Marketing Mix, a term coined by Neil Borden, are the ingredients that combine to capture and promote a brand or product’s unique selling points, those that differentiate it from it’s competitors. The ideas behind Borden’s model were refined over the years until E. Jerome McCarthy reduced them to 4 elements called “The Four Ps.” This proposed classification has been used by marketing companies, branding agencies and web design companies throughout the world.
The Four Ps Model
- Product - The first of the Four Ps of marketing is product. A product can be either a tangible good or an intangible service that fulfills a need or want of consumers. Whether you sell custom pallets and wood products or provide luxury accommodations, it’s imperative that you have a clear grasp of exactly what your product is and what makes it unique before you can successfully market it.
- Price - Once a concrete understanding of the product offering is established we can start making some pricing decisions. Price determinations will impact profit margins, supply, demand and marketing strategy. Similar (in concept) products and brands may need to be positioned differently based on varying price points, while price elasticity considerations may influence our next two Ps.
- Promotion - We’ve got a product and a price now it’s time to promote it. Promotion looks at the many ways marketing agencies disseminate relevant product information to consumers and differentiate a particular product or service. Promotion includes elements like: advertising, public relations, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, video marketing and more. Each touch point must be supported by a well positioned brand to truly maximize return on investment.
- Place - Often you will hear marketers saying that marketing is about putting the right product, at the right price, at the right place, at the right time. It’s critical then, to evaluate what the ideal locations are to convert potential clients into actual clients. Today, even in situations where the actual transaction doesn’t happen on the web, the initial place potential clients are engaged and converted is online.
How to Use the Four Ps of Marketing?
We have developed a dedicated marketing process often used with our Cleveland web design and marketing clients. As a part of this process, we incorporate the four Ps through a series of questions designed to help define each brand’s marketing mix. Here are just a few of the questions we use:
- What do consumers want from your product or service?
- How does your product meet those needs?
- Where do potential buyers look for your particular product or service?
- How do you differentiate from your competitors?
- What is the perceived value of your product or service?
- What current interactions do you have with potential clients?
Of course the list we use is more complete, but we hope the few questions listed above can give you a good starting point in understanding the four Ps.
We hope this quick overview of the 4 Ps of marketing provides some insight into a critical aspect of successfully taking a product or service to market. Clearly defining product, price, place and time must all be considered when developing a marketing strategy for any product or brand. Whether dealing with a startup or an established business, balancing these four elements is critical to marketers working hard to position a particular product or brand in the marketplace.