4 Ps of Marketing
A good or service can be marketed by using the four Ps of marketing. In other words, they are the product, price, location, and promotion of a good or service. The four Ps, commonly referred to as the marketing mix, are governed by internal and external factors in an overall business environment and interact significantly with each other. Using the 4 Ps, companies identify key factors for their business, such as what consumers expect from them, how their product or service meets or fails to meet those needs, how their product or service is perceived in the world, and how they differentiate themselves from competitors.
In the 1950s, Neil Borden popularized the concept of the marketing mix and what would later come to be known as the four Ps. Professor Borden taught advertising at Harvard University. In his 1964 article, Borden used advertising tactics to engage consumers. Decades later, the marketing concepts Borden popularized are still being used by companies. Borden’s ideas were very influential when they were first introduced in the business world, and they were developed and refined over time by other industry players. Professor of marketing at Michigan State University, Jerome McCarthy, who refined Borden’s concepts and came up with the phrase “4 Ps,” which is still used today. Further popularizing the 4 Ps was McCarthy’s book “Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach,” published in 1960.
In the beginning, marketing mix was utilized to account for physical barriers preventing widespread adoption of products. As a result, the Internet has helped businesses increase their integration with consumers and overcome some of these barriers. People, process, and physical evidence are extensions of the original 4 Ps, and they are more in line with current marketing trends.
Factors Addressed by 4 Ps of Marketing
In marketing, the four Ps refer to the four key elements of a marketing plan. The marketing mix is a set of tools used by companies to influence consumers into purchasing their products. The 4ps of marketing addresses the following factors: cons.
- Identifying the causes of the current product’s failure.
- Knowing what consumers want or need.
- Knowing how the product interacts with consumers and vice versa.
- Solving problems and changing public perception of the product/service.
- Enhancing competitive advantages by creating distinguishing characteristics.
Importance of 4 Ps in Marketing
The Four Ps of Marketing or the Product Mix is one of the most important and popular marketing theories. Marketers can utilize it to devise a working marketing strategy that focuses on all of the factors associated with product, pricing, distribution, and promotion activities. Every company must ensure that their product is of the highest quality and meets the needs of their customers to be successful in the market.
It is crucial to have a pricing strategy if you want to be successful. In order to align the price with the positioning, it needs to be affordable or premium. As long as the product is of great quality and at a great price but is not available to the target group, it cannot be sold, so the next piece in the marketing puzzle is distribution. Lastly, the strategy is incomplete without letting people know about the product.
As an example, if a company launches a new soft drink in the United States at an affordable price but does not advertise or do any promotion in major places like New York, Los Angeles, Washington, etc., it makes it difficult for the target audience to become aware of it. When all four components of a winning strategy are combined, the 4Ps of Marketing or product mix becomes very important.
What are the 4 Ps of Marketing
The four Ps of marketing i.e. Product, Price, Promotion, and Place are described below.
Anything that meets a consumer’s needs or desires is defined as a product. In addition, it includes physical aspects such as design, volume, brand name, etc. Companies can price products profitably based on their perceived value, which is determined by the type of product. It also influences other aspects such as product placement and advertising. In order to meet their objectives, companies can change packaging, after-sales support, warranties, and price ranges. Every stage of the product life cycle needs to be addressed by marketers, including introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
Before introducing the new product an organization should address the following questions:
- What does the customer expect from the product/service? How does it satisfy their needs?
- Does it have the features necessary to meet these needs? Can you think of anything it lacks? Do you include expensive features the customer won’t use?
- Where and how will the customer use it?
- Which size, color, and other factors should it have?
- In what way is it branded?
- What makes your product different from those of your competitors?
An example of product of marketing hub is :
- What is it? : “Marketing automation software that helps you reach the right audience, convert more visitors into customers, and manage inbound marketing campaigns at scale – all in one place.”
- Who is it for? : Marketers who have too much data to handle and have to rely on impossible-to-use software solutions that make their jobs harder, not easier.
- Which features does it have? : Marketing Hub provides tools for blogging, SEO, social media management, email marketing, and ad tracking in one easy-to-use platform.
- What problems does it have? : Marketers who are busy can simplify their marketing automation processes with Marketing Hub by bringing all data and tools under one roof.
A product’s price will directly affect its sales volume and, consequently, its profit. Factors such as demand, cost, pricing trends among competitors, and government regulations all play a role in pricing. In most cases, the product’s price reflects its perceived, not its actual, value. In other words, pricing can be raised to market exclusivity or lowered to promote access. Therefore, pricing involves considering such factors as the basic price, discounts, price alterations, credit terms, freight terms, etc. Furthermore, it is important to assess when and if discounting might be necessary or appropriate.
The questions that should be considered regarding the price of product are as follows:
- How valuable is the product or service to the buyer?
- What are the product or service price points in this area?
- Which price will you offer compared with your competitors?
- What is the price sensitivity of the customer? Would you gain more market share by decreasing the price a bit? Could a small increase in profit margin be indiscernible, therefore increasing your profit margin?
- Which discounts should you offer to trade customers, or to other specific segments of your market?
An example of price for a UNIQLO is:
Japan-based UNIQLO manufactures clothing for casual wear around the world. In the same way as its competitors, including Gap and Zara, UNIQLO offers low-priced, daily-wear clothing. One of UNIQLO’s unique characteristics is its ability to create innovative, high-quality products. It achieves this by sourcing fabric from its material manufacturer partners, purchasing stable, high-quality materials at low cost by buying in large quantities, and continuously seeking the highest-quality and lowest-cost material available. It also negotiates directly with its manufacturers and has built strategic partnerships with highly innovative and high-quality manufacturers in Japan.
Place refers to how a company determines where to sell a product and how to deliver it to the market. A business executive’s goal is to get their products in front of the consumers who are most likely to buy them. A product may be placed in certain stores, but it can also be placed on display in a particular store. The act of inserting a product into television shows, films, or web pages to attract attention to the product can be described as placement in some cases.
The questions that should addressed regarding place are as follows:
- What is the most popular place to find your product or service?
- What distribution channels should you use?
- Are there things your competitors do that you can learn from and/or differentiate yourself from?
- Is it necessary to use a sales force? Would you like to attend a trade show? What about online submissions? What about sending samples to catalog companies?
An example of place of marketing mix is:
Place describes where and how people buy your product. The following are some examples of places consumers can buy products and services: online through a web browser, through a smartphone app, at retail locations, via trade shows, through marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart, or through a sales professional.
The promotion strategy includes advertising, public relations, and public relations. The purpose of product promotion is to tell consumers why they should buy a product, as well as why they should pay a certain price for it. Promotion and placement are often tied together by marketers to reach their core audiences. A digital age, for example, has the same place and promotion factors as it has offline. Particularly, where the product appears on a company’s website or social media, as well as what search terms trigger corresponding, targeted ads for the product.
Some of the efforts included in promotions are as follows:
- Advertising: It is the act of communicating a sponsored, non-personal message about an idea, product, or service in order to sell it.
- Marketing Strategy: It involves identifying a specific target market and then using advertising to penetrate it. As part of promotion, companies also consider factors online, such as how Google’s search function may trigger corresponding or targeted ads, the design and layout of their website, or the content they post on social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram.
- Public Relations: It controls the flow and matter of information from one’s organization to the general public or other institutions.
The questions that should be addressed during promotional activities are as follows:
- How can you reach your target market? Where and when can you do that?
- Are you planning to advertise online, in the press, on TV, radio, or on billboards? Or will you use direct marketing mailshots? By using public relations? Via the Internet?
- If you want to promote, when is the best time to do it? Does the market have seasonality? Is there anything broader that suggests or dictates the timing of your market launch or subsequent promotions?
- What do your competitors do to promote themselves? How does that affect your choice of promotional activities?
Marketing Extensions to the 4 P’s
In addition to the 4 P’s of Marketing, new marketers recommend expanding the concept to include services as well. These include:
Direct interaction between service providers and consumers makes service more subject to subjectivity. Consumer interaction, behavior, and service attitude are important aspects of appearances, communication, discretion, and customer interaction. Employees are a recent addition to the traditional marketing mix and the 7Ps of marketing. In many ways, employees are the voice and the face of their organizations.
Employees who are polite, professional, approachable, skilled and responsible go a long way toward elevating the customer experience, making them more likely to do business with the company. An organization must therefore hire the right people for the right roles before they can craft and implement a marketing strategy.
- Physical Evidence
Environment, layout, and design of the workplace can greatly impact the brand image of a product. Essentially it is everything a customer sees while buying or using an organization’s product or service. The packaging, logo, environment, appearance and behavior of employees and website of the organization can all be considered. In order to build and establish a brand, an organization has to consider all of these aspects.
- Price rocess
The standardization of policies, procedures, systems, and consumer involvement is generally done in order to ensure continuity when delivering services. A process describes how an organization delivers its product to customers. To develop the right processes that help organizations deliver a positive customer experience, organizations must analyze the different stages of the customer journey. Business processes that are effective and formalized help organizations increase productivity and efficiency and save money and time.
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