The 4 Ps of marketing, sometimes called the marketing mix, is something you’ve likely heard of before, but maybe you’re not 100% sure what it is.
Or maybe you never thought that the 4 Ps applied to your business because your business is small.
Well, think again.
Not following the 4 Ps may be a reason why your business isn’t receiving the growth you’re looking for.
The same 4 Ps that are responsible for Tesla outselling every small-midsize luxury car manufacturer in the US…
…are also responsible for helping LYFE Marketing, a small business, become recognized as one the fastest growing companies in the U.S. two years in a row.
So understanding and using the 4 Ps can help your business too.
In this blog, we’ll be breaking the 4 Ps down into an easily understandable format.
So, you can use them to grow and maintain a thriving business.
Regardless of how big or small your business may be, the 4 Ps of marketing is essential to any business looking to market their products and services.
And every business needs marketing.
Therefore, you need to understand the 4 Ps of marketing before you can jump into marketing your business.
With that, let’s get into the basics of what the 4 Ps are.
What Are The 4 Ps of Marketing?
The 4 Ps of marketing are the foundation for any sound marketing strategy.
Without understanding each of these areas of your marketing mix, your marketing won’t be as effective as it has the potential to be.
This means you won’t see the business you deserve.
The Ps stand for product, price, place, and promotion.
Like the legs of a chair, if any of the 4 are missing or not properly executed, your marketing strategy will yield rocky, unpredictable results likely causing it to fail.
Many small business owners get so eager to promote their business to generate traction, but unfortunately, marketing isn’t just promotion.
Promotion is a part of marketing, and even one of the 4 Ps of marketing because it is still very important.
However, if you solely relied on promotion alone, you wouldn’t have a complete marketing strategy.
Each area works together and focusing on one part and not the others can negatively impact your marketing in the same way as not focusing on any of the areas at all.
Individually they are important, but together they are powerful. Understanding each part individually will help you better connect all 4 areas together.
In turn, making your marketing strategy stronger.
For you to get a better understanding of the 4 Ps of marketing, let’s take a look at each P of the marketing mix individually.
The first P is Product.
Your Product is the actual product or service you offer for sale. Sounds simple enough right?
However, the question you want to answer here is, “Do I have a product worth buying?”.
To determine this you can’t just focus on if YOU think you have a good product or not. What matters is if your audience has a need for your product
So, what makes a good product? One that solves an actual problem.
This “problem” could be physical, mental, or emotional.
But essentially, to know whether or not you have a product that consumers will want to buy starts with identifying a specific customer problem.
If your product solves a problem that consumers are actively trying to solve, they are more likely to make a purchase when they come across your business.
Sometimes you might have a product that you believe consumers need.
But, they aren’t actively looking to solve their problem because they are satisfied with their alternatives.
In this case, these are not the consumers that are in desperate need of your product and service and probably won’t make a purchase if they come across your business.
Therefore, they won’t be the ones you want to market to in the beginning just starting out.
Ultimately, your product has to solve a problem before it can even begin to be marketed to consumers.
Knowing what problem your product helps solve will allow you to also get a picture of who you want to sell your product to.
This provides a better perspective of your audience and gives you more information on what type of content to produce.
Narrowing down your audience will allow you to create more effective content that appeals more to their hearts and minds because you’ll understand exactly what it is that makes them “tick.”
You can then emphasize these pain points in your value proposition.
When you think of your product offering, there are two things you want to consider:
- What problem am I solving?
- What makes my product unique from what’s currently on the market?
Having product differentiation is an important factor because you don’t want to offer anything that is too similar to what is already on the market.
If your target customers don’t see any unique value in your product, they won’t choose it over your competition.
And to receive more business, you have to provide your customers with more reasons to choose you.
Once you have discovered the problem your product solves and what makes it unique, you are ready to move to the next P in the marketing mix, Price.
Price is how much you charge for your product or service.
The question you want to answer here is, “Is my product priced appropriately?”.
It’s common for many business owners to set a price for their product or service without understanding proper pricing strategies.
So, how do you know your product is priced appropriately?
There are 4 main pricing strategies you can choose from:
- Cost-plus pricing
This is your costs and a mark-up percentage you deem necessary. It typically doesn’t take into account competitor pricing and is solely based on your product costs.
It is also a pricing strategy used by many retail companies and sometimes as a part of their value proposition.
- Competitive pricing
This is setting your price based on what your competition charges.
Opposite to cost-plus pricing, it focuses on competitor pricing and uses competitor prices as a benchmark.
Many businesses who tend to have a lot of competition in a saturated market use this pricing strategy to give them a slight variation between their competitors.
- Value-based pricing
This is setting your price based on how much your customer is willing to pay.
Even if what you’re offering is worth more, you still decide to price your offerings around consumer interest.
This means you will have to collect a good amount of data from consumers to figure out what price to set your offerings at.
- Penetration pricing
This is setting your prices low to enter the market and raising them later. Typically this strategy is only sustainable for a short amount of time.
This pricing strategy works well for businesses trying to break into a competitive market by disrupting it with low prices that attract consumers.
But whatever pricing strategy you choose, make sure:
- Your target audience is willing to pay the price you set.
- The price you set is profitable once all costs, marketing, and sales, are considered.
Now that we’ve talked about good pricing strategies to help you determine the right prices for your products and services, let’s move on to the next P.
The next P in the marketing mix is Place. Place simply means the location where you sell your product.
And you know what they say…. location, location, location.
Location can refer to physical locations if you have a brick & mortar store, but in the case of ecommerce businesses, location will be online platforms.
The question you want to answer here is, “Can my target audience be found where I choose to sell my product?”.
How do you choose the right location? You go where your audience is.
Your “place” could be online on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram or offline in places such as a particular city or state.
For example, if you own a bakery that sells a certain type of food specific to a certain culture, you would want to be in an area that has a good amount of that culture.
Basically, wherever your “place” is, it has to be accessible enough so your target audience can become aware of it.
It wouldn’t make sense to place ads or open a location in an area where your audience does not spend their time.
This could cost your business precious resources that you don’t have to waste.
For another example, many business owners use social media ads to generate awareness for their business.
However, they are oftentimes unaware that not every single social media platform is effective for every business.
Before you consider your place, answer these two questions to help you determine what place or places are right for your business:
- Where are my customers?
- Where are my competitors?
Knowing these answers will also give you a good idea of how your audience behaves, as well as give you an idea of how your competitors locate their businesses.
Once you have your place down, you can move on to the last P in your marketing mix, Promotion.
Promotion is the action you take to drive awareness and ultimately, sales for your business.
Like we mentioned earlier, promotion is just a piece of the marketing pie and not the whole thing.
Oftentimes, people hear marketing and automatically assume advertising, but this isn’t so.
Promotion should consider digital marketing activities like the ones we offer our clients here at LYFE Marketing such as advertising, email marketing, and social media management services.
All of these activities help build brand awareness and get your target customers engaged with your business.
Promotion should also consider actual promotions such as discounts and coupons, like the Buy One Get One Free promotions you probably have received from retailers before for example.
Those discounts are some of the most commonly used methods of promotions.
There are a ton of different promotion techniques you can use from blogging to video marketing.
But, you need promotion to actually get your product out there in front of your audience.
After all, if they aren’t aware your business exists, then how will they become customers?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to make sure you do promotion right:
- Where does your target audience spend their time – online or offline?
- What type of promotions/messages does your audience respond to best?
Promotion is the last part of your marketing mix because in order to create the best promotional content, you have to understand the other areas first.
For example, if you don’t know where your customers are (whether online or offline), then you won’t know where to place your business and ads.
You have to understand your “place” before you can promote.
A common misconception about promotions is that they alone are what drive sales.
Promotion HELPS sales, but isn’t the reason you’re getting sales.
All of the 4 Ps of marketing working together are essentially what are driving sales for your business.
And when you have your product, price, place, and promotion working together effectively, you will reap the reward of seeing more business.
There you have it – a complete breakdown of the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion, also known as the marketing mix.
Your marketing strategy is crucial if you want to attract quality consumers to your business. Not only that, but it will also help you keep those customers too.
Marketing is not only beneficial for getting new business, but it also positions your brand as a valuable company in the eyes of your audience.
Developing a marketing strategy using these 4 Ps is a great place to start. But there is a lot more you can do after that.
If you want to learn more about how to promote via digital marketing and gain an edge on your competition, we’re dedicated and ready to help!
We’ll help you create a digital marketing strategy that works for your business and also help you invest in the tools to take it to the next level.
Contact us to get started!