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4 Ps Of Marketing - Marketing Mix Definition & Examples


The 4 Ps Of Marketing The 4 Ps Of Marketing

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In the 1950s Neil Borden popularised the term marketing mix which contained more than ten elements of marketing. The fundamental among them was the 4 Ps of marketing. Later in the 1960s, Jerome McCarthy devised the 7 Ps model, refining the essentials from the marketing mix. Over time many Ps have been crystallized like 5Ps, 8Ps, etc. But the 4Ps of marketing is like the purest crystal which cannot be refined further. Every other Ps-model is either an expansion or modification of the original 4Ps. We may add two or more Ps to the 4Ps, but we can’t move a P out of it. Hence, it is the bedrock of marketing of any kind.

We will examine in this article why the 4Ps are indispensable for a marketing executive today and how they still hold with the marketing of intangible and tangible products.

What Are the 4 Ps of Marketing


The 4Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. They serve as an illustration of a “marketing mix,” representing the collective tactics and approaches employed by marketers to accomplish their marketing goals.

  • Product: This refers to the good or service you’re offering, including its features, benefits, branding, and packaging.
  • Price: This involves determining the selling price of your product, considering production costs, customer perceived value, and competitor pricing.
  • Place (or Distribution): This focuses on how you’ll make your product available to customers. This could be through physical stores, online marketplaces, or a direct-to-consumer model.
  • Promotion: This encompasses all your communication efforts to raise awareness, generate interest, and drive sales. It includes advertising, public relations, social media marketing, and promotional campaigns.

Who invented the 4 Ps of Marketing?


Neil Borden popularised the marketing mix idea in the 1950s. Borden defined a marketing executive as somebody who fuses ingredients to make the right recipe for marketing a product. Later, E. Jerome McCarthy sublimated the concept of the 4Ps of marketing from Borden’s ideas.

McCarthy had highlighted that the 4Ps viz. Product, price, promotion, and place are the initial control elements that are available to shape a marketing plan. He also articulated the changing of the balances of these variables in long term perspective with the product remaining the hardest to change.

Elements of Marketing Mix- the 4 Ps


Now let us discuss the four fundamental elements of the marketing mix which are the Product, Pricing, Promotion, and Place.

1. Product

A product is the heart of the marketing mix. All marketing activities begin with the product. The product is not a physical entity alone; it captures the whole tangible and intangible aspects like services, personality, organization, and ideas.

Without a product, we have nothing to price, promote or place. Hence, of all the 4 Ps the Product is the most elemental P.

Here, it is essential to understand the term product mix concerning marketing. The product mix is the whole range of products a company offers to its customers. Say, for instance, Apple an authority in electronic brand commands loyalty as a pioneer of mobile technology and e-devices. Suppose, Apple decides to expand its product line with a new Apple sports shoe. Thus the product mix of Apple.Inc will cover mobile phones, tablets, iPods, watches and the new one in line the Apple shoes.

The decisions regarding product mix will depend on many factors like :

  • Design
  • Features
  • Brand name
  • Product variety
  • Quality
  • Services
  • Packaging, returns, etc.

2. Price


Price is the monetary value that has to be paid by a customer to acquire or own the product of a company. It is the critical revenue-generating component of the firm.

Pricing decisions should be taken with great care, as it is a double-edged sword. If your product is priced too high, it may exude a feeling of high quality. At the same time, it will make your product placing to limited and standard stores. So the marketer must know the art of wielding this dangerous sword of pricing.

The pricing mix decisions need to consider the below marketing variables :

  • Methods of pricing; policies; strategies
  • Allowances
  • Discounts, rebates
  • Payment period
  • Credit policy

The pricing strategy of your organization must align with the overall goal of your organization to blend smoothly. Whether you want market penetration or skim over all this depends on your pricing strategy.

3. Place (or Distribution)


Place or physical distribution deals with the transfer of ownership of the product from the manufacturer to the customer.

The margin of your profit depends on how quickly you can turn over the goods. The more swiftly the products reach the point of sale, the more likely are the chances of satisfying the customers and increase brand loyalty. Hence the Place factor is crucial in ensuring your product’s competitiveness in the market.

The following are the elements of a distribution mix :

  • Channels of distribution
  • Warehousing decision
  • Product handling
  • Transport
  • Inventory control
  • Order processing
  • Coverage

4. Promotion


It aims to serve two objectives. One, it informs the potential customers about your product and secondly, it persuades them to buy your product. The promotion mix will thus include the various means that you can use to communicate with the target audience. An effective promotion mix will ensure good sales and a marketer must strive to create a conducive environment. Also, your promotion strategy will cover the potential platforms of your niche where the businesses products can be promoted and even sell. For example, niche marketplaces or social media.

Say, for example, if you are a Magento store owner and would like to promote your store products on Facebook shop, you may opt for Magento 2 Facebook Store Integration extension that syncs store products with Facebook shop to promote and sell them to a larger audience.

The main elements of a promotion mix are:

  • Advertising
  • Personal selling
  • Public relations
  • Direct marketing
  • Publicity -social media, print, etc.
  • Sales promotion

How to use the 4 Ps of Marketing in Marketing Strategy?

Utilizing the 4 Ps of marketing—product, price, place, and promotion—in your marketing strategy involves understanding and strategically implementing each element to achieve your business objectives. Here’s how you can integrate the 4 Ps into your marketing strategy:


  • Identify your target audience’s needs and preferences to develop or modify your product accordingly.
  • Ensure that your product features align with customer expectations and provide unique value compared to competitors.
  • Continuously innovate and update your product to meet changing market demands and stay ahead of the competition.


  • Conduct thorough market research to determine the optimal pricing strategy for your product or service.
  • Consider factors such as production costs, competitor pricing, and perceived value by customers.
  • Choose a pricing strategy that reflects your brand positioning and profitability goals, whether it’s premium pricing, competitive pricing, or penetration pricing.

Place (Distribution):

  • Determine the most effective distribution channels to reach your target audience and make your product accessible to them.
  • Consider both online and offline channels, such as retail stores, e-commerce platforms, or direct sales.
  • Ensure efficient distribution logistics to minimize costs and deliver a seamless customer experience.


  • Develop a comprehensive promotional strategy to create awareness, generate interest, and drive sales for your product.
  • Utilize a mix of advertising, public relations, sales promotions, and digital marketing tactics to reach your target audience.
  • Tailor your promotional messages and channels to resonate with your target market and communicate your product’s unique selling points.

When Did the 4 Ps Become the 7 Ps?

Since the 1950s, the emphasis on the traditional four Ps of marketing—product, price, place, and promotion—has remained a fundamental principle. However, the evolution of marketing in the 21st century has introduced three additional Ps to expand the marketing mix:

  • People: This places emphasis on the individuals who represent the product. In today’s landscape, this includes not only sales and customer service personnel but also social media influencers and viral marketing campaigns.

  • Process: This pertains to logistics. As consumer expectations for swift and efficient delivery grow, businesses must ensure the seamless fulfillment of customer orders.

  • Physical evidence: Perhaps the most contemporary of the seven Ps, physical evidence focuses on establishing credibility in the digital realm. For instance, if you’re retailing diamond jewelry online, it’s imperative to convey to consumers that your business is reputable and trustworthy. This can be achieved through a professionally designed website with clear functionality, an informative “About” section detailing the company’s background and contact information, impeccable packaging, and reliable delivery services. These elements collectively reassure consumers that your product is not only of high quality but also legitimate and reliable

Other marketing mixes

The five Ps

The five Ps consist of product, price, place, promotion, and people.

Today, numerous marketers opt for the five Ps instead of the traditional four Ps as it places emphasis on the involvement of both customers and staff in the marketing process. Common factors taken into account encompass customer behavior, product experience, and overall satisfaction with the business.

The seven Ps

The seven Ps encompass product, price, place, promotion, people, processes, and physical evidence.

Expanding upon the foundation of the five Ps, the seven Ps incorporate additional aspects such as the processes shaping the customer experience and the tangible evidence required by the target market to make purchasing decisions. Processes may entail the specific customer service procedures associated with a product, while physical evidence can include websites or store displays aimed at helping the target market visualize themselves utilizing the product.

The five Cs

The five Cs include customer, company, competition, collaborators, and climate.

In certain aspects, the five Cs address many of the same considerations as the four and five Ps, yet with an increased focus on external elements, including potential collaborations and competitive analysis.

Moreover, while “climate” pertains to the social, political, and economic environment surrounding the market, “customer” relates to the target market and their experience. “Company,” on the other hand, denotes the position of the company and its accessible resources within the marketing framework.

4 P’s of Marketing examples


If you find the discussion on 4 Ps too wordy, let’s go through some examples.

The first P stands for Product. Example, a KFC chicken product will include the look of the food, the shiny red buckets with the smiling face of Colonel Sanders, the wording on the combo pack like “Friendship Bucket,” “Triple Treat.”The second P, pricing strategies have been used by Jio Reliance company in India to get the deepest penetration. It almost washed away all the mobile service providers out.

The third P is the Promotion, for example, the Coke leveraged the World cup 2010 and K’naan’s theme song so much that, Coca Cola and football have all become synonymous. The Place or Distribution is the fourth P. Examples: Apple iPhones are found easily in renowned e-commerce stores like Amazon and not in Zepo and less known stores.

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The marketing is a context based discipline. The internet has diversified the traditional approaches to marketing. The internet based technologies facilitates deeper penetration into the very individual. But the essence of marketing and its objectives remain the same, and the 4 Ps thus are the starting point for any new businesses, large or small. In the today’s world of startups the 4 Ps acquire special importance. A talented marketer can combine the additional Ps with the traditional 4Ps to bring out the best for his product, company and clients. But, everything begins from the basic 4 Ps.


1. What are the benefits of using the 4 Ps of Marketing?

  • Provides a structured framework for marketing planning.
  • Helps ensure all key marketing elements are considered.
  • Encourages a holistic approach to reaching target markets.
  • Creates a foundation for developing a strong marketing mix.
  • Offers a common language for marketers to communicate strategies.

2. What are some examples of the 4 Ps in action?

  • Imagine a company launches a new fitness tracker (Product).
  • They price it competitively (Price), sell it online and in sporting goods stores (Place), and promote it through social media influencer marketing and targeted ads (Promotion).

3. Are the 4 Ps of Marketing still relevant today?

  • Yes, the 4 Ps remain a fundamental concept in marketing.
  • However, the marketing landscape has evolved.
  • Today’s marketers often consider additional factors like:
    • People: The human element - employees who deliver the brand experience
    • Process: Optimizing how products or services are delivered.
    • Physical Evidence: Creating a positive atmosphere for purchase and consumption.

4. What are some limitations of the 4 Ps of Marketing?

The 4 Ps primarily focus on the marketer’s perspective, potentially overlooking:

  • Customer journey: The buyer’s experience across all touchpoints.
  • Customer feedback: How customer input can shape strategies.
  • Integration: The need to seamlessly integrate all marketing elements.

Author Bio:

Premjith leads the Digital Marketing team at Mindster, one of the leading mobile app development company in India. With his 4 valuable years of experience in online marketing, he helps clients expand their online presence and mushroom novel business ideas.

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