Understanding the Four P’s of the Marketing Mix

06/07/2015 Adrienne N. Hester

4 PsThe marketing mix is the specific combination of marketing elements used to achieve business objectives and satisfy the target market. For those looking to start a business, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the four elements - Product, Price, Placement and Promotion.


What are you trying to sell? The product is perhaps the most essential element of the marketing mix. None of the other elements can be implemented if no there is no product to be marketed. People often view products as physical items, like computers and clothing; anything tangible. However, intangible goods and services, such as a digital products, intellectual property, airline flights or hotel accommodations, are also products that can be purchased.  


How much is your product going to cost? Once a product exists to be marketed, it’s time to focus on the other elements of the marketing mix. The price of a product has a great deal of influence on sales. Attaching an appropriate price to a good or service can be complicated and depends on many variables, including supply and demand. Price itself can influence brand position in the minds of consumers. Low prices may lead to higher sales, but inexpensive products can also give consumers the impression of low quality. Sometimes higher prices are more appropriate to make the brand appear more prestigious and valuable.


Where are you going to sell your product? Placement is a very important concept in marketing, and can have serious negative consequences if not implemented properly.  Everyone has competition. If one is looking to open a store, competition is one element to consider. If there is a store down the street that sells similar products, that may not be the ideal location. The crime rate, labor market, proximity to suppliers and zoning regulations are also factors. In marketing terms, placement refers to many things, not just to the location of stores. The placement of products within businesses is also important. For example, in supermarkets, milk is often located in the back of the store. Many marketing experts believe this is intentional because milk is a popular item. When customers are forced to walk to the back of the store to obtain it, they will walk past many other products and possibly buy them too.


How are you going to get the word out about your product? When done properly, promotion can greatly stimulate demand. Promotion is the process of communicating with potential customers. The specific purpose of such communication can vary. It may attempt to inform, persuade and/or remind people of things in an effort to increase sales. Advertising is probably the most visible and well-known element of promotion, but there are other aspects to it. Public relations are also important forms of promotion, intended to portray businesses and products in a positive light. One misconception about promotion, is it’s costly. Businesses with smaller budgets also have the potential to successfully promote their brands. It’s a matter of creativity.

Implementing an effective marketing mix can be very challenging. Even large corporations have been known to make serious mistakes in this regard. If you need help to properly execute the four P’s, contact us today. We will review your business and help you implement the best marketing strategy.