Design for the Marketing Mix: The Past, Present, and Future of Market-Driven Engineering Design
[Review of ]. JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN, 142(6).
Abstract The four Ps of the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) serve as a framework for characterizing the marketing decisions made during the product development process. In this paper, we describe how the last 40 years of engineering design research has increasingly incorporated representations of preference as a means of addressing the decisions that come with each “P.” We argue that this incorporation began with problem formulations based on Product only, with surrogates of preference posed as objectives (such as minimizing weight, minimizing part count) representing a firm's desire for offering a mix of products while reducing cost and maximizing profit. As the complexity of problem formulations progressed, researchers began representing preferences of the designer (using decision theory techniques) and of the customer (often in the form of random utility models). The Design for Market Systems special session was created specifically in the Design Automation Conference for advancing our understanding of design in the content of a market, extending from the decision-based design framework introduced by Hazelrigg. Since then, researchers have explored the engineering design problem formulation challenges associated with the marketing decisions of Price, Place, and Promotion. This paper highlights the advancements of the design community in each of the Ps and shows how the marketing decisions of Place and Promotion extend from the central hub of considering Price in an engineering design problem. We also highlight the exciting research opportunities that exist as the community considers more complicated, and interconnected, problem formulations that encompass the entirety of the Marketing Mix.