The four Ps are a “marketing mix” comprised of four key elements—product, price, place, and promotion—used when marketing a product or service. Typically, businesses consider the four Ps when creating marketing plans and strategies to effectively market to their target audience.
Although there are many other “marketing mixes,” the four Ps are the most common and foundational to creating a successful marketing plan.
The four Ps
The four Ps form a dynamic relationship with one another. Rather than one taking priority over the other, each is considered equally important in crafting a strategic marketing plan.
The product is the good or service being marketed to the target audience.
Generally, successful products fill a need not currently being met in the marketplace or provide a novel customer experience that creates demand. For example, the original iPhone filled a need in the market for a simplified device that paired a phone with an iPod, and the chia pet provided a humorous experience for consumers that was utterly unique.
As you are working on your product, it is essential to consider your target audience and their unique needs. Some questions to consider when working on a product include:
What is your product?
What does your product do? Does the product meet an unfilled need or provide a novel experience?
Who is your product’s target audience?
How is your product different from what others offer?
Price is the cost of a product or service.
When marketing a product or service, it is important to pick a price that is simultaneously accessible to the target market and meets a business’s goals. Pricing can have a significant impact on the overall success of a product. For example, if you price your product too high for your targeted audience, then very few of them will likely purchase it. Similarly, if you price your product too low, then some might pass it up simply because they are concerned it might be of inferior quality and cut into your potential profit margins.
To identify a successful price, you will want to thoroughly understand your target audience and their willingness to pay for your product. Some questions you might ask yourself as you are considering your product’s price include:
What is the price range of your product’s competitors?
What is the price range of your target audience?
What price is too high for your audience? What price is too low?
What price best fits your target market?
Place is where you sell your product and the distribution channels you use to get it to your customer.
Much like price, finding the right place to market and sell your product is a key factor in reaching your target audience. If you put your product in a place that your target customer doesn’t visit—whether on or offline— then you will likely not meet your sales target. The right place, meanwhile, can help you connect with your target audience and set you up for success.
For example, imagine you are selling an athletic shoe you designed. Your target market is athletes in their early twenties to late thirties, so you decide to market your product in sports publications and sell it at specialty athletics stores. By focusing on sports stores over shoe stores in general, you are targeting your efforts to a specific place that best fits your marketing mix.
To decide the best place to market and sell your product, you should consider researching the physical or digital places that your target audience shops and consumes information. Some questions to consider include:
Where will you sell your product?
Where does your target audience shop?
What distribution channels are best to reach your target market?
Promotion is how you advertise your product or service. Through promotion, you will get the word out about your product with an effective marketing campaign that resonates with your target audience.
There are many different ways to promote your product. Some traditional methods include word of mouth, print advertisements, and television commercials. In the digital age, though, there are even more marketing channels that you can use to promote your product, such as content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing.
Some questions to consider as you are working on your product promotion include:
What is the best time to reach your target audience?
What marketing channels are most effective for your target audience?
What advertising approaches are most persuasive to your target audience?