4 P’s of Marketing with Macy’s


Meet Jennifer Dang: an AMA alumni, UT marketing major, and assistant buyer at Macy’s.  (Oh wait, did we mention that she’s based in New York City? Yes, Jennifer is living out our dreams right now and we’re definitely jealous.) But when we say buyer, we don’t mean someone rummaging the racks for a good deal. While Jennifer certainly finds good deals, her role as a buyer, specifically for managing Estée Lauder, involves trend forecasting, driving sales, and “shopping” for the retailer. 

So… what’s marketing for a buyer?

We asked, and Jennifer responded with the signature 4 P’s, otherwise known as the “marketing mix”:

  1. Product
  2. Place
  3. Promotion
  4. Price

To break it down:

Product generally refers to what the business is selling, but for Jennifer, it’s all about customer KPIs and market trends. A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, helps you measure what you manage through analytics such as customer satisfaction, retention, and how likely your buyers will recommend you. Jennifer uses both KPIs and market trends to best predict what products would most appeal to consumers, which enhances customer relations strategy. Included in this category is also differentiating between your core product line and the extra fluff. By determining your core, your business can concentrate on what they’re best at, and remain profitable. To sum up, our product marketing category is all about finding what your consumers want and need.

Place refers to customer access and how the aforementioned product will be set up. While traversing through perfume-laden department store beauty counters may be a hassle for some of us, there is a whole science behind them, optimized to appeal to consumers. Jennifer’s role involves figuring out visual merchandising (the display and product arrangement in the photo above) and channel allocation (the amount of product inventory). Our place is definitely changing, as more and more people are surfing the Internet versus walking the aisles. This ties in with the idea of convenience, and how we want to make sure the product can be easily found and bought. 

Promotion refers to the traditional (ie. print, audio & TV)  and digital marketing tactics (ie. email & social media) utilized. Determining how customers can be both informed and engaged about products is an important way to get them within the sales pipeline. Other specific promotion roles include: pay-per-click search marketing, online public relations, and opt-in emails. Overall, our promotion category centers on the necessary communication to attract your consumer demographics, or even reach new audiences. 

Price is pretty self-explanatory: it refers to how much a customer pays for the product. But the $39.99 price tag isn’t the only cost, you’ll also have to take into account the time, money, and conscience your buyer will be spending. As a quick example, imagine a mom of three kids decides to head down to Macy’s for some shop therapy. After heavy traffic and a solid amount of road rage, we’re at the mall, but now the mom regrets shopping for her own wants rather than for her kids. Putting the guilty conscience aside, the mom searches through Macy’s for another half hour, gets about 10,000 steps in, and finds the perfect outfit for upcoming parent teacher meetings. So taking in all this information, Jennifer creates promotions such as your classic BOGOs, or GWP: gift with purchase. They’re an incredibly enticing part of sales, which is why it is so important to conceive the right promotion for consumers. To sum this category up, it’s all about making the price worth it for your buyers.

So… what now?

Looking into the future, the 4 P’s are definitely changing because of our digital climate. Some theorists have upgraded it to the 4 C’s, 6 P’s, and even the newest edition, 4 V’s. While the acronym lettering may change, the core ideas of product, place, promotion, and price remain strong to this day. Again, thank you to Jennifer Dang for helping us gain insight into the life of a buyer at Macy’s, and next time y’all go shopping, remember to keep a lookout for the 4 P’s!



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