The 4 Ps of Marketing: What They Are and How to Use Them (2022)

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Learn what the 4 Ps are and how they can help you on your next marketing endeavor.

The 4 Ps of Marketing: What They Are and How to Use Them (1)

The four Ps are a “marketing mix” comprised of four key elements—product, price, place, and promotion—used when marketing a product or service. Typically, businesses consider the four Ps when creating marketing plans and strategies to effectively market to their target audience.

Although there are many other “marketing mixes,” the four Ps are the most common and foundational to creating a successful marketing plan. In this article, you will learn more about their purpose, history and find a detailed breakdown of the four Ps.

What are the 4Ps of marketing? (Marketing mix explained)

The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of a “marketing mix,” or the combined tools and methodologies used by marketers to achieve their marketing objectives.

The 4 Ps were first formally conceptualized in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy in the highly influential text, Basic Marketing, A Managerial Approach [1]. There, McCarthy noted that while the text of the book was “similar to that found in the traditional texts, the approach is not.”

McCarthy’s novel approach was influenced by the still-recent “marketing mix” concept, which Harvard Business School professor Neil. H. Borden popularized in the 1950s. In fact, Borden himself had been influenced by a 1948 study written by James Culliton, in which the author equated business executives to “artists” or “mixer[s] of ingredients” [2]. Rather than using the same approach for every situation, then, Culliton and Borden recognized that successful executives instead mixed different methods depending on variable market forces.

McCarthy streamlined this concept into the four Ps—product, place, price, and promotion—to help marketers design plans that fit the dynamic social and political realities of their time and target market. In effect, the purpose of the four Ps remains the same today as when McCarthy first published his book: “developing the ‘right’ product and making it available at the ‘right’ place with the ‘right’ promotion and at the ‘right’ price, to satisfy target consumers and still meet the objectives of the business” [3].

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The four Ps

The four Ps form a dynamic relationship with one another. Rather than one taking priority over the other, each is considered equally important in crafting a strategic marketing plan.

Product

The product is the good or service being marketed to the target audience.

Generally, successful products fill a need not currently being met in the marketplace or provide a novel customer experience that creates demand. For example, the original iPhone filled a need in the market for a simplified device that paired a phone with an iPod, and the chia pet provided a humorous experience for consumers that was utterly unique.

As you are working on your product, it is essential to consider your target audience and their unique needs. Some questions to consider when working on a product include:

  • What is your product?

  • What does your product do? Does the product meet an unfilled need or provide a novel experience?

  • Who is your product’s target audience?

  • How is your product different from what others offer?

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Price

Price is the cost of a product or service.

When marketing a product or service, it is important to pick a price that is simultaneously accessible to the target market and meets a business’s goals. Pricing can have a significant impact on the overall success of a product. For example, if you price your product too high for your targeted audience, then very few of them will likely purchase it. Similarly, if you price your product too low, then some might pass it up simply because they are concerned it might be of inferior quality and cut into your potential profit margins.

To identify a successful price, you will want to thoroughly understand your target audience and their willingness to pay for your product. Some questions you might ask yourself as you are considering your product’s price include:

  • What is the price range of your product’s competitors?

    (Video) The 4 Ps of Marketing - The Marketing Mix Explained

  • What is the price range of your target audience?

  • What price is too high for your audience? What price is too low?

  • What price best fits your target market?

Place

Place is where you sell your product and the distribution channels you use to get it to your customer.

Much like price, finding the right place to market and sell your product is a key factor in reaching your target audience. If you put your product in a place that your target customer doesn’t visit—whether on or offline— then you will likely not meet your sales target. The right place, meanwhile, can help you connect with your target audience and set you up for success.

For example, imagine you are selling an athletic shoe you designed. Your target market is athletes in their early twenties to late thirties, so you decide to market your product in sports publications and sell it at specialty athletics stores. By focusing on sports stores over shoe stores in general, you are targeting your efforts to a specific place that best fits your marketing mix.

To decide the best place to market and sell your product, you should consider researching the physical or digital places that your target audience shops and consumes information. Some questions to consider include:

  • Where will you sell your product?

  • Where does your target audience shop?

  • What distribution channels are best to reach your target market?

Promotion

Promotion is how you advertise your product or service. Through promotion, you will get the word out about your product with an effective marketing campaign that resonates with your target audience.

There are many different ways to promote your product. Some traditional methods include word of mouth, print advertisements, and television commercials. In the digital age, though, there are even more marketing channels that you can use to promote your product, such as content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Some questions to consider as you are working on your product promotion include:

  • What is the best time to reach your target audience?

  • What marketing channels are most effective for your target audience?

  • What advertising approaches are most persuasive to your target audience?

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Other marketing mixes

The four Ps aren’t the only marketing mix used today. Some other modern marketing mixes include the five Ps, the seven Ps, and the 5 Cs. Although each of these reflects certain aspects of the four Ps, they also each possess some unique elements that alter their emphasis on the marketing process.

The five Ps

The five Ps are product, price, place, promotion, and people.

Today, many marketers use the five Ps over the four Ps because it centers the experiences of customers and staff in the marketing process. Typical considerations include how a customer behaves, their experience with the product, and their overall satisfaction with the business.

The seven Ps

The seven Ps are product, price, place, promotion, people, processes, and physical evidence.

The seven Ps are a further elaboration of the five Ps, adding considerations of the processes that define the customer experience and the physical evidence that the target market needs to see to become customers. While processes might involve the specific customer service processes that define a product, physical evidence can be websites or store displays that help the target market imagine themselves using the product.

The five Cs

The five Cs are customer, company, competition, collaborators, and climate.

In some respects the five Cs reflect many of the same concerns of the four and five Ps, but with added emphasis on external factors, such as possible outside collaborations and competitive research.

Furthermore, while “climate” refers to the social, political, and economic context surrounding the market, “customer” refers to the target market and customer experience. “Company,” meanwhile, refers to the place of the company and their available resources in the marketing process.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

All of the 4 Ps—product, price, place, and promotion—are important components of your marketing strategy. They work most effectively when marketers use them in conjunction with one another. You may find yourself focusing on one or another at different phases of business development. For example, you might focus on product and price at earlier stages, while place and promotion might become priorities at a later stage when you’re preparing to introduce the product to the market.‎

Although the 4 Ps of marketing has been around since the 1960s, the concept is still considered useful, even as marketing rapidly evolves and becomes increasingly digitized. You can think of the 4 Ps as comprising the foundation to developing effective marketing strategies. At the same time, it’s a good idea to use some of the other models—the 5 Ps (product, price, place, promotion, and people) or the 5 Cs (customer, company, competition, collaborators, and climate)—to build a more thorough approach to marketing.‎

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Article sources

1. Oxford Reference. “E Jerome McCarthy, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100143321.” Accessed July 29, 2022.

2. Guillaum Nicaise. “The Concept of the Marketing Mix, http://www.guillaumenicaise.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Borden-1984_The-concept-of-marketing-mix.pdf.” Accessed July 29, 2022.

3. HathiTrust. “Basic Marketing: a managerial approach, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=inu.30000041584743&view=1up&seq=1.” Accessed July 29, 2022.

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(Video) What are the 4 P's of marketing? Why do they matter?

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FAQs

What are the 4 Ps of marketing and what does each mean? ›

The marketing mix, also known as the four P's of marketing, refers to the four key elements of a marketing strategy: product, price, place and promotion.

What are the 4 P's activities involved in marketing? ›

The four Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. These are the key factors that are involved in marketing a product or service. You take the four Ps into account when creating strategies for marketing, promoting, advertising, and positioning your product or brand.

What are the 4 Ps in marketing and its importance to penetrate the existing and potential market? ›

While other Ps have been developed over the years by business and economic experts, these four Ps are respected as the foundation for marketing programs. The four Ps are: product, price, place and promotion. Because they work together, their order is of no consequence.

What is marketing mix and why is it important? ›

The marketing mix is the set of controllable, tactical marketing tools that a company uses to produce a desired response from its target market. It consists of everything that a company can do to influence demand for its product. It is also a tool to help marketing planning and execution.

What is marketing explain with an example? ›

It is, in short, an action taken to bring attention to a business' offerings; they can be physical goods for sale or services offered. Common examples of marketing at work include television commercials, billboards on the side of the road, and magazine advertisements.

What are the 4 types of marketing? ›

Here is a quick rundown of the four types of marketing strategies:
  • Cause Marketing. Cause marketing, also known as cause-related marketing, links a company and its products and services to a social cause or issue.
  • Relationship Marketing. ...
  • Scarcity Marketing. ...
  • Undercover Marketing.
25 Jan 2010

What is product mix in marketing with example? ›

Product Mix, another name as Product Assortment, refers to several products that a company offers to its customers. For example, a company might sell multiple lines of products, with the product lines being fairly similar, such as toothpaste, toothbrush, or mouthwash, and also other such toiletries.

What is the most important P in marketing mix? ›

In school, we learn that there are 7 Ps in the marketing mix: product, place, people, process, physical evidence, promotion, and price. Traditionally, each of these P's has been an important way to differentiate your company from the competition.

What are the four marketing strategies businesses use to determine customer needs? ›

A marketing mix can consist of any combination of factors, but most commonly refers to what is known as the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, promotion and place. Each of these four Ps can influence a consumer's decision-making.

When the marketing mix elements are put together how does each element affect the others the group? ›

How do the marketing-mix elements affect each other? The way that the marketing-mix elements affect each other is that if one doesn't succeed, then none of them will. They all lean on each other for support in succeeding. A customer thinks the benefits outweigh the costs.

Which of the 4 Ps in marketing captures value for the firm? ›

4 P's: product: creating value, price: capturing value, place: delivering value, and promotion: communicates value.

How do you use marketing mix? ›

Here's a step-by-step guide to developing a marketing mix using the 4 Ps:
  1. Clearly identify which product or service you are analyzing. ...
  2. Analyze how your product meets the needs of your customers. ...
  3. Understand the places where your target audience shops. ...
  4. Decide on a price for your product.
7 Jun 2021

What is marketing mix in simple words? ›

What is Marketing Mix. Definition: The marketing mix refers to the set of actions, or tactics, that a company uses to promote its brand or product in the market. The 4Ps make up a typical marketing mix - Price, Product, Promotion and Place.

What makes a good marketing strategy? ›

What makes a good marketing strategy? Knowing your target customer, taking an integrated approach to your campaigns, knowing and communicating your USP, focusing on your customer's problems and above all, committing.

Why is marketing so important? ›

The importance of marketing for your business is that it makes the customers aware of your products or services, engages them, and helps them make the buying decision. Furthermore, a marketing plan, a part of your business plan helps in creating and maintaining demand, relevance, reputation, competition, etc.

What are the functions of marketing? ›

What are marketing functions?
  • Promotion.
  • Selling.
  • Product management.
  • Pricing.
  • Marketing information management.
  • Financing.
  • Distribution.

What are the objectives of marketing? ›

Objectives of Marketing

Marketing majorly focuses on achieving consumer satisfaction and maximising profits. Customer Satisfaction: The primary motive of a company is to satisfy the needs of customers. Ensure Profitability: Every business is run for profit, and so goes for marketing.

What are the 4 Ps of marketing quizlet? ›

Defined by 4 P's. product, place, promotion, and price, which together make up the marketing mix. What does the customer want from the product/service?

What are the 4 Ps of marketing Brainly? ›

Breakdown of the 4Ps of Marketing: Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

What are the 4 Ps of marketing PDF? ›

The four P's—product, price, place, and promotion—should work together in your marketing mix.

What is price in 4 Ps of marketing? ›

Description: What are the 4Ps of marketing? Price: refers to the value that is put for a product. It depends on costs of production, segment targeted, ability of the market to pay, supply - demand and a host of other direct and indirect factors.

Which of the 4 Ps is most important? ›

I believe this highlights why the product is the most important aspect of the four P's of marketing – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Without a product, you cannot implement any one of the other three elements of the marketing mix. And great products are easy to market as they serve both a need and want.

What are the four activities that make up the marketing mix quizlet? ›

Product, place, promotion, and price which together make up the marketing mix.

Which of the 4 Ps includes channel of distribution? ›

The third P of marketing is about where you will sell your product or service. This encompasses both your distribution channels and your place in the market. Your distribution channels are the avenues through which you reach your target market.

How do businesses use the marketing mix? ›

Importance of Marketing Mix

Helps understand what your product or service can offer to your customers. Helps plan a successful product offering. Helps with planning, developing and executing effective marketing strategies. Helps businesses make use of their strengths and avoid unnecessary costs.

How marketing mix affect marketing strategies? ›

The mix helps in determining which marketing strategy is right for your organization. It is the first step before you even create your business or marketing plan. The reason is that your marketing mix decisions also have an impact on your positioning, targeting, and segmentation decisions.

What are the 4 types of marketing? ›

The four Ps of marketing—product, price, place, promotion—are often referred to as the marketing mix. These are the key elements involved in planning and marketing a product or service, and they interact significantly with each other.

What are the 4 P's of Coca Cola? ›

It analyses the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) of Coca-Cola Company and explains its business & marketing strategies.

What are 7 Ps of marketing? ›

The 7Ps of marketing are – product, pricing, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, and processes.

What is the most important P of marketing? ›

Nowadays, factors like price matching have become incredibly important. This is because the price is now the most important 'P' in the marketing mix. We discuss how retailers can use pricing data to improve their marketing campaigns.

Why is price important? ›

Why is pricing important? In markets with increasing volume and price pressure, the right pricing approach is essential to remain competitive. It brings you the value you deserve for your products and services offered and secures the profits you need to invest in change and growth.

Videos

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