Solutions. Digital Marketing Solutions [DMS] is a company that specializes in digital
marketing for food and beverage service providers.
The first phase of the project that you have been asked to work on involves you and
other members of the DMS team visiting different nominated café and conducting a
mystery shopper analysis of its operations from a customer perspective. The role /
function of a mystery shopper is to interact with the company and employees while
undercover, to gather specific information about the quality of service, products and
services and compliance with processes and regulation.
7 Marketing Ps and their interrelated functioning
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The importance of 7Ps of Marketing have been understood in the last few decades as previously only 4Ps were there of which product has been the most focused one. Then the shift from the physical product to other important elements of marketing and then 7 Ps have been included in the marketing mix. The marketing mix had to get expanded and three more important elements have been added in the marketing mix. They are people, process and physical evidences. The marketing mix strategy is one of the most important marketing strategies of the different companies to control the important factors in order to influence the purchasing behavior of the customers. The marketing mix is framed with the most important elements which influences the customers while make any purchasing decision or they purchase in real. The quality of the deliverables of the companies has to be as per the expectations of the customers and the companies are supposed to meet their commitments and claims towards the customers [ CITATION Hit16 \l 1033 ]. The getup, physical appearance, packing, prices, convenience in availability and the approaches of selling the different products all impact the customers’ buying behavior. These elements are all interlinked and they together influence the customers [ CITATION Cha091 \l 1033 ]. The four Ps of marketing mix have been considered to be important but later on the marketers have found that there are three more elements or components which are equally important and they also impact the customers’ behavior or perception towards the service providers [ CITATION Mar142 \l 1033 ].
Here is the brief description of the 7Ps of marketing which is commonly known as Marketing Mix for different goods and services.
Product: People want different goods and services to satisfy different needs. The product is made up of goods and services. The people buy different products from either virtual or physical markets to quench the thirst for needs and demands. The quality of the products is one of the major factors that impact the buying behavior of the consumers.
Price: It is the consideration which is paid for availing of the utility of the products. The value of different products to the customers or buyers is the price. The prices of different products vary depending on the level of demands of needs people have. The customers decide to buy any product depending on the price. The quality and other features of the products must get matched with the prices.
Place: The products are either sold to the customers either directly or indirectly. They are being sold to the customers through the distribution networks. The place refers to the methods of distribution as adopted by the sellers to deliver the products to the customers by bringing them in the market. The availability of the products and the ease in getting them impacts the consumers to great extent.
Promotion: The promotion is the only approach through which the information and features of the different products are being communicated to the customer base. It is the communication through which the products and services are communicated to the market where the feedbacks can also be obtained.
People: People are the human resources being the pillars of the products and they are the ones who are always included in the marketing mix by the marketers. They ensure the transfer of ownership of the products from sellers to buyers. The nature or the conducts of the people selling the products also matter a lot for the customers to take their final decisions of purchase [ CITATION Dav176 \l 1033 ].
Processes: The process is the backbone of the service. The customers are being served by the services which are processed for consumption.
Physical evidence: The tangible and physical evidence is the physical cues on which the evaluation of any products depends. The appearance of the place where the products are available or the physical features of the deliverables also impact the mindset of the consumers
Mystery shopper experience in the context of 7Ps:
I have been working as a part of the Market Research Team Digital Marketing Solutions [DMS]. The company specializes in digital marketing for foods and beverages. It has conducted mystery shopping so that different cafes could be analyzed from the point of view of customers. The main aim of the mystery shopping is to analyze the quality of the products and services of the cafes and to verify whether the processes and regulations have even complied with by the café. Recently I have been conducting mystery shopping in one of the Cafes on behalf of Digital Marketing Solutions [DMS] and have gathered some experience which has been discussed below:
Product: The foods and the beverages are good to taste and they are being served well. The foods and beverages were served in a well-garnished manner. The menus have been found to be a bit limited as there were very limited options for coffee and sandwiches.
Price: The prices are moderately higher than other local Cafes. The prices are comparatively higher than the other local cafes.
Place: The Café served the customers well. There has been a provision of self-service and the customers were found to enjoy serving themselves with the assistance of the sales personnel at the counter.
Promotion: I found a bill-board outside the café mentioning the menu of the day and about the happy hours when the prices were lower than normal time.
People: The sales people at the counter were helping the customers in selecting their menus. They also behaved well. They were well dressed and were wearing neat and clean uniform. They greeted every customer with smiling face.
Processes: The orders were taken through digitalized systems. There were good machines where the beverages were processed and prepared.
Physical evidence: The outlet seemed to be well decorated and well furnished. It was a cozy café. The arrangement of the chairs and tables was neat. The lighting was also soothing and there was free internet Wi-Fi for the customers.
Strengths and weaknesses of the cafe based on the mystery shopping experience:
In every cafe that I have visited as a part of my mystery shopping assignment I could identify some strengths and weaknesses. Each one of the cafes has some unique feature which has the power to attract the customers in different ways. There are also some weak grounds which could affect the customers’ perspectives towards the business. Here in this section I am sharing some of the strengths and weaknesses which I have identified being a mystery shopper and I could feel that these could be felt by any customers. The strengths could attract the customers whereas the weaknesses could affect the customers’ perspectives negatively. I have identified some strengths and weaknesses of the cafe based on my mystery shopping experience which could impact the service excellence of the cafe.
• The decoration of the cafe was very nice.
• The sales personnel were well-mannered and well-behaved.
• They were assisting the customers while selecting menus or attending any queries.
• The food and beverages were good in taste and quality.
• The cafe was perfect for people of all ages.
• The menus were somehow limited than other local cafes.
• The prices of the products are higher.
• The washroom of the cafe was not so clean.
• There was no one at the exit of the cafe.
Bhasin. (2016). Service Marketing Mix – 7 P’s of marketing. Retrieved from marketing91: http://www.marketing91.com/service-marketing-mix/
Goi, C. L. (2009). A Review of Marketing Mix: 4Ps or More? International Journal of Marketing Studies vol 1 no. 1, 1-14.
Martin. (2014, august 12). 7Ps of Marketing | Additional Elements of Marketing mix. Retrieved from cleverism: https://www.cleverism.com/7ps-additional-aspects-marketing-mix/
Olesen, D. (2017, April 27). The 7 P's of Marketing. Retrieved from amazingmail: http://blog.amazingmail.com/blog/the-7-ps-of-marketing-0