Business Principles:  The Marketing Mix/4 P's

Marketing Mix:  Product, Price, Place, PromotionMarketing is building bridges between buyers and sellers. Marketing isn't hard -- it's not rocket science unless you are selling rockets. Learning the basics of marketing is easy. The challenge is to find new and creative ways to apply and use these ideas.

Proper planning prevents poor performance. Plan for success. In marketing, this means looking at 4 things -- the marketing mix, also called the 4 P's of marketing:

  1. Product:  The physical product or service offered to the consumer is the product -- it's what we market. In the case of physical products, it also refers to any services or conveniences and added value that are part of the offering. Product decisions include aspects such as function, appearance, packaging, service, warranty, etc.

  2. Price:  Decisions about pricing need to should take into account profit margins and what competitors will do. If your product is the same as others, you need to be a "price taker" and use the common price across all similar products/services. If your productc is different and customers percieve you have added value, then you can charge a higher price.

    We are willing to pay more for better products. We expect premium-priced products to be better. Many assume lower prices mean a cheaper and inferior product. Pricing includes not only the list price, but also discounts, financing, and other options such as leasing.

    The price includes more than the cash customers pay. The price includes other non-monetary factors like time, energy, or attention. Place. To successfully market a product, we have to get it where people will need or want it. Place or distribution means our customers.

  3. Place includes thinking about where a product is going to be sold, who will sell it, and what type of experience customers will get when they buy it from sellers. Examples of place decision include online versus retail, geographic areas a prodcut will be sold, and how the surroundings of our sellers may increase customer purchases.

  4. Promotion:  Having the right product, price and place is not enough. We need to communicate and sell to potential consumers. These costs can be high --- perhaps higher than all other marketing costs. Promotion educates consumers that we have something for them.

    Promotion tells people why our product or service meets their needs or wants. It tells people where to find our product. Promotion tells people why they should buy our product. Promotion decisions involve advertising, public relations, media types, etc. Successful marketing companies think about the 4 P's, the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion.

    The key to marketing is to help people own your product or services. Understanding the 4 P's will help you market and grow your business.


  1. Mr. B's Online JavaScript Quiz:  Marketing Mix
  2. The Marketing Mix (worksheet, pdf form)
  3. Simple Business Plan:  Marketing Mix (worksheet, pdf form
  4. Marketing Mix Song (video) and 4P's Review Guide (.pdf)
  5. Marketing Mix Project

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