The 4 Ps of marketing

March 27, 2009

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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About Jerry Brisinger

I am the Marketing Director of a small media development company. We deal with hardware,software, and hard goods. As part owner of that company, I am able to see many of the true inner workings of the decision making process. Over my years in the marketing field I have striven to show simplify people's way of thinking on the subject. Many executives and small business owners try to over complicate the entire idea. They are wrong. In my posts I hope to show you what it is that I mean.

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