The Marketing Mix in Action: For Dummies

As we explained in a previous article, the marketing mix is a tool which can be used to evaluate the desirability of a brand’s offerings. It does so by looking at a number of predetermined factors, called the “Ps”. To recap, there are four original Ps:

    Product (What is being offered?)

    Price (How much does it cost?)

    Promotion (How is the offer being promoted?)

    Place (How will the offer be fulfilled?)

and another three which were added over time:

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    Physical Evidence (What is proof of the offer?)

    People (Who is selling it to me?)

    Process (How is it being sold and fulfilled?)

Examples are every business analyst’s best friend, so in this article, we’ll be showing you the Marketing Mix in action — analyzing the offers of the world-renowned “For Dummies” series of books.

What is For Dummies?

For Dummies is a series of printed guides about a wide range of different topics. The brand, characterized by it’s black and yellow color scheme and triangular-faced mascot, describes itself as a “platform that makes learning anything easy because it transforms the hard-to understand into easy-to-use” (source).

Putting The Marketing Mix To The Test: For Dummies

Let’s go ahead and review how the For Dummies group markets their products, using the framework of the marketing mix. We’ll separately discuss each of the 7 Ps in the context of For Dummies, and then attempt to draw some conclusions about how effectively they market their offers.

P #1 — Product

The first thing that the Marketing Mix looks at is the product being offered. For Dummies is clearly offering a well-developed, unique product, with the goal of educating people about a certain topic as simply as possible. So, there is definitely some value in what they are offering. Product? — check!

P #2 — Price

Now, how much does a For Dummies book cost? A quick Amazon search shows that most For Dummies books retail at between $10 and $20 (for paperback and electronic versions). Considering the hundreds of pages of content inside, this is a fairly attractive price to learn lots about a certain topic.

P #3 — Promotion

People can only purchase For Dummies products if they know they exist. How good a job does For Dummies do of promoting their products? Their worldwide presence in bookstores and referable nature suggests that they don’t need to do too much promotion at all, but what they do attempt seems to work.

P #4 — Place

Are their products easily accessible to the reader? Well, yes. The guides have been translated into dozens of different languages and are available for physical purchase in shops across the globe, as well as being offered in electronic form over the internet.

P #5 — Physical Evidence / Proof

Is there proof that their products ‘do what they say on the tin’? Indeed there is! Customers leave generally positive reviews on their products online, and they also have a strong word-of-mouth presence.

P #6 — People

This 6th P is more applicable to service offerings than product ones, but we can still try to take a look at some of the people involved in the For Dummies guides. For example, the authors of their books are well-qualified, knowledgeable, and good at explaining.

P #7 — Process

Again, the ‘process’ is a factor that is more applicable to service-based offerings, but we can still analyze the process of purchasing a For Dummies book. All there really is to say with regard to that is how purchasing For Dummies books couldn’t be easier with their ubiquitous nature and online availability. Also, one might argue that their approachable style of writing and arranging information improves the ‘process’ of actually learning from the guide.

So, there you have it! A case study of ‘For Dummies’ using the 7 Ps of the Marketing Mix framework.

What else did we miss? Let us know down below, along with your other comments and questions!

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