Marketing Mix MKT421: Southwest Airlines

Essay by eldonfieldsUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2006

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Marketing is a vital part of any business and is an integral component of selling any product. Whether the business is a small mom and pop operation or a world leader, marketing is a part of the business. Because there are many ways to fulfill the needs of the customer, a straight-forward approach is to consider the four "Ps" of the marketing mix. This paper will examine the marketing mix and give examples of the marketing mix as it pertains to Southwest Airlines.

The four elements of the marketing mix are product, place, promotion and price. Product is the good or service sold to satisfy a customer's needs. Place involves all of the decisions required to make the product or service available in the target market, or customers, place. Promotion is the process of informing the target market of the product. Finally, the fourth element of the marketing mix is price.

Price setting includes components such as analysis of price setting by the competition as well as analysis regarding acceptance or rejection of prices by the identified market (McCarthy and Perreault, 2002, pp. 48 - 50).

The United States airline industry is very competitive. Following the attacks on September 11th, there have been several airlines that have gone out of business or have filed bankruptcy. Southwest Airlines has been able to stay in business and out of bankruptcy. "Southwest Airlines is the only major airline to be profitable for the past 20 years" (McCarthy and Perreault, 2004, p. 7). This is in part to their marketing department. Southwest Airlines is an airline with a creative marketing department.

The airline industry in the United States has seen many changes of the years. In the early days of air travel, only the wealthy could afford to fly. Flying to a...