The 4 Ps of marketing: what they are and how to use them (2023)



The 4 P's of marketing: what they are and how to use them

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Learn what the 4 P's are and how they can help you with your next marketing effort.

The 4 Ps of marketing: what they are and how to use them (1)

The four Ps are a "marketing mix" made up of four key elements (product, price, place, and promotion) that are used when marketing a product or service. Businesses typically consider the four P's when creating marketing plans and strategies to effectively market to their target audience.

While there are many other "marketing mixes," the four Ps are the most common and fundamental to creating a successful marketing plan. In this article, you'll learn more about its purpose, history, and find a detailed breakdown of the four Ps.

What are the 4Ps of marketing? (marketing mix explained)

The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of the "marketing mix," or the combined tools and methodologies marketers use to achieve their marketing goals.

The 4 Ps were first formally conceptualized in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy in the highly influential text,Basic marketing, a managerial approach[1]. There, McCarthy noted that while the book's text was "similar to that found in traditional texts, the approach is not."

McCarthy's new approach was influenced by the still recent concept of the “marketing mix” of Professor Neil of Harvard Business School. H. Borden became popular in the 1950s. In fact, Borden himself had been influenced by a 1948 study by James Culliton in which the author equated business executives with "artists" or "ingredient mixers." [2]. Instead of using the same approach for all situations, Culliton and Borden recognized that successful executives mix different methods depending on changing market forces.

McCarthy has simplified this concept into the four Ps (product, place, price, and promotion) to help marketers design plans that fit the changing social and political realities of their time and target market. In fact, the purpose of the four Ps remains the same today as it was when McCarthy first published his book: “to develop the 'right' product and make it available in the 'right' place with the 'right' promotion and at the 'right' place. right' place, price, to satisfy target consumers and still meet business objectives” [3].

The 4 Ps of marketing: what they are and how to use them (2)


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four o'clock

The four Ps form a dynamic relationship with each other. Rather than one taking precedence over the other, each is considered equally important in crafting a strategic marketing plan.


The product is the good or service that is marketed to the target audience.

Successful products often fill a need that is not being met in the marketplace or provide a new customer experience that creates demand. For example, the original iPhone filled a market need for a streamlined device that paired a phone with an iPod, and thesqueaky petprovided a humorous experience for consumers that was totally unique.

When working on your product, it's essential to keep your target audience and their unique needs in mind. Some issues to consider when working on a product include:

  • What is your product?

  • What does your product do? Does the product address an unmet need or provide a new experience?

  • Who is the target audience for your product?

  • How is your product different from what others offer?

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Price is the cost of a product or service.

When marketing a product or service, it is important to choose a price that is affordable for the target market and that meets the objectives of the company. Price can have a significant impact on the overall success of a product. For example, if the price of your product is too high for your target audience, very few are likely to buy it. Similarly, if you price your product too low, some may reject it simply because they are concerned about inferior quality and lowering their potential profit margins.

To identify successful pricing, you need to fully understand your target audience and their willingness to pay for your product. Some questions to ask yourself when considering the price of your product include:

  • What is the price range of your product's competitors?

  • What is the price range of your target audience?

  • What price is too high for your audience? What price is too low?

  • What price best suits your target market?


The venue is where you sell your product and the distribution channels you use to get it to your customer.

Just like pricing, finding the right place to market and sell your product is a key factor in reaching your target audience. If you put your product in a location that your target customer doesn't visit, be it online or offline, chances are you won't hit your sales goal. However, the right place can help you connect with your target audience and set you up for success.

For example, imagine that you are selling a sports shoe that you designed. Her target market is athletes between the ages of 20 and 30, so she decides to market her product in sports publications and sell it in specialty sports stores. By focusing on sports stores rather than general shoe stores, you're targeting a specific location that best fits your marketing mix.

To decide the best place to market and sell your product, consider researching the physical or digital locations where your target audience buys and consumes information. Some issues to consider include:

  • Where will you sell your product?

  • Where does your target audience shop?

  • What distribution channels are best for reaching your target market?


Promotion is the way you advertise your product or service. Through promotion, you will advertise your product with an effective marketing campaign that resonates with your target audience.

There are many different ways to promote your product. Some traditional methods include word of mouth, print ads, and television commercials. However, in the digital age, there are even more marketing channels you can use to promote your product, such as content marketing, email marketing andsocial media marketing.

Some questions to consider when working on product promotion include:

  • What is the best time to reach your target audience?

  • What marketing channels are most effective for your target audience?

  • Which advertising approaches are most persuasive to your target audience?

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Other marketing compounds

The four Ps are not the only marketing mix in use today. Some other modern marketing mixes include the five Ps, the seven Ps, and the 5 Cs. While each reflects certain aspects of the four Ps, they also have some unique elements that change their emphasis in the marketing process.

five o'clock

The five P's are product, price, place, promotion andpeople.

Today, many marketers use the five Ps instead of the four because they center the customer and team experiences in the marketing process. Typical considerations include how a customer behaves, her experience with the product, and her overall satisfaction with the business.

seven o'clock

The seven P's are product, price, place, promotion, people,Lawsuit, to mePhysical evidence.

The seven Ps are a further elaboration of the five Ps, adding consideration to the processes that define the customer experience and the physical evidence that the target market needs to see to become a customer. While the processes may involve the specific customer service processes that define a product, the physical evidence may be websites or storefronts that help the target market envision themselves using the product.

five o'clock

The five C's are customer, company, competition, employees and climate.

In some respects, the five Cs reflect many of the same concerns as the four and five Ps, but with greater emphasis on external factors, such as potential outside collaborations and competitive research.

Also, while “climate” refers to the social, political, and economic context surrounding the market, “customer” refers to the target market and customer experience. "Company", in turn, refers to the place of the company and its available resources in the marketing process.

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(Video) The 4 Ps of Marketing Strategy!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The 4 Ps (product, price, place, and promotion) are important components of your marketing strategy. They work most effectively when marketers use them together. You can focus on one or the other at different stages of business development. For example, you can focus on the product and price in the early stages, while location and promotion can become priorities at a later stage, when you are preparing to introduce the product to the market.‎

Although the 4 Ps of marketing have been around since the 1960s, the concept is still considered useful even as marketing rapidly evolves and becomes increasingly digital. You can think of the 4 P's as the foundation for developing effective marketing strategies. At the same time, it's a good idea to use some of the other models: the 5 Ps (product, price, place, promotion, and people) or the 5 Cs (customer, company, competition, employees, and climate) to build a more comprehensive approach. for marketing.‎

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article sources

1. Oxford reference. “Jerome McCarthy,” Consulted on July 29, 2022.

2. Guillaume Nicaise. “The concept of the marketing mix,” Consulted on July 29, 2022.

3. HathiTrust. “Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach,” Consulted on July 29, 2022.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Students are encouraged to do additional research to ensure that the courses and other credentials earned meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

(Video) A New Look at the 4Ps of Marketing


What are the 4 Ps and how are they used in marketing examples? ›

The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of a “marketing mix,” or the combined tools and methodologies used by marketers to achieve their marketing objectives.

What are the 4 P's of marketing your answer? ›

The four Ps of marketing is a marketing concept that summarizes the four key factors of any marketing strategy. The four Ps are: product, price, place, and promotion.

What are the 4 Ps of marketing and why are they important to both small and large businesses alike? ›

The 4 Ps of marketing include product, price, place, and promotion. These are the key elements that must be united to effectively foster and promote a brand's unique value, and help it stand out from the competition.

What are the 4 Ps in marketing which is the most important to you why? ›

I believe this highlights why the product is the most important aspect of the four P's of marketing – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Without a product, you cannot implement any one of the other three elements of the marketing mix. And great products are easy to market as they serve both a need and want.

What is the most important in 4ps of marketing? ›

Although pricing is the #1 factor impacting online marketing results, it is still rarely used as input for marketing management. Without pricing context, it's hard to evaluate the performance of online marketing campaigns.

What is the 4 Ps of marketing definition quizlet? ›

Four P's. product, place, promotion, and price, which together make up the marketing mix.

How do you apply the 4 Ps of marketing to a product? ›

  1. Understand the product you're working with. Most of you probably already have a product or service in mind—or at least an idea for it. ...
  2. Decide on a price. ...
  3. Choose a place to sell your product. ...
  4. Create a promotion strategy.
Sep 7, 2021

What are the 4 Ps of Coca Cola? ›

It analyses the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) of Coca-Cola Company and explains its business & marketing strategies.

How do you market a product example? ›

Here are 12 strong tactics to effectively market a product or service.
  1. Offer customers an exclusive preview. ...
  2. Create gift guides or bundle collections. ...
  3. Use customer-generated content on social media. ...
  4. Leverage email signup discounts. ...
  5. Create a subscription service. ...
  6. Utilize all content marketing platforms. ...
  7. Use targeted ads.
Jul 19, 2022

What is an example of place in the marketing mix? ›

Place. In the marketing mix, place refers to where your product or service will be sold. For tangible products, this will include physical locations such as your own store, or a retailer where your product will be resold.


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