order the product online in Apple's website. Best Buy, one of Apple's partners, also sells Apple products and also has a large retail footprint in the United States. Amazon, one of the largest online retailers, also carries Apple products. The iPad won't be out for another two months, initial availability might be low depending on consumer demand like the shortage of iPhones during its initial release. Apple should gauge consumer demand and produce enough in order to satisfy the market.
Today, Apple held a press conference to debut the product. Several of the major techblogs and websites (zdnet, gizmodo, engadget) also covered the event. Given Apple's track record of heavy promotion and advertisement of its marquee products,the IPad has a high probability of getting the same advertising treatment. The iPad is already highlighted on the front page of Apple website and the hour long keynote by Steve Jobs regarding the iPad is also available on the website. There hasn't been a TV ad for the iPad as it was just introduced today and has yet to be released to the market, I anticipate heavy promotion within the upcoming months as the iPad is due to be released around March.
- Jose Jacinto, Section E