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The Ultimate Guide to the 4 P’S of Marketing

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

A meticulous marketing plan executed to perfection is the key to the success of any business. The size of the business does not matter, but having the right products or services, in the right place, at the right time, and at the right price does! There needs to be a strategy in place, to make the product offering unique. It's important to differentiate your strategy from competitors, and also to stay ahead of the competition. This brings us to the most fundamental elements in marketing, the 4 p’s of marketing.

Elements of the 4 p’s of Marketing

Product: A Product is the goods or services that a business is offering to its customers. It is either something that has been introduced in the market to fulfill a certain need of the target audience or something so convincing and unputdownable that it creates a new demand by inducing customers to believe it is something they really need. Since every product comes with a life cycle of its own, marketers require having a plan set for each stage, from introduction, growth, maturity to decline. At the end of the day, it’s all about what’s unique about your product which gives you an edge over your competitors and enables your target audience to convert into paid customers.

Example: Coca-Cola came up with Coca-Cola life with less sugar and natural sweetener stevia. In context to the marketing mix, this signifies placing a product on the market according to the needs of the target audience.

Price: After the product comes, the work out its value for the target audience. It means how much you charge your customers for the product or service that you are offering. Your pricing strategy needs to be meticulously planned by keeping in mind, what your competitors charge, and how much are your target customers ready to pay for your product. There requires being some sort of balance between a product's real and perceived value. How you want your customer to perceive your product, also affects the pricing strategy for your product. Whether you want to come across as a nice luxury brand known for its exclusiveness or a cost-effective brand that fulfills customers' needs at a great price. Your pricing strategy will also include the discounts and offers that you will want to offer from time to time. Thus, deciding the right price, not too high, not too low, that ends up giving you profit is one of the most important factors in the 4 p’s of marketing.

Example: Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing manufacturing company, produces high-quality, daily-use garments at a low price by ordering in large volumes, and continuously seeking the highest-quality and lowest-cost material in the world.

Place: What is a marketing mix without a Place to promote and sell your product in? Where you sell your product is of utmost importance because it has to be a location where your target audience already is. It will be highly illogical to place your product in a place where people are not interested in your product or service. Thus, the idea is to place your product in front of the customers who are most likely to buy them. The place can be anywhere, a brick & mortar location, displays of a physical store, a TV show or a movie, and also web pages in order to grab the customer’s attention. With everything shifting to digital platforms these days, it becomes essential to place your product on digital platforms and e-commerce platforms.

Example: Apple devices are only found in apple-stores and selective e-commerce websites like Amazon.

Promotion: This is all about highlighting the qualities and features of your product or service, its pricing, and influencing customers to buy it by convincing them that they need it, at the price you are offering. The promotion mix in mixed marketing chiefly involves advertising, publicity, public relations, promotional strategy, sales promotions, personal selling, direct marketing, etc. The underlying factor behind every promotional strategy however is to drive sales and generate revenue. This will then also include choosing a favorable environment in terms of platforms or channels where your products can be promoted and well received.

Example: Emirates Airlines used the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, to shoot a commercial that has a woman in full cabin crew uniform standing atop the building’s highest point. This ad took the internet by storm.

What is a Marketing Mix?

A marketing mix is a combination of elements or a framework of tools & strategies that a company can leverage to influence the demand of its products and make the consumer purchase its products. It is a tool that enables businesses to understand what elements to use, and in what magnitude or system, for the fulfillment of their marketing goals and objectives. These elements include the 4 p’s of marketing.

The theory of marketing mix was conceptualized in the 1960s by an advertising professor at Harvard University named Neil Borden. In 1964, Borden in his article “The Concept Of The Marketing Mix” spoke of ways in which businesses could use advertising to engage with their customers. A decade later, E. Jerome McCarthy, came up with the concept of the 4 p’s of marketing, which was based upon Borden’s idea of the Marketing Mix. Years later, in this day and age of digitization and technological innovations, this concept is still applicable in the marketing industry.

Some Definitions by experts to understand what is a marketing mix:

“ The marketing mix refers to the apportionment of efforts, the combination of designing, the integration of the elements of marketing into a program or mix which, based on an appraisal of the market force, will achieve the market objectives of an enterprise in a given time.”

Prof. Neil. H. Borden

“ Marketing mix is the mixture of controllable marketing variables that the firm uses to pursue the sought level of sales in the target market”

Philip Kotler

It is needless to say that one of the most essential tasks of marketing is to deliver the right products or services to the right audience so that their needs are fulfilled along with the actualization of organizational objectives. This requires the perfect combination and permutations of the components of the multilevel marketing mix, which can be achieved by the application of the 4 p’s of marketing. The ability to make certain decisions like what products should be offered, what should be the price, what markets would the products sell in, along with the means to communicate with the consumer depend upon a lot of external and internal factors that come into the purview of mixed marketing. For a marketing strategy to be successful, It is also essential to understand the needs and desires of the consumers, to understand how your product interacts with the consumers, to identify the problem areas and find the right solutions, to change public perception in case of a problem and to highlight distinguishing features to increase competitive advantage; all this can be clearly understood and implemented with the right understanding of what is a marketing mix and the 4 ps of marketing.

The 4 p’s of marketing post COVID-19

Impediments like the COVID-19 pandemic are not something marketing strategies were equipped for. It brought about a new set of challenges when it came to utilizing the marketing mix. But there’s nothing that marketers can overcome. Therefore, with a meticulous review of the multilevel marketing strategy, with new adjustments, they remain as effective as before.

PRODUCT: With the change in consumer behavior post-covid-19, it became imperative to adapt to the shifting needs and wants of consumers to best serve them short-term as well as long term. Changes in the product roadmap in terms of mixed marketing, like focusing on essential goods to providing home delivery services to the use of technological advances to augment your product or service, become essential to stay up-to-date with the shifting needs and values of your customers.

PRICE: The global pandemic has brought about a drastic change in how customers choose to spend their money. Great caution is exercised before making any purchasing decision. In such situations, keeping in mind the changes you apply to your product, the pricing requires to be adjusted in terms of offers, shipping, purchasing terms in such a way that your customers are at ease and your business goals do not get negatively impacted by re-adjusting your marketing mix strategy.

PLACE: The place is a major factor right now when it comes to applying the 4 p’s of marketing. Keeping in mind the safety protocols, the idea is to find out where your audience is spending their time post-COVID-19. Thus, you have to be prepared to sell or distribute your products online. Making your products available on the various e-commerce websites and optimizing your website for e-commerce is the need of the hour.

PROMOTION: Customers now spend more and more time online and can be easily reached through social media and digital advertising. Creating helpful content in accordance with the changing consumer habits and placing them where they go online the most will help draw their attention. Making exclusive online offers with the right blend of the marketing mix proves to be the best strategy. The idea is to become aware of the information the audience is looking for and transmit those in their promotional activities.

Now that we know what are the 4 p’s of marketing, it is clear that these elements of the marketing mix are there to help you launch your product or make a new offer to the market. Following the example of 4ps of marketing can also be your guideline to upgrade your existing marketing strategy. All you need to do is have the right guidance and expertise of the marketing mix to successfully present and position your brand. We at Pravaah Consulting help you analyze your marketing strategy under the purview of the 4 ps of marketing. It is our goal to help our clients determine, define and improve their marketing mix. We help your organization make the right choice during the process of launching a product or service to the market. The 4 Ps is perhaps the most effective way to approach marketing goods or services.

We help you understand:

  • Whether your product meets the needs of the customer?

  • What type of customers is likely to buy your product?

  • Where will you be able to find these customers?

  • What kind of pricing should you decide on for your product?

  • What marketing strategies should you adapt to reach them?

This is not as easy as it sounds. Putting a specific product that a particular group of people may want, in a place where those same people visit regularly and that too at a price level that they feel has the value for the price you are offering it in and at the same time making sure that they are convinced that the product is the exact thing they have been looking for. Thus, the 4 p’s of marketing come across as a perfect blend of elements that can enhance and improve your marketing strategy. However, it must be kept in mind that all Ps must be taken into consideration in relation to each other. The marketing approach has seen major changes since the inception of the concept of the 4 p’s of marketing, but the rudimentary elements of the industry have not. We can help you implement these concepts of the marketing mix to create successful marketing strategies that just won't help you to launch and promote your products, but also draw profits from them. So are you ready to test and rethink your marketing strategy with us?


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