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4 Ps of Marketing by The Blue Oceans Group

The 4 Ps of Marketing:

When I was pursuing my master’s in Business Administration, I came across the terminology “4 Ps in marketing”. And I hope many of us must have read this concept in books or somewhere on the internet. 

For most of them, it is a boring topic. 

But the reality is far away. The 4 Ps of marketing is a foundation of not only big enterprises but small businesses as well. 

Before coming on the definition and knowing the role and relevancy of 4Ps of marketing with examples, let’s break those 4 Ps of the marketing mix. 

What is the 4 Ps of marketing: 

In 1960, E. J. McCarthy, in his book, “Basic Marketing – A Managerial Approach,” introduced the world to the 4 Ps of the marketing mix. The ultimate motto of this book was to make the business sustainable and scalable with financial viability. 

Hence, McCarthy summarises his book with these 4 pillars of marketing strategy1) Product 2) Price 3) Place and 4) Promotion. If any business fails to put all these 4 things appropriately, they will fail. 

In 1962, Neil H Borden explained in his article “the concept of Marketing Mix” and then popularised Modern Marketing Guru Philip Kotler. In that era, the idea of the 4 Ps was developed for the manufacturing industry as this industry used to drive the world economy. 

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I know, for some of us, the 4 Ps of the marketing mix can look simple or not that complicated, but the reality is- it’s implementation is the toughest thing. 

What are the four Ps of Marketing in Short: 

  1. Product (Goods or services what a company provide)
  2. Price (What Consumer pays for the final consumption) 
  3. Location (Where you will market your product and service) and 
  4. Promotion (The advertisement)

So, let’s dive in to get a complete understanding of the 4 Ps of marketing step by step with great examples;

#1 P of Marketing- Product: 

The first of the four Ps of marketing is a product. It can be a tangible good or an intangible service that fulfill the need or want of any consumer. 

Luxury hotels, flight, daily commodities, software, tools, beverages or anything that people consumes is the 1st P of marketing. 

How to make your product impressive that can stand out in a super-competitive market: 

  1. Find marketing gaps.
  2. Understand the people’s need and pain
  3. Ask yourself why to design this product and how it is useful? What do you not like in your competitor? “would you use it?” “do you like it?” “do you need it?” “would you pay for it?”
  4. Share the finding with the product team and do brainstorming.
  5. Design a product, do testing, and verify its every stage until it works smoothly. 

How to Brainstorm your Product with Team: 

I would say use 6 thinking hats techniques. It is an excellent strategy explained by Edward de Bono in his book 1985 Six Thinking Hats. 

Six Thinking Hats by The Blue Oceans Group
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Image by- The Blue Oceans Group

Remark: Always remember, your product and service must be useful, easy to use, beautiful and financially viable. 

After analyzing these factors, do not go with product development by investing huge time and money. Taking feedback from users is critically important. 

If you work on the feedback and develop your product with the required modification, it will bring more feasibility to the business. 

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You never want to design and develop such a product or service that nobody wants to use. 

Factors that influence the existence of a product:

  1. Product Design
  2. Features and Specifications of Product
  3. Name of the Product for Branding
  4. Variety and Quality
  5. Services Associated with the Product
  6. Packaging, 
  7. Refund Terms and more

#2 P of Marketing- Price: 

The price is- what you ask your consumers to pay for your product. It is something that determines the financial viability of the business. 

The product or service price can follow different strategies such as penetration pricing, skimming pricing, competition pricing, product line pricing, premium pricing, and more. 

But the ultimate goal of any pricing strategy is to maximize profit and revenue. Every business wants to enter, survive, and capture the market share in the market. In contrast, some companies do have the objective of the status quo to avoid a pricing war.  

Keeping prices too low or too high can never serve your purpose of being a successful businessman. Before deciding on a price, ask a few questions for yourself and conduct a pole such as; 

  1. At which price you can buy this product?
  2. What is the price range of this product (lowest and highest)?
  3. What type of customers you have (conduct a pole)?
  4. What are the prices of your competitors?

Market Powers / Variable that determine the price of a Product or Service: 

  1. Product Development Cost
  2. Demand and Supply 
  3. Competitor’s Price 
  4. Government and Legal Policies
  5. Economic and Social Evaluation
  6. Discounts, Rebates, and Offerings
  7. Payment Cycle
  8. Credit Policy

#3 P of Marketing- Place: 

“Place” is the location where you market your product or service. Many times you come across the word- Location. People say if you want to succeed, location the key to success. 

And it mainly applies to the event industry, hotel industry, restaurants, and the like. Your whole business idea will go in vain if your market place is not right. No matter how good your product, price, or promotion are. All the remaining 3 Ps will fail if the place is not wisely selected. 

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Methods of Choosing the Right Place for your Product or Service: 

  1. The location of your target audience
  2. Channels
  3. Coverage
  4. Roadmap of supply chain management
  5. Stores or outlets that will sell your product or service
  6. Distribution Channel
  7. Positioning and segmenting your audience [B2B or B2C]
  8. Identify the location of your competitors.

These points will give you a precise direction where you can choose the best place for your business. 

#4 P of Marketing- Promotion: 

Marketers Favourite!! 

Right?

Promotion is a synonym of marketing where you educate your well-segmented targeted audience with excellent positioning about your product or service. 

Brands invest their huge budget in promotion as it not only establishes the image in the market, but people decide to buy that product. 

Promotion- the 4 P of marketing is, directly and indirectly, responsible for branding, traffic, leads, and then conversions. It drives money into any business. 

In short, promotion can make or break any business. 

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In the era of digitalization, the Place and Promotion Ps still have their dominance online and offline. 

 Factors Influences Promotion of a Product or Service:

  1. Product Nature and Price of a Product
  2. Product Life Cycle (PLC)
  3. Nature of Market and Market Size
  4. Buyers Persona
  5. Distribution Strategy 
  6. Pricing Strategy 
  7. Promotion Cost and Marketing Budget

Promotion Strategies of a Product or service: 

  1. Sales Promotion
  2. Advertising
  3. SalesForce
  4. Public Relation
  5. Direct Marketing

While doing promotion, we must not waste our efforts and money by following outdated marketing approaches. 

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The best thing to start with the marketing promotion is;

SEO

PPC

Social Media Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

Content Marketing

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Email Marketing

Also Read: Marketing Strategies: 16 Boosters for Your B2B+B2C Business 

3 More Ps in Modern Marketing (7 Ps of Marketing):

7 Ps of Marketing Mix by - The Blue Oceans Group
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7 Ps of Marketing Mix – The Blue Oceans Group

People:  

Human resources are a more valuable asset to any company. No one can grow without having a good team. So, to execute all the 4Ps in marketing, you need the right people.

A team of honest, competent, and dedicated people is always an integral pillar of a successful business. Any company’s fundamental base is in the hands of people who run and grow the business from the bottom sales stand to the managing director.

Process:

The overall steps involved in delivering the product or service to your customers need a Process to avoid disruption in the cycle. The significant role of process in the 7 Ps of marketing is;

  1. To provide a better service even in the long run to their consumers.
  2. To protect the brand value of the company. 
  3. To maintain the overall supply chain.

The process includes customer focus, IT support, Business-led design feature, research, and development. 

Physical Evidence: 

Even if you provide intangible services then too, some physical elements have to be there for a brand’s success. Service companies do consistent branding across all communication channels. 

Service companies include physical evidence in the form of contact experience of the brand, product packaging, online experience, a fantastic website, and the like. 

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7 Ps of Marketing Mix Example- Apple:

As we all know, Apple is the most successful and valuable company in the world for decades. Let’s talk about the marketing mix of Apple on a quick note.

Apple Ps of marketing Mix example
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Product (1st P of marketing):

Apple always designs their product in the most secure, beautiful, and innovative way based on people’s need. If we talk about the iPhone, MacBook, iPad, or any other, consumers feel satisfied. They feel very proud of having the product of Apple.

Price (2nd P of marketing):

In today’s era, most companies are applying the strategy of price penetration to enter the market. And the worst part is- most of them think that lowering the price of the product is the only way to beat the competition.

On the other hand, the Apple product’s price is much higher than their competitors, but still, they are doing wonders in the market. They have able to connect human emotions with their product. The consumers of Apple also believe that there is no competitor of Apple.

Place (3rd P of marketing:

Apple is continuously opening physical stores across the world and making an online presence across digital platforms. They have multiple delivery options, customer support, and tracking option with the massive support of technology.

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Promotion (4th P of marketing):

Apple never focuses on promoting the features of their product. It is a master of creating slogans that connect with humans’ lifestyle, which feel them delighted. Free education and cultural events are one of the most popular ways of Apple’s marketing strategy.

People (5th P of marketing):

Apple’s staff is highly trained with the technology and well-groomed with outgoing magnetic personalities by which they can satisfy the consumers the most.

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The people of Apple works on the A.P.P.L.E. formula that means

A– Approach with a personalized welcome;

P– Probe politely to understand a customer’s needs;

P– Present a solution the customer can take home today;

L– Listen to and resolve issues or concerns;

E– End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return [mentioned in Forbes by Gallo]

Process (6th P of marketing): 

The most admired and secretive company, Apple, has structured its overall process by which they can control the defect, design amazing products, and handle their whole supply chain without disruption. Apple’s design team works separately from the rest of the team, and they only meet in the weekly review meetings with their executives.

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Physical Evidence- (7th P of marketing): 

Apple always makes their physical presence in the most famous or historic areas where they can fit into the surrounding architecture. However, on the inside, Apple Stores share the same features across the world. It has simple and minimalist furniture that highlights the products. The interior resembles that of a museum where technology and innovation are on display. Apple’s product packaging is amazing with minimal design.

Conclusion: 

The idea of the 4 Ps in marketing is not new. The marketing mix is very well explained in many articles, books, and courses. Hence you may feel bore and may question yourself- what’s new into it? 

But it is ipso facto proven write that without an absolute idea of these marketings Ps, how will you do the detailed analysis, leverage your process and differentiate your audience? 

So, we have evaluated the mix of marketing as per the market trend and research. 

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Now it’s your turn.

Leave us in the comment box how you are leveraging your marketing Ps in the era of technology where everything is getting digitalized? 

2 thoughts on “4 Ps of Marketing- Ultimate Guide [Marketing Mix+Example]”

  1. Pradeepta Chattopadhyay

    That is a great insight provided on the 7 Ps of Marketing.
    Though there were 2 more additions in the Ps of Marketing, namely, Packaging(1970) and Payment(2008).
    Packaging:
    It is said that our first impression of a product is formed within 30 seconds of seeing it. Some small changes in the appearance can make a huge difference. Packaging a product with creative messages, graphics always pulls the customer. Even the safety of a product is also linked directly with is packaging. Even if we are marketing a person, we will always have a better impression if that person is properly dressed and even if he seems organized from a distance.
    Payment:
    Right from the time the world has decided to go cashless, payment has played a big role in buyer’s purchase decision making. Sales is the fuel of an organisation and is one of the most important parts of Marketing. Payment is the stage that finalizes the purchase of a product. That’s why in this neo-normal, more convenient the payment methods more easy it is to market a product. After all customers like options and what else is a better area to get options than Payment!

    Another “P” I think has the potential inclusion in Marketing Mix is “Post-Purchase Services”. No one today will like if we offer a product to a customer sell it to him and then forget him since the purchase is closed. We need to realise that in this world of competition, customers won’t take much time to shift to someone who’s providing assistance and handling grievances rather than someone who is not. So, I feel “Post-Purchase Services” should be a part of the Marketing Mix.

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