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the 4 ps of marketing

The four (4) Ps of marketing comes from the overall model in marketing called “Marketing Mix”. This term was coined by Neil Borden and it constitutes a set of marketing tools that allows a brand, company or startup to promote a product’s unique selling point (USP) those that makes it standout from those of the competition inorder position the product favourably within the marketplace . 

The concept of marketing mix has been around since the early nineties, marketers were only able to reach a consensus in 1960 as to what constitutes the “marketing mix” and this is where the four (4) Ps of marketing came into play through the works of E. Jerome McCarthy.

McCarthy’s “4 Ps of Marketing”  has been used by practitioners, brands, scholars, marketers and business owners over the years.

The 4 Ps of Marketing.

the 4 ps of marketing price product place promotion

1. Product.

The first P in the 4 Ps of marketing is the product. A product can either be tangible (physical product) or intangible (service offering) that meets a need, desire or want of the end consumer. Regardless of what your product is, it could be a Canvas Wall Art or even Web design service, it is very important that you understand and know what your product is and what makes it “unique” or stand out from that of the competition.

Typical ‘Product’ Marketing Decisions.

  • Product design – features, functionalities, quality
  • Product assortment – product range, product mix, product lines
  • Branding – brand message, brand identity
  • Packaging and labeling
  • Services (complementary service,  pre-sale services, after-sales service, service level)
  • Guarantees and warranties
  • Returns
  • Managing products through the life-cycle

2. Price.

Once the product has been created and the uniqueness determined, setting a price for the product is the next P. The price is basically the sacrifice a consumer is willing to make in order to acquire the product (and/or service). The “sacrifice” can be in terms of money, time or effort.

Determining what the price of a product is plays a key role in the revenue, profit, demand, supply and bottom line of the company. Products with different prices are positioned differently in the market.

Typical Price Marketing Decisions.

  • Price strategy
  • Price tactics
  • Price-setting
  • Allowances – e.g. rebates for distributors
  • Discounts – for customers
  • Payment terms – credit, payment methods


3. Promotion.

No matter how good the price of a good product is, if no one knows about it, it adds no value to anyone. This is why the third P of the 4 Ps of marketing is Promotion. Promotion covers the way the information about a product is passed on to the consumers in order to differentiate it from existing products in the marketplace.

Promotion includes things like marketing and advertising such as social media marketing, search engine marketing, pay per click, video marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing and more! Brands and business should ensure that whatever medium or touch point they choose to promote on, their brand is well positioned in order to increase return on investment.

Typical ‘Promotion’ Marketing Decisions.

  • Promotional mix – appropriate balance of advertising, PR, direct marketing and sales promotion
  • Message strategy – what is to be communicated about the product or brand
  • Channel/ media strategy – how  and where to reach the target audience
  • Message Frequency – how often to communicate with the customer

4. Place.

In order to win in marketing, the right product has to be put in front of the right people, at the right time. So, it is very important to understand and pay attention to the location and place where products are placed that has a higher chance of turning an average Joe, into a paying customer.

The place is very important. Quick example; if you are trying to sell a product to people between the ages of 17 – 25, running advertisement on LinkedIn isn’t a good idea as that is not the right place where people between those ages congregate.

Marketing is all about finding the right placement, this P is very important. If the placement is wrong but the price and product is right, there will likely be no conversion. It’s like trying to sell cat toys to dog owners.

Typical ‘Place’ Marketing Decisions.

  • Strategies such as intensive distribution, selective distribution, exclusive distribution 
  • Franchising 
  • Market coverage
  • Channel member selection and channel member relationships
  • Assortment
  • Location decisions
  • Inventory
  • Transport, warehousing and logistics

Some of the key questions to ask in order to use the 4 Ps of Marketing

  • What is the pressing need or wants of your target customers
  • How does your product meet those needs
  • Where does your target audience congregate or hangout?
  • What type of promotional messages or tones resonates with them?
  • What is the perceived value of your product or service?
  • How often do you communicate with your customers?
  • What differentiates your products from the competitor’s?

Final Words.

I hope you’ve been able to know and learn about the 4 Ps of Marketing and gained some knowledge on what it takes to successfully take a product from inception to market. Ensuring that the product, price, promotion and placement of a product is clearly defined will ensure that a company’s product or service is well positioned to succeed.

Tags : 4 ps of marketingfour Ps of marketingfour ps of marketing 2018the 4 ps of marketing
Daniel Damilola Nejo

The author Daniel Damilola Nejo

Daniel Damilola Nejo is a Nigerian born, London based Creative Designer and Content Creator with love for the hustle and community. He has a Masters in Business Information Systems Management and is Endorsed by the UK Government as a "World Leading Exceptional Talent in Digital Technology" . He is a true hustler and a forward thinking individual who uses his knowledge and skill to add value to lives around the world. He works with startups, businesses and individuals around the world as a digital designer and brand developer. Founder of some Digital startups and brands.
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