Understanding the 4Ps of Marketing: A Detailed Introduction

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The 4Ps of marketing can be a critical part of any marketing plan. These concepts aim to help you create a reliable strategy for reaching a specific target market consistently and increasing sales. If you're interested in marketing, you may benefit from learning about the 4Ps and how to implement this method. In this article, we discuss the 4Ps of marketing, how to implement them and the benefits of following this marketing approach.

What are the 4Ps of marketing?

The 4Ps of marketing is a concept that summarises the four pillars underlying the vast majority of marketing strategies. The 4Ps of marketing comprise:

  • Product: What are you selling?

  • Price: How much does the product cost?

  • Place: Where do you market your product?

  • Promotion: How do your customers discover your product? What promotions and strategies do you use to reach them?

The theory behind the 4Ps marketing is that if you implement all four Ps into a marketing strategy, you can reach more of your target market and make more sales. Below, you can find more in-depth details about each element of 4P marketing:

Related: What Does a Marketing Coordinator Do? (With Skills and FAQs)

Product

The product is the item that a company sells to the customer. Ideally, a product should fill a consumer's requirements, make their lives easier or evoke an emotive response. Understanding the product and how it serves the consumer can be essential for success. The type of product and its benefits can often dictate how much the consumer may pay for it.

One of the best ways to create a product that consumers love is by identifying what it is they want. Companies often ask their clients what they require to solve their problems. Getting this information can provide the direction required for creating a product that customers love and can't be without. When you listen to customers, you can understand their biggest frustrations. Some good questions to ask customers or potential customers could be:

  • What's your biggest problem we can solve?

  • If we made a product to make your life easier, what would it be?

  • How can we improve our existing product?

  • What's your favourite product and why?

Related: What Is Benchmarking in Business and Why Is It Important?

Price

Price refers to the cost that the customer pays for the product. Successful marketing links the cost of producing a product to the perceived value. How the customer perceives the product and how much of a requirement they have for the product can often dictate the price. Marketers can also raise prices to give a product a luxury association or discount a product to provide the association with a considerable saving.

Another factor for pricing may be how many options the consumer has to access the product. For example, if a product is new and the first of its kind, businesses may charge a premium for the product. Products that enter a supersaturated market can often benefit from a lower price point. To determine a suitable price point for a product, it can be a great idea to find out the answers to some of the following questions:

  • How much does it cost to produce the product and how much mark-up is required?

  • What is the highest price that a consumer might pay?

  • How much disposable income does your target market have?

  • What do the industry leaders charge?

  • Where is your price point compared to your competitors?

Place

When marketing a product, there are usually decisions to make surrounding where best to deliver the product to the target market. The goal is generally to find the best place to get the product in front of the target market. This often means placing the product in a specific store and in a particular place within the store. In other cases, placement may mean advertising online and targeting websites that the target market visits regularly.

When determining where to advertise for a target market, it can be crucial to understand your target audience and their behaviours. For example, understanding where they spend their time, how they interact online and their daily movements can be essential to maximising how much time your product gets in front of your target audience. Here are some simple questions to ask that can help you find the right place for your product:

  • Where do your customers spend their time?

  • What shops do they frequent?

  • What websites do they spend time on?

  • What apps do they use?

  • Where are your competitors based?

Promotion

Promotion relates to promotional strategies, advertising and public relations. The goal of promotion is to show the customer why they require the product and why it's worth its price.

Marketers often use placement and promotion elements together to reach their target audience. This can be common online, where marketers use place and promotion elements to target their audience. They can do this via social media and websites using targeted advertisements and triggers to engage customers. You may determine how to promote your product by asking yourself these questions:

  • What channels does the target market use to consume most of their information?

  • What time of the year is best for the promotion of the product?

  • Is the product seasonal?

  • What kind of message is effective when promoting a solution to the target market's problem?

  • How does the competition conduct its promotions?

How to employ the 4Ps of a marketing strategy

Below, you can find steps to help you employ the 4Ps of a marketing strategy:

1. Understand the product you're selling

Before you develop a promotion strategy, it can be helpful to ensure you fully understand your product. Learning the answers to the following questions as part of market research can be crucial to marketing your product effectively:

  • Who is your target market?

  • How is your product different from the rest of the market?

  • What features of the product do the consumers require and value the most?

Related: How to Become a Market Researcher

2. Decide on the price

To promote willingness amongst your consumers to pay the asking price for your product, it can help if the price aligns with the real and perceived value of your offer. The primary task as a marketer is to connect the business costs to the customers' perceived value of the product. When deciding on a pricing strategy, it can be helpful to clearly understand how much of the perceived value the business wishes to keep and how much of it they wish to pass to the consumer.

Related: Decision-Making Skills: Definition With Tips

3. Choose a place to sell your product

Once you know your product and its price point, you can consider where your customers may buy your product. This step involves more than choosing a physical or virtual location. It also involves determining the customer service you wish to provide. When choosing a place to sell your product, it may be beneficial to analyse competitor behaviour and the success of your past or current distribution channels. Some questions you can ask yourself to help with this process may be:

  • How can customers get the best buying experience and follow up care?

  • Which distribution channels were successful in the past for the target market?

  • Do you sell directly to the customer or go through a middleman?

  • How much does it cost to use a specific distribution channel?

Related: What Is Positioning in Marketing? (Benefits and Strategies)

4. Create a promotion strategy

When you have decided on where to sell your product, you can plan your promotional strategy. In this step, you can decide on which strategy may best reach your target market. You may consider radio advertising, blog posts, social media channels or even hiring influencers. Some questions that may be beneficial to ask yourself to help with this process are:

  • Who is the business aiming to reach?

  • What Is the competitor's advertising strategy?

  • What is the journey the customers take to purchase a product?

  • Which channels do the audience consume most of their information?

  • What types of tactics can your team use to fulfil the marketing objectives?

Related: What Is Strategy Consulting? (Definition and Why It Matters)

Benefits of 4P marketing

By employing the 4Ps you can gain a thorough understanding of the product, its price, its distribution channel and how best to promote it. Going through the process of implementing the 4Ps can give you the information required to market a product successfully. With a 4P marketing strategy in place, it can be simpler to differentiate the business and product from the competition, offer customers a solution to their problem and successfully market the product.

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