Marketing has four categories known as the “Four Ps.”
The Four Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion.
All four categories of marketing are essential for overall marketing success.
A failure to optimize any one of the Four Ps can result in suboptimal performance.
If you want your company to function at its highest possible level, then you need to get all aspects of marketing right. Unfortunately, many companies fail to optimize their marketing efforts and therefore never reach their full potential.
One of the reasons why many businesses fail to get marketing right is because they don’t fully understand all of the crucial areas of marketing.
In this article, we will explain the “4 Ps” of marketing and give you insights on how to make sure that your marketing strategy is ideal for all four of these marketing areas.
What are the 4 Ps of Marketing?
The Four Ps of marketing are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. The concept of the 4 Ps of marketing was first introduced in 1960 by Edmund Jerome McCarthy, an American professor, and author. McCarthy outlined the Four Ps in his book Basic Marketing: A Marketing Strategy Planning Approach.
In the 6 decades since he wrote this book, it has become quite influential in the world of marketing.
The Four Ps are relatively straightforward. But don’t be fooled by their simplicity. All of these areas are crucial for marketing. Here is a breakdown of the Four Ps.
- Product – This refers to the good or service that your company is actually selling. It could be cars, computers, cleaning services, etc. Products can be physical or digital.
- Price – Price is the amount of money that consumers have to pay in order to purchase the good or service that your company is selling.
- Place – Place refers to the areas where you market your products. This could be social media, billboards, radio, television, newspapers, etc.
- Promotion – Promotion is the way in which you advertise or promote your products. Do you do PPC marketing, content marketing, giveaways, video ads, etc?
A lot of companies already have one product that is successful and that they rely on to drive revenue. If your company falls into this category, then great. However, oftentimes, products become obsolete and new products have to be created to keep customers happy and to keep sales rolling in.
Creating a great product is all about understanding what the customer truly needs and how your company can differentiate itself from the competition. For example, let’s think about the car industry. Different car brands stand out in different ways. For example, Ferrari has built a name for itself by having some of the most beautiful, fastest, and most luxurious cars on the market. Ferrari cars are highly appealing to people seeking luxury sports cars.
Lamborghini is another luxury sports car maker that makes cars that are similar to Ferrari’s cars in that Lamborghini is also fast, luxurious, and stylish with incredible performance. However, despite the fact that Ferrari and Lamborghini both make similar flashy sports cars, Lamborghinis stand out from Ferraris due to their trademark upward swinging doors, and their slightly flatter design.
Even though Ferrari and Lamborghini both make similar cars, the cars are different enough in design in order to stand out from each other. Thus, both companies are both able to succeed in a tight market.
When you are creating a product, you should also focus on standing out from your competitors’ products in at least one significant way that can give you an advantage. If you can do this, you can succeed even if there are competitors with similar products.
Some companies are more aware of this than others, but the prices that you choose for your products can have a dramatic impact on their success. In order to choose the correct price for your products, you should analyze both your potential customers and the prices of your competitors’ products.
If your customers are college students or people with low income, then you will most likely have to choose low prices in order to be competitive. However, if your customers will be people with high net worth, then higher prices will be appropriate.
Market saturation is another factor that you will have to consider. If the market is new and doesn’t have a lot of players, then you will most likely be able to get away with charging higher prices. However, if the market is already saturated, then you will probably have to keep prices lower in order to remain competitive.
The goal is to make your prices high enough so that you have a decent profit margin but not so high as to scare away customers. You also will most likely have to adjust your prices periodically based on sales. So, keep that in mind. You might not get it right the first time. It might take several adjustments to get it right.
Just as with real estate, location is absolutely crucial when it comes to marketing. The reason is that no matter how great your product is, if you are not selling it in the right places, you are most likely going to struggle tremendously to reach your sales goals.
For example, if you are selling surfboards, you will most likely have more success selling them by the ocean than in the rocky mountains. It is true that the internet has changed the game, but the principle is still the same.
For example, let’s say you have a new video game, and you need to choose a social media platform to market it on. If you know that the majority of your customers hang out on Twitch, then you should focus your marketing efforts on Twitch as opposed to a different social media site such as LinkedIn.
The goal is to meet your customers where they already are and to display your products to them in a way that is convenient for them. You do not want them to have to come to you because that is less convenient for them and takes more work.
If you don’t already know where your customers are, then you need to figure this out before you even start trying to choose where to market your products as well as have a strong marketing plan in place. You can do this through customer surveys, interviews, etc.
Promotion is the process of communicating the value of your products to your audience and generating revenue. There are many different ways to promote your product. Here is a quick overview of some of the most important product promotion strategies.
- Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is when you take steps to optimize pages on your company’s website to rank higher on Google. Considering the fact that 71.33% of Google search traffic goes to the first ten results which are listed on the first page of the search result, it is crucial for your company to appear as close to the top of Google search rankings as possible.
- Paid Advertising
This can include paid social media advertising, paid search engine optimization, paid podcast sponsorship, etc. You can use paid advertising to display ads for your products to potential customers. You can also target the ads to make sure that they are only being displayed to people who fit your company’s demographics as well.
- Email Newsletters
Email marketing remains one of the single most effective promotional strategy examples. In fact, on average, companies earn $36 for every $1 spent on email marketing. Considering the fact that the main purpose of promotion is to generate revenue, this is a statistic that can’t be overlooked.
- Traditional Media Ads
This can include buying newspaper ads, television ads, radio ads, etc. Although many traditional media outlets have declined in popularity over the years, they still have enough popularity to consider for your promotional strategies.
As with some of the other Ps of marketing, you might have to do a bit of trial and error. It can be very difficult to tell exactly which promotional strategy is going to work the best. So, you should try at least a few different strategies and then tailor your approach and your budget after you see the results.
For example, if you see that paid search is generating 50% of your sales, then you should prioritize paid search and devote more of your budget to it, etc.
Fully understanding the Four Ps of marketing can give your business a decisive edge against your competition. This information is simple, yet very powerful. The more that you can optimize each of the Four Ps, the better off your business will be. You need to monitor each of the Four Ps carefully and make changes when necessary. Make sure you never neglect any of the Four Ps.