Updated: Nov 21
Author: Nicola Ferrari
Date of Publication: 08/08/2022
Although marketing doesn’t follow fixed patterns, it is characterized by paradigms and a series of rules. That is, schemes to develop effective strategies, aimed at creating value around a brand, as well as the goods and services it markets. Therefore, as the basis of marketing, there is the 4 Ps marketing mix, useful for the definition of the perfect strategy.
To be successful in marketing, you need to find the right balance between these 4 points, which obviously change for every company. What this article does is help you better understand the 4 Ps of marketing and what each one implies.
What are the 4 Ps of marketing?
This refers to the product or service that is sold. It is the first factor to consider in a marketing strategy. So, for example, you have to ask yourself what differentiates your product or service from competitors, and what advantages it can offer.
In the management of a product, you also have to take into account its life cycle. Its life cycle consists of certain stages, including launch, growth, maturity, and decline. The way in which a product is proposed or advertised in the market is very important. For example, you may want to take into account the product’s design, packaging, and after-sales services you provide.
This is obviously another aspect to keep an eye on. This is because price affects customers' perceptions and expectations, and sets you apart from market competitors. Essentially, price represents the exchange value that a customer is willing to pay to get your product. It is an important component of product marketing.
Physical or virtual, place refers to the choice of the distribution channel (e.g. online or offline). The place should be suitable for the marketing and sale of your product or service. In addition to traditional locations and e-commerce, other aspects such as logistics, product stocks, transport and store assortment are also on the agenda. Distribution strategies can be varied:
Intensive distribution - is when the company decides to distribute a product in as many stores as possible. Products in intensive distribution are usually the most affordable and low-value products, such as candies
Exclusive distribution - is when the company has agreements with reviewers to distribute a product in specific stores (e.g. car dealerships)
Selective distribution - is when the company decides where and which stores to use to distribute the product, finding the most strategic location for that type of product
Direct distribution - is when the company does not use intermediaries and/or physical points of sale. Indeed, direct distribution may use a more “door-door” selling approach
Promotion is how the product or service is advertised and marketed. In promotion, you will have to choose the right communication strategies based on the type of audience and resources available. The main activities to be carried out are advertising, reviews, word of mouth, and public relations. These elements are part of the so-called corporate storytelling.
From 4 Ps to 7 Ps of marketing
Thanks to the evolution of markets and the use of technology in communication, the 4 Ps model has evolved and new voices have appeared. The relationship between company and customer has changed just like the process of product creation. Some elements have been added to the original 4 Ps model including:
The idea is that you need to choose and highlight your customer figure. In addition, you need to decide how to win over your customers and understand whether the product is right for them.
This refers to the organization process during the phase of product distribution. Therefore, the process must be as clear as possible and easily reach your customers. A useful tool in this process is after-sales services.
Physical Evidence (or Brand Awareness)
This is the image a consumer has of a given brand. Consumers generally seek all possible information about a brand or product from other people before making a purchase decision. Hence, reviews and testimonials on the web are key aspects for brand awareness.
To conclude, the best way to succeed in marketing is to find the right balance at the marketing mix stage to stimulate product demand in consumers. The 4 and 7 Ps described above are very important strategies that need to be taken into consideration throughout the marketing process. Hence, the main goal of marketing is to identify which levers are the most effective for a particular product.