This is one of the most essential marketing models. It has been the cornerstone of successful strategies for many years, and there is no indication that its popularity is about to end. Let’s take a closer look at 4P marketing.
Where did the marketing mix come from?
The idea is born in the 1960s. Those who watched “Mad Men” will remember that it was a fruitful time in the development of marketing. Slowly (at least in the US) the post-war poverty and fear of nuclear conflict disappeared. People have money and want to spend it – competing companies are springing up everywhere. You want to sell, you have to stand out. When the offerings are similar, what’s left is effective, meaty advertising. Edmund McCarthy comes up with a new theory of marketing based on four elements, the goal of which is to present a product, understand and meet the needs and expectations of customers. In addition, McCarthy wants to separate the key steps into more teams, making it easier to construct a broader marketing strategy. Neil Borden writes the article “The Concept of the Marketing Mix.” The reliable Kotler later adds his own. The strength of the concept is evidenced by the fact that it has not aged and is still being applied.
What are the elements of 4P marketing?
Product, Place, Promotion, Price. Each element forms a coherent whole and influences the others. The point of 4P marketing is to bring a product to market at the right time, at the right price, with the help of the right distribution channel.
Consider whether the product you are selling is needed by customers. Analyze whether they are looking for this type of product in the market. And whether what you’re offering meets their requirements – it has the right price/quality ratio, how it is with your brand recognition, what are the pros and cons of the offer. Ask the customers themselves – they know best. Use NPS surveys for this, for example. Are you running eCommerce? See that the product descriptions in your store are sensible, error-free and clearly tell the customer what they are buying and why they should buy it. Add good quality photos showing the product from several shots (ok, if you sell pens, you don’t have to do this). Add FAQs, customers will find the answers on their own (at least that’s how it should be in an ideal world, we know what the reality is) and won’t bother the consultants, and SEO will be happy too, as you smuggle in keywords. Pay attention to the packaging, because it’s the customer’s first point of contact with your brand. He won’t forget and won’t forgive you if you ruin his enjoyment of unboxing with a crappy box.
Everything that happens to the price of a product. From the original price, to discounts and promotions. While marketers rarely have a say in a company’s pricing policy, they can keep tabs on discount actions, such as using coupons. Of course, when setting the final price, you have to take into account, on the one hand, that the company wants to make as much money as possible, and at the same time remember that few people will buy something at a heavily exorbitant price (unless it is a premium product of a recognized brand).
What goes on behind the scenes. Logistics, distribution of goods, warehousing. It’s also the moment to decide where the product will be available – whether the customer will only encounter it online or will also find it on store shelves, for example, the method of advertising and promotion will depend on this. Places are an underestimated and unobvious, but important part of 4P marketing. Because you can have the best product at an extra price, but if you can’t get it there on time – the customer will go to someone who can. If you neglect the topic and focus your forces on the other three (we agree, reasoning from a marketing point of view they may seem more important), you still won’t succeed. The key to making the marketing mix work effectively is the harmonious interaction of all four elements.
Finally, something for marketers. It is known – the methods of promotion today and the methods of promotion at the time of the theory’s inception are two different worlds. However, the premise has remained the same: reach the customer through every possible channel. Ideally, if the message is personalized and appropriate to a particular type (or segment) of customers. Promotion is also about building brand recognition, especially important for companies just starting out. Well, and it’s all the peri-promotional activities that win customer loyalty, who comes back and buys again. In addition, the definition of 4P marketing also understands promotion as PR – that is, how a company handles image crises, how it is able to communicate with the public.
Advantages of 4P marketing
The marketing mix is so cool that you can apply it to virtually any company, in any industry. The only thing that limits you is the budget – smaller does not mean a decrease in creativity, of course, but more money will allow you to use creativity better and more widely.
As a marketer, of course, you will necessarily focus on promotion. The marketing mix relies heavily on multi-channel contact with the customer – and this is an increasingly popular trend. A lot of communication channels can scare you (especially if you have a small marketing team), because on paper it’s actually hard to coordinate this constantly. Fortunately, Marketing Automation, tools directly designed to automatically conduct multi-channel, personalized communication with customers, is growing rapidly.
The marketing mix can teach you a lot; if you go through all four stages, you know virtually everything about the product – and that means you can promote it even more effectively