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4Ps of Marketing (Marketing Mix)

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What are the 4Ps of marketing?

What are the 4Ps of marketing?

What Is the Marketing Mix?

Before understanding the 4Ps of marketing, we must first understand the marketing mix. According to Philip Kotler, a marketing mix is "the set of marketing tools that a firm uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target market.”

The 4Ps of Marketing are the following four tools:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

The four Ps are interdependent, and they influence each other. To create a successful marketing plan, focus on these four components. If even one of these variables is not properly planned or executed, it can affect the whole marketing plan of a company.

Explaining the 4Ps

The 4Ps of marketing mix help a company create a successful marketing strategy. A good marketing plan ensures that these four elements are in coordination with each other.

Below we will understand the various elements.

Product, place, price, promotion

Product, place, price, promotion

1. Product

The item being sold is called the product. A product is devised to satisfy a certain need of the target audience. A product can be either tangible (goods) or intangible (services) in nature.

It is imperative to know what exactly your product is and what needs it caters to.

A list of questions must be addressed to fulfill this ‘P’ of marketing, which are as follows:

  • What consumer need is fulfilled by the product?
  • Who are my consumers, and who will use the product?
  • Which features would be imperative to include in the product to fulfill the identified need?
  • How will the product be different from that of the competitors (if any)?
  • How will the end consumer use the product?

2. Price

The next ‘P’ in line is the price. The cost paid by the consumers for a product is called its price. Every product has a perceived value. In simple words, it is nothing but how much would a consumer be willing to pay for the product. It becomes a challenge for the company to associate the price with the product's real and perceived value. At the same time, it also needs to account for the costs incurred, its profit margins, and competitors’ product prices.

This has a direct implication on a company’s sales. If a product is priced too high or too low than the perceived value, it may affect sales as the customers will no longer be able to associate with the value of the product.

A list of questions must be addressed to fulfill this ‘P’ of marketing, which are as follows:

  • What is the perceived value of the product?
  • How are the competitors’ products prices?
  • How much difference is there between the market price and your price?

3. Place

The next ‘P’ in line is the place. Place relates to the locations where the product will be sold, how distribution will take place to reach those locations, and the ways of delivering to the consumer. The company would aim to identify the various locations where they want their consumers to find their products for sale. This can refer to either a physical marketplace or a virtual marketplace.

A list of questions must be addressed to fulfill this ‘P’ of marketing, which are as follows:

  • Where are similar products placed?
  • Where do the consumers check for your product?
  • Which distribution strategy would be the best for the product?
  • Which channels should the distribution cover?

4. Promotion

The next ‘P’ in line is promotion. Promotion relates to the marketing communication methods used by the company to inform, influence, and remind the target market of the product. This includes advertisements, sales, discounts, and public relations.

A list of questions must be addressed to fulfill this ‘P’ of marketing, which are as follows:

  • How are the competitors promoting their products?
  • Which promotion methods are ideal for my product?
  • Which promotion channel influences the target market the most?
  • Which methods should I use for promotions?

Example of Marketing Mix: Zara

Let’s take the example of the clothing retailer giant, ZARA (owned by Inditex). It offers clothing items like jeans, T-shirts, shoes, shirts, trousers, jackets, and other accessories in its stores for women, men, and kids. Their USP is that they provide the trendiest items, fresh from the runway looks. It is a fast fashion brand. Its lead time from the designing of the garment to the delivery in the store, ready to sell to the consumer, is one of the shortest in the world.

In terms of pricing, they follow low-cost pricing. Their streamlined supply chain allows them to do that. In terms of place, they operate not only in their exclusive physical retail stores in various countries, but they also sell online, through their website.

In terms of promotion, Zara spends very little on advertising. It relies on word-of-mouth promotion and social media campaigns for its brand. It offers its seasonal discounts from time to time, depending on the stock liquidity that is required. Despite very little expenditure on other conventional methods of promotion, it continues to be a leading fast fashion retailer in the world.

Each P Is Key!

The four variables discussed above need to work in tandem to create a successful marketing plan. There is no one without the other. Having said that, it is important to understand that these variables are flexible. We can always pay emphasis to one variable depending on the market requirement and as per the product. There is always a need for continued control over the four variables so that your product or service remains relevant and up to date. The four variables must be molded to fit the consumers’ requirements.

Even though these are the four basic tools of the marketing mix, over time it has been widely acknowledged that there are three more Ps, that companies should focus on, in this day and age.

They are – process, physical evidence, and people. These collectively are called the 7Ps of Marketing. But the basic building blocks are the four Ps as discussed above.

To develop a successful marketing plan, it is important to focus on all four variables, i.e., product, place, price, and promotion, because marketing is nothing but placing the right product, at the right price, at the right time.

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