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Walmarts Marketing Mix (4Ps) Analysis & Recommendations

UPDATED AUG 18, 2015 EDWARD FERGUSON

A Walmart store in
Laval, Canada. Walmarts marketing mix focuses on product, promotion and price
for competitive advantage, although the firm can increase its emphasis on
place/distribution to improve the marketing mix. (Photo: Public Domain)
Walmarts marketing mix revolves around the nature of the firms retail business.
The companys cost leadership generic strategy also defines the marketing mix. The
overall behavior of Walmart in the global retail market is linked to its marketing mix
strategies. With its continued leadership as the biggest retailer in the world,
Walmart expects to use the same marketing mix as it expands globally. The
strategies included in the companys current marketing mix have already shown
considerable success. Thus, it is realistic to continue using it as is. However,
Walmart can improve its current marketing mix, especially in the place/distribution
component.
Walmarts marketing mix is a key success factor in this retail business, although the
company can focus more on the place/distribution component of the marketing mix
to strengthen its global position.
Elements of Walmarts Marketing Mix
Product.
Walmarts product is its retail service. In general, retail firms are service
businesses. The company attracts customers by providing convenient and effective
service. For example, Walmarts sales personnel are trained to effectively assist
shoppers in finding the goods they need. Convenience is achieved because the firm
offers a wide array of goods in its stores. Most shoppers expect easy one-stop
shopping at Walmart stores. The product component of the marketing mix affects

Walmart by defining customer experience. The companys sales personnel directly


influence how customers feel when they enter the stores.
Prices and Pricing Strategy.
Walmart uses an Everyday Low Price (EDLP) pricing strategy. In fact Everyday Low
Price advertisements are frequently seen in Walmart stores. The objective of this
pricing strategy is to attract large populations of customers. This strategy supports
Walmarts generic business strategy, which is cost leadership. The company has low
costs and low prices. However, the large sales volume enables Walmart to generate
profits. Thus, in the marketing mix, the pricing component is the main contributor to
Walmarts competitiveness.
Promotion (Promotional Mix or Marketing Communications Mix).
Walmarts promotional mix is composed of advertisements, sales promotions,
personal selling, and public relations. The company advertises on newspapers and
websites. Walmart uses sales promotions in the form of special deals and discounts.
Personal selling happens at Walmart stores, where sales personnel persuade
customers to try new products or package deals. In terms of public relations, the
company uses press releases to inform customers and investors about policies,
programs and strategies. The firm also occasionally sponsors charity programs.
Thus, the promotion component in Walmarts marketing mix helps improve the
companys ability to attract customers to its stores and helps build brand recall.
Place (Distribution).
Walmart uses the intensive distribution strategy or intensive distribution channel
design. In this strategy, Walmart stores offer the same variety of goods, while the
same employee roles and responsibilities apply to each store. In addition, the
company continues to open new stores to reach more customers. Thus, the
place/distribution element of Walmarts marketing mix helps attract customers by
making shopping convenient in terms of location.
Recommendations based on Walmarts Marketing Mix
Walmarts marketing mix has proven effective in supporting the companys success.
However, there are still many locations where Walmart stores are absent or difficult
to reach. This is especially true in the markets of developing countries. Therefore,
based on the characteristics of its marketing mix, Walmart should improve on the
place/distribution component. Specifically, the firm can enter new markets and
penetrate current markets through foreign direct investments and joint ventures. In
this way, the place/distribution element of Walmarts marketing mix can provide
stronger support for the companys competitive advantage and continued success
in the global market