The 4 Ps of marketing

Most business school graduates recognize the four Ps, but there are a lot of small businesses out there that are not run by MBAs and shudder at the word itself. I thought I would bring the four horsemen of marketing to them in this post.

In the early 1960s, Professor Neil Borden identified a number of company performance actions that can influence the consumers decision to purchase goods or services. Borden suggested that all those actions of the company represented a “marketing mix.” Professor E. Jerome McCarthy suggested that the marketing mix contained four elements: product, price, place and promotion.

Product: The product aspects of marketing deal with the specifications of the actual goods or services, and how it relates to the customer’s needs and wants. The scope of a product generally includes supporting elements such as warranties, guarantees and support.

Pricing: This refers to the process of setting a price for a product, including discounts. The price need not be monetary; it can simply be what is exchanged for the product or services such as time, energy or attention.

Placement (distribution): This refers to how the product gets to the customer; for example, point-of-sale placement or retailing. This third P is also sometimes been called Place, referring to the channel by which a product or service is sold (e.g. online vs. retail); which geographic region or industry; which segment (young adults, families, business people, etc.); and also how the environment in which the product is sold in can affect sales.

Promotion: This includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity and everything else that goes into marketing a product.

The four Ps model is most useful when marketing low-value consumer products. Industrial products, services, high-value consumer products require adjustments to this model. Any business can benefit form knowing the 4 Ps. Does your company implement the four Ps in a unique way?

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