Blog Best Of

The Marketing Mix: Understanding the 4Ps of Marketing

Kate William

9 min read

The key elements included in a marketing campaign are usually considered the 4Ps of marketing. The 4Ps of marketing are considered a foundational model for businesses. They are the set of marketing tools used to pursue marketing objectives. 

What does the 4P mean in marketing? 

The 4Ps of marketing include Product, Price, Plan and Promotion. 

What are the 4Ps and 4Cs of marketing

Did you know that apart from the 4Ps of marketing, we also have the 4Cs of marketing? They are the following: Consumer wants and needs, Cost, Convenience and Communication. They offer a much more consumer-based perspective on the marketing strategy. In this article, we are only going to discuss the 4Ps of marketing in detail. 

Who is the father of 4Ps of marketing? 

It was in 1960 that the modern form of 4Ps was first proposed by Jerome McCarthy. The concept still holds a lot of relevance because it is the easiest way to understand the fundamentals of marketing. 

The 4Ps of marketing is also called ‘the marketing mix. It is considered that the amalgamation of all of these makes for a good and effective marketing strategy. In this article, we will learn how the 4Ps of marketing will play into your marketing strategy. 

Before we move ahead, it is important to understand the value of market research.

Market research enables you to learn about your product from your audience’s perspective. Using it you can collect valuable data and plan your strategies. Survey tool like SurveySparrow offers engaging, easy-to-use surveys to cater to your need. You can try it now for FREE!

Let us understand the importance of each of the Ps in marketing:

Product:

The product can be a tangible or intangible item that is manufactured to satisfy a customer’s needs. A tangible good can be anything from a smartphone, apparels, painting, etc. In contrast, an intangible good is a service, medical consultation, legal consultation, etc. 

Marketers should understand what the product entails for both the business as well as the end consumer. They should have a deep understanding of the USP of the product, what will act as a massive differentiator with the rest of the competitors, its most prized features, and so on. 

The higher the understanding of a product, the better it will be for the marketer to meet the target market’s requirements. 

Here are a few questions that marketers need to find answers for:

  1. How is your product going to help your customers?
  2. Will your product fulfill their needs fully?
  3. What are the most important features of your product?
  4. Are there any features that your product has missed out on that should also be included?
  5. How do you see your customers using your product? 
  6. What will your customers experience while using your product?
  7. How can they take full advantage of your product? 

The most important thing that a product should do is to fulfill the demands of the market. Even if there is no market in the first place, the product should be so appealing that the consumers should be made to believe that this is what they were looking for. 

Marketers need to understand the lifecycle of a product and have a marketing plan to deal with prospective consumers in different stages of the buying cycle. Some of the most revolutionary consumer products of late that did not have precedents are Apple iPod and ebook reader. They had no contemporaries or predecessors. But the businesses which brought them into the market knew that the end consumers would love it. 

Price:

The second P in the 4Ps of marketing is Price. What does the Price of a product say? It determines the value of the product to its target audience. If the product pricing is based on the value it provides, perceived or otherwise, you will be able to attract buyers for it. Your target market needs to understand the product’s value. Only then they will be buying it. 

The product pricing strategy depends on a lot of factors. The amount of money you spend to take the product to the market might only be $100, but if the perceived value is extremely high, you can even charge $1000. Take the case of diamonds; other than perceived value, it has nothing going on for it. 

There are also cases where businesses sell some products at a premium to give the customer the feeling that they are buying a high-value product. In many cases, that may not even be the case, but it is people’s perception that the more they pay, the higher the value of the product. 

In other cases, businesses that want to sell in high volumes might want to reduce the prices to increase the number of products sold. Discounting the cost of the products might not always have a great result. Some customers might think that the business sells the product at a discount because it isn’t as good as was perceived by them. 

No matter how you price your product, you can be successful. But the success of your product depends on getting the price right according to your business model. 

Here are some questions that you need to ask to set your pricing:

  1. How much will my customers be willing to pay for the product?
  2. What is the maximum that customers would be willing to pay for this?
  3. How much do my competitors who make similar products charge?
  4. Which way do customers perceive my brand?
  5. How price-sensitive are my customers? 

Place:

When we refer to place in marketing, it is the market that we are talking about. The place where we are trying to sell the product is as important as the other 4Ps of marketing. The place decides how you will deliver the product and the kind of consumers who will be a part of the product. 

The primary goal of a marketer is to put the product in front of their target audience. You have to sell your products in a place where your customers are. The farther or difficult it is for them to reach out to you, the higher the friction. Eventually, your customers will seek out a product that is easier to buy. 

Since the online world has shrunk with respect to location, it still has its own issues that are to be dealt with. For example, if you sell a product to businesses, TikTok might not be your first destination to market. You will have to use avenues that are specific for B2B businesses. When you are selling, you need to choose the proper channels. 

If it is a traditional business, then trade conferences and meetups are a great way to attract clients. Placing yourself on the first page of Google search results is also one way to be at the right place. The idea is simple- go where your customers are. 

Here are some questions that you need to ask to get to the right place:

  1. Who is my ideal customer?
  2. Where can I find my ideal customers?
  3. What are the channels that they mostly use?
  4. What are the strategies used by my competitors to seek out customers? 
  5. Which is the most used channel by my customer, and how best can I leverage it?

The answers to the above questions will clarify the ‘Place’ factor in the 4Ps of marketing. 

Promotion:

In the 4Ps of marketing, ‘Promotion’ also has a special place. It tells the end consumer why they need the product and why they should set aside a budget to get it. Once you have the other 3 Ps in the 4Ps of marketing ready, the next step is to optimize your marketing activities, aka promotion.

Before the dawn of the internet, businesses used mass marketing tools like TV ads, billboards, radios, pamphlets, and so on to capture the attention of their target market. The only problem with all of these methods is that there was no way you could target your consumers based on their unique characteristics. Thanks to the internet and the rise of digital tools, it is possible for businesses to target the right consumers after adding a variety of filters. 

Here are some questions that you need to ask to get your Promotions on target:

  1. What are the channels used by our prospective customers to consume information?
  2. How will you send your marketing messages to your target market?
  3. What are the methods that attract the attention of our end consumers?
  4. Which kind of brand voice should I use when getting in touch with my prospective customers? 
  5. What are the tactics used by our competitors to get the attention of the consumers?
  6. Which is the best way to promote your product?
  7. What are some low-effort but high-value promotional tactics that we can use in our niche?
  8. When is the best time to promote?

The answer to the above questions will help you to come up with the best promotion tactics possible. Thanks to the internet, we live in an era where there are superior tools to reach out to the target market. Marketers these days have various methods using which they can reach out to their target customers, nurture them, increase sales, and so on. 

What are the 7Ps of marketing?

Well, there are extensions to the 4Ps of marketing which has been included recently. Let us look at them.

People: 

There are direct interactions between the service providers and the end consumers when there is a service involved. For something like this, there is a lack of objectivity. This means that a lot of things such as attitude, appearances, communication style, behavior, etc., are essential for the business. These should be scrutinized and improved at regular intervals as customers will judge based on these parameters. 

For example, if you walk into a high-end restaurant, there will be an usher who greets and makes sure that you find a place to sit. The staff will be extra friendly and will be ready to accommodate your needs. All of this forms an impression on you. 

Physical Evidence:

The business’ brand image is hugely affected by how their office looks, the furnishing used, the atmosphere, the layout, and so on. All of these will form impressions on the consumer’s minds when they try to avail a service.

When you are on the lookout to learn guitar from an institute, if the whole place looks morose and doesn’t inspire you, the chances of you paying for the class becomes less, isn’t it?

Process:

There are standardized procedures that should be involved in cases of issues, policies, systems, buying process, refund and returns addressal, etc. While all the cases should be handled subjectively, there should be standardized procedures spelt out for each of these cases. End consumers will be disappointed if there is no handbook based on which actions are taken. It is also an assurance that they don’t end up getting the long end of the stick.

These three Ps of marketing are an extension to the 4Ps of marketing that has been traditionally used. 

How to use the 4Ps of marketing? 

The 4Ps of marketing model can be used when a new venture is being planned. An existing offer evaluated when a marketing campaign is readied, when you are trying to optimize your sales strategy with your target audience, and so on. The business can incorporate the 4Ps of marketing by asking the series of questions mentioned for each of the Ps. The answers to the questions will help define each brand’s marketing mix. 

How to develop a marketing mix? 

A marketing manager must have essential qualities such as intuition, creative thinking, and technical prowess. Still, there cannot be assumptions when it comes to getting your marketing right. To ensure that your four elements of the marketing mix are based on solid research and foolproof values, you need to follow the below process:

1. What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

The first thing that a marketer needs to be aware of is whether the product has a factor or a feature where it offers something that no other competitor does. If the USP is not visible, then you can ask your customers with the help of a market research survey to know what they think about the product or how their needs are met only with your offering. 

The key features and benefits of your product are measured here. Once you know them, it will be easy for you to use them in your marketing messaging and sales. Finding your USP applies to physical goods, online stores or even services. 

2. Know your customer:

Without having a deep understanding of who your customer is or what they want, 4Ps of marketing or any other concept will not help you. The product can be made better by concentrating on the customer or their expectations from you. Without knowing what they want, you will not be able to design a product they are looking for. The value that your product offers them will give you an idea of how you can market them effectively.

3. Knowing your competitors:

In this time and age, you cannot become successful without indulging in competitor research. You need to be at least one step ahead of them. Understanding what the competitor offers, how they price the product, the marketing channels they use, their communication strategy, and their product’s perceived value will put you in a better position to market yourself better. 

4. Understand your placement options:

At this stage, the business needs to know which places their average customer will frequent and the channels they would use. You can use multiple channels to gain visibility to your vast audience. If you are in a niche market, you need to find the most optimal channels to optimize your operations as much as possible. Where you are available, and the channels you use is also closely associated with the perceived value of your product. 

5. Develop communication strategy:

After completing all the above steps, you need to develop your marketing communication strategy. Words are powerful, and you need to employ them effectively. The promotion strategies should also be in line with the research that has been done. The objective is to make your brand appealing to prospective customers and ensure that they are well educated about the benefits and features of the product.

6. Develop the marketing mix:

At this stage, the brand needs to see how all the elements are coming together. All the variables in the marketing mix should be interdependent and rely on each other to make the strategy work. For example, the channels used should be able to validate the perceived value of the product. 

Wrapping Up…

Considering all the above elements of a marketing mix is one of the best ways to create a holistic marketing strategy. While a lot has changed over the years, the 4Ps of marketing can still be used in this digital age to get maximum success. Whether you are a startup or an established entity, finding your marketing mixing can be critical while positioning your brand in the marketplace. 

For finding your marketing mix 4Ps, you can use the help of an online survey tool like SurveySparrow. It will help you understand your market better and be used effectively as a customer experience management tool. Get in touch with us to know how we can help you while building your marketing mix. 

 

Kate William

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

Cherry-picked blog posts.
The best of the best.

Leave us your email, we wont spam. Promise!