The 4Ps Marketing Mix, or 4Ps of Marketing, is a foundation model in marketing. It represents four broad levels of interconnected but independent variables. They are Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.
The 4Ps Marketing Mix has been the dominant framework for marketing management decision making for the past half century after first being published in 1960.
The four elements in the 4Ps Marketing Mix help to determine a clear and effective strategy for bringing a product to market. Each component is important in isolation and needs to be given proper consideration. However, it’s also important to marry all four elements together to deliver the holy grail: the right product at the right price, with a compelling offer for the target audience, distributed in the right place.
The 4Ps of marketing
The product can either be tangible or intangible, but it should meet a specific customer need or demand. In the tech industry, every product will follow a well-defined or logical product lifecycle.
It’s important for technology marketers to understand this because it has a huge impact on how you position the product in the mind of your target audience. You need to frame the problem your product is trying to solve in different ways depending on the buyer’s psychographic profile. This changes as the market matures.
The features and benefits of your product need to be fully understood, while your competitive advantage must be researched and distilled into a unique selling proposition. At the same time, you need to identify and gain a deep understanding of your ideal buyer.
Pricing your product is one of the most difficult things to get right. It’s often a blend of art and science. It’s as much a positioning statement as a definition of what the product costs to buy.
The price you set will directly impact the perceived value of your product. A high perceived value means you can charge more for the product or service. A lower perceived value means you’ve got to battle commoditisation. Your pricing can be influenced by several factors. These include distribution, the value chain, and how your competitors have priced rival products.
In that regard, your pricing strategy also defines the competitive landscape. Additionally, it defines who your buyers are, your customers’ sensitivities and expectations, and who you’ll end up negotiating deals with.
Your marketing communications strategies, tactics and offers all fall under the promotions segment of the 4P’s marketing framework. This includes how and where you advertise your product, as well as sales promotions you’ll develop. It also includes buying incentives or special offers, content and public relations.
There are around 30 different marketing or traction channels to consider. However, not all will be right in the context of your product or target customer. It’s important to differentiate between marketing and promotion – the latter is the communication aspect of the entire marketing function.
Place, or placement, refers to the direct or indirect channels that you use to get your product or service into the hands of consumers. It’s an umbrella for either the physical location where your business carries out its business. It can also refer to the distribution channels you use to reach markets.
It might refer to a retail outlet – either online or offline – if you’re selling physical products. Less common ‘places’ today would include mail-order catalogues and telemarketing call centres. For some niches these are still prevalent.
If you’re selling services like Software as a Service, Platform as a Service or Infrastructure as a Service, the place often refers to your own website.