How do you market violence? Can the general public be persuaded to look at unarmed combat as a legitimate sport? Through the course of the paper, I will discuss all the aspects of the marketing mix, and how they are utilized by the mixed martial arts promotion The Ultimate Fighting Championship. I will also discuss the effect of their current marketing stratagem, and the impact to their booming business. Marketing is a process of determining a consumer’s needs, devising a product or service to satisfy those needs, and trying to focus customers on the goods and services you are offering.
Marketing is extremely important, and a fundamental building block for business growth. A marketing team is given the task of creating customer awareness through a variety of different marketing techniques. If a business does not pay close attention to their consumer demographic and needs, they will eventually fail over time. Two important aspects of marketing include acquiring new customers, and the preservation and growth of relationships with current customers. Marketing has always been viewed as a creative outlet, which encompassed advertising, distribution, and the selling of goods and services.
Marketing staff will also try to anticipate what customers will want in the future, often being accomplished with market research. In summation, a good marketing plan should be able to create a favorable proposition or series of benefits that a customer can value through goods or services. The marketing mix is normally described as the strategic positioning of a product or service in the marketplace, using the specification of the four Ps. During the early 1960’s, Professor E. Jerome McCarthy of Harvard Business School stated that a marketing mix contains four elements. The four key points are product, pricing, promotion, and placement.
It is recognized that all these aspects must be present to ensure a successful business model within a given industry. We will now take a thorough look at the four marketing mix points. First we will discuss product. Within marketing terms, the product can be defined as a good or service that is provided for consumption or use by a customer. An easy example of a service product is hotel customer service. Another example of a product service can be the omnipresent use of cell phones, pertaining to their service providers. Product goods are easy to define, with footwear manufactured by Nike, or soft drinks such as Coca
Cola. This aspect of marketing deals with the specific goods or services which are being sold, and how it will relate to customers needs and wants. The overall view of the product will be given, and will include additional provisions such as a warranty, guarantee, and support. The Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC for short, is the world’s leading mixed martial arts sports association. The UFC is comprised of a competitive array of mixed martial arts events, televised on pay per view and selected cable providers both domestically and internationally.
The UFC is committed to providing high quality live events, and television productions to entertain and engage viewers in one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Response to the UFC brand of mixed martial arts has been overwhelming, with an increasingly growing fan base that grows exponentially ever year. Like other forms of sports entertainment, including football, baseball, and boxing, the UFC has acquired a strong foothold to compete as a legitimate leisure viewing product.
Once the product is in place, a price can be settled upon for use of the goods or services. The price of course is the amount a customer will pay for use of the product. The price point is determined with a number of different factors, including market share, opposing competition, cost to produce the product, product advertising, and what a customer will sense as the product value. At times the business may increase or decrease the price of the product depending upon the marketplace.
While touching on this key marketing mix point, the price doesn’t necessarily need to be of monetary value, it can also be an exchange for product or services; time, energy, etc. When speaking about the UFC, the main revenue is generated by the live gate acquired at an event, and the coinciding pay per view of the said event. Tickets are normally priced competitively to that of marquis boxing matches, and the pay per view prices have increased with the sports popularity, and shift in technology now that events are broadcast in high definition.
Now that the product and price point have been decided, you need to set up a promotion structure. Promotion can be viewed as all communication that a business will use in their given marketplace. Promotion also has four key facets; advertising, public relations, word of mouth, and point of sale. A business is looking for a certain amount of crossover to occur when using the four elements together. There are many components to promoting your product, including publicity, advertising, personal selling, and branding.
Any form of advertisement is communication that has been paid for. This can include anything from television, radio, internet adverts, print media, billboards, and cinema commercials. Public relations are utilized when communication is not directly paid for, including sponsorship deals, conferences, seminars, events, and press releases. Word of mouth comes in to play as informal communication of a product by the average individual. These people are normally satisfied customers, or people specifically engaged to generate positive word of mouth momentum.
When a business can effectively use the marketing mix, and offer the product with the right arrangment of the 4 Ps, they can improve their results and marketing efficiency. Small alterations to the marketing mix are characteristic to a strategic change. Either making large or small changes to the price point of the product can signify a change in the position of the product, or can relate to a promotional offer. The UFC has become ubiquitous, appearing in all forms of advertising, including television, radio, print ads, the internet, and a very strong word of mouth.
This is quite an accomplishment when you trace back to the start of the sport. The new management that purchased the UFC on February 23 2001, have been constantly trying to distinguish itself from the controversial stigma of just presenting a no holds barred spectacle. Once dubbed “human cockfighting” by Senator John Mccain, the marketing team the UFC assembled have worked tirelessly to reverse their negative image. Ad campaigns now concentrate on the skill and athleticism of the combatants, as opposed to a mentality of two men enter, and one man leaves.
The UFC owners were smart enough to set up rules and regulations, which included weight classes for fighters, and a series of fouls to protect fighter safety. All of this lead to meetings with state athletic commissions to sanction mixed martial arts events, and the ability to promote mixed martial arts as a sport. Placement, or distribution of the product, refers to how the product makes its way to the customer. This can be as simple as point of sale placement, or sales through a retail outlet.
The last of the four Ps can also be identified as place, in reference to the channel the product or service is being sold, i. e. pay per view, retail, online streaming, etc. This can also pertain to the geographic region and industry, and demographic the business and product are trying to entice. The UFC has taken full advantage of its global popularity, and expanded its horizons to include events in the United Kingdom and Canada. UFC fights can now be viewed on cable television, the internet, and purchased at local retailers on DVD.