What are the Four P’s of Marketing?

The Four P’s of Marketing (or the Marketing Mix) is a business model that has been around for decades now. Over the years, it’s been gradually tweaked and streamlined into something more straightforward and more effective, but at its core, the idea remains the same. By focusing on certain key aspects of your business/marketing model, you should be able to address the most pertinent concerns and create a sales pitch that few people will be able to turn down. It sounds simple enough, but there’s actually quite a bit of detail we need to delve into here. So, without further ado, let’s consider the marketing mix in detail, and ask ourselves a few important questions, – What are the 4 P’s of the Marketing Mix? How do I use them effectively? And how do I go about selling a product?

Although some changes have been made over the years, the marketing mix usually highlights the following points (the 4 P’s) as the main issues for any savvy business person to concern themselves with.

What are the Four P’s of Marketing?
What are the Four P’s of Marketing?

The Four P’s of Marketing

  Product – Your first move will be to define and understand your product and/or service. To do this, you’ll need to figure out exactly what it is that makes your product special. For instance, why should the customer buy it from you and not from somebody else? Does your product get the job done quicker? Is it cheaper? Is it of a higher quality? Asking these sorts of questions will enable you to effectively market your product to the masses.   For example, if you’re planning on selling a sugar-free drink for the same price as a competitor, don’t focus your marketing campaign on the price. Instead, focus on the fact that your drink contains less sugar than others.   Fully understanding the product will also enable you to better understand the other aspects of its sale and consumption. For instance, a person selling burgers will probably want to ensure that consumers keep coming back day after day, whereas a person selling cars will probably find that their customers re-engage with them less frequently.
 
 Price – The pricing of a product can be the make-or-break factor for a lot of people out there. As such, you’ll need to find out what people are willing to pay, while still ensuring that you turn a profit.   You may think that selling everything for the highest possible price is the best way to go. But how many people would have bought the product if the price was a little bit lower? Maybe you’ll find that a lower price will move far more products – thus making up for the lower prices with higher sales.   Then there’s the flip side of things. How do people view your product? You need to keep in mind that some luxury items out there are actually pretty cheap to produce. And what consumers are really paying for is the brand. Moreover, there may not be an exact figure for you to find. For instance, maybe you’ll end up selling the same amount of product for R50 as you will for R80.   With all this in mind, you’ll need to figure out not only what your customers are willing to spend, but also what they’re expecting to spend.
 
 Place – Imagine you create the perfect product that absolutely everybody wants to buy. You figure out the price, and you get the packaging just right… and then you start selling it in a tiny store, far from any main road, in a town with a population of about 26 people.   Odds are, you aren’t going to be making that many sales. But it’s got nothing to do with your product. The issue is your place and/or your distribution.   We live in an increasingly tech-friendly, interconnected world. Maybe you’ve got the right product, but you’re still trying to sell it in person while everyone else is trying to buy it online.   Your location and medium for marketing is vitally important to ensure that everybody who wants to buy your product is actually able to do so. Additionally, you’ll need to guarantee that you’ve always got enough stock on hand and that people are left waiting for days when they finally decide to make a purchase.  
 Promotion – Nobody’s going to buy what you’re selling if they don’t know that it exists. To properly market your product, you’re going to need to ensure that you’ve got good advertising, public relations, sales campaigns, etc.   This doesn’t just mean that you need to buy some ads in the local paper and hope somebody sees them. You also need to do some research and ask the most relevant questions. For example –   Where are you going to be placing most of your ads? (newspapers, billboards, online, etc.)   Who’s your target audience? Are you advertising to the right people, or are you basically trying to sell life insurance to teenagers?   What time of the year/day/week would be most effective in getting your message spread?    How are your ads formed? Are they visually striking enough? Do they get the message across? Can you improve on them?   Is there an advertising medium that you’ve been ignoring which could be used to bring in new customers?   Just remember: getting your product’s name out there is only the first step. You’ll still need to win over the consumer and highlight what makes your item special.
 
What are the Four P’s of Marketing?
What are the Four P’s of Marketing?

What is the Most Important P in the Marketing Mix?

Generally speaking, pricing is the most important part of the marketing mix. With just a small change to your product’s pricing, you can massively grow or reduce your final profit margins.

What are the 4 Elements of Marketing?

The 4 P’s of marketing are sometimes referred to as the ‘4 elements’. As such, they are still just –

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

What is the Best Marketing Strategy?

Because each product is different and may consist of wildly inconsistent audiences and markets, it is impossible to say what the absolute best strategy is for businesses to take up.

That said, one thing almost all marketing strategies have in common is that they prioritise information gathering and encourage businesses to truly understand their products and their audiences before they go about trying to sell anything.

Who Sets Price?

The person or group selling the product are normally the ones who gets to decide the price of that product.

Because most businesses are in competition with each other, they are always trying their best to outdo their rivals by appealing to the customers. As such, prices tend to rise and fall as businesses figure out what the consumers are willing to pay.

If, for instance, a restaurant tries to sell a burger for R1 million, they will probably lose out on customers until they bring their price down to an acceptable level. So, in a sense, it is the consumers who dictate the price in an indirect way.  

How do you Increase Sales?

There are many ways in which you can go about increasing sales. Your first step should be to consult the marketing mix and determine whether or not you are taking its principles to heart.

Upon reflection, you may find that your product is over- or underpriced. Or you may find that you have not been promoting your product effectively.

By identifying these issues and rectifying them, you should be able to improve your marketing strategy and increase sales.

What are the Four P’s of Marketing?
What are the Four P’s of Marketing?

In Conclusion – What are the 4 P’s of Marketing?

Over the years, the marketing mix has grown and evolved. However, the main 4 elements remain the same. They are –

  • Product – Understand what you are selling. Identify what makes it special and what it does better in comparison with competitors.
  • Price – Figure out what customers will be willing to pay for your product. Overpricing may result in few sales, while underpricing may result in lower profits. It’s important that you figure out what the highest amount is that you can charge before you begin to lose potential customers.
  • Place – Where is your product going to be sold? Whether it’s online or in the real world, make sure that your product is somewhere visible and popular so that it will be exposed and available to the highest amount of consumers.
  • Promotion – Work out how to effectively advertise your product. This encompasses everything from the promotional campaigns to the way in which your product is designed. You will also need to properly identify your target audience and ensure that they are being reached by your messaging.

At the end of the day, perhaps the most important thing in marketing is information gathering. By knowing absolutely everything about your product, the marketplace, the consumers, etc., you will be able to make business choices that reflect these factors and thus afford the greatest set of chances for your product/service.

Disclaimer Finance101: All of our posts are for research purposes only. Finance 101 aims to assist its readers with useful information on the laws of our country that can guide you to make financial decisions that will enable you to become more financially independent in the future. Although our posts cite the constitution in many instances, they are intended to assist readers who are looking to expand their knowledge of the law & finance-related queries. Should you require specific legal/financial advice we advise you to get in touch with a qualified financial expert.

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