4Ps of marketing

So, if we were to attack the basics of marketing, we have to start with the 4Ps.  Anyone who have ever taken a marketing class would know the 4Ps.

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Place
  4. Promotion

4Ps were defined by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960, and it’s remains relevant today.  The 4Ps needs to work together like the four wheels of a car.  If any one of the 4Ps is missing, you aren’t going anywhere.  Just like the four wheels of your car, they are work together.  If any one of the wheel is a little off (imagine having that tiny spare tire in place of your regular tire), you aren’t going anywhere fast.  The 4Ps are meant to work synergistically with each other.

Let’s go through each P here for a minute.

Product:  This is everything about what you’re selling.  What variety are you going to offer?  How high is the quality?  How are you branding it?  What is the packaging?  Imagine cookies.  Is it chocolate chip or sugar?  Is it bulk size or individual sized?  Is it packaged in elegant gift box or simply in a clear plastic bag or maybe no packaging at all?  Is the packaging easy to open?  Is it organic and gluten free?  Is it Girl Scout’s cookie or is it little Susie’s Mom homemade cookie?  What are you selling?  That’s Product.

Price:  Yeah.  Obviously it is the retail price of a product.  But there are a lot of things that affects the end product price someone pays.  Are you offering a discount?  Are you offering a coupon?  Are you offering a rebate? Are you offering gift with purchase?  Are you offering bulk prices?  Are you offering a pay later option?  Are you offering a payment plan?  Are you accepting credit cards or is it cash only?  Anything that affects the affordability of the product should be considered into price.

Place:  This is where your product is distributed.  Where are your customers going to find your product?  What retail locations?  Or is it delivered direct to home?  So, is it available on specific ecommerce sites?  Or where can it be downloaded?  If it’s in a store, which section of a store?  Which section of the shelf?  One can imagine that if it’s right at the entrance on eye level is more ideal than all the way in the back of the store on the top shelf.  Anything that affects the availability of your product is part of Place.  So this includes all the logistics of ensuring the availability – no out-of-stocks.  You cannot sell something that is not available for sale.

Promotion:  This is sometimes what people think of when they think of marketing.  But it’s really only one component.  Promotion includes any efforts to create consumer demands for your product.  Sure, this includes advertising.  This is media mention.  This is public relations.  This is social media.  This includes the pretty picture that’s featured on the website.  This includes the website.  This also includes any house call.  This includes customer services.  This includes the Girl Scouts going around selling cookies to you.  This includes the Mom telling her co-workers to buy cookies.  This includes PTA announcing in emails that a bake sale is going on.  This includes everything that generate interests in the product.

All 4 Ps have to work together.  But more importantly, all 4Ps have to work with your strategy.  Who’s your target?  What’s your brand positioning?  That is going to affect the 4Ps.  A cookie meant for corporate gifting and a cookie meant for a bake sale to raise money for the football team are going to affect all 4Ps.

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