4Ps of Product marketing

“Marketing mix” is an expression used to describe the various types of decisions organizations need to make in the entire procedure of bringing a product or service to the market. The 4Ps is a way of characterizing the marketing mix, and was initially communicated in 1960 by E J McCarthy.

Here are a few comments about each of the four components:

  • Product

Products are mainly characterized by the value proposition, i.e. the benefits or value add to customers either in a way of solving customer problems or enhancing their daily activities. It is important to have clear objectives and target market for the product.

Providing answers to the following questions clarifies the concept of Product:

  • What needs does it fulfill?
  • What features does it have to address these issues?
  • How and where will the client use it?
  • What does it look like?
  •  By what method will clients experience it?
  • What size(s), color(s), etc. should it be?
  • What is it to be called?
  • How is it branded?
  • How is it differentiated versus your rivals?
  • What is the most it can cost to provide, and still be sold adequately beneficially?

  • Place

How the product will be provided to the customer is what determines the place or its placement. Thus, a product’s distribution is a major element in determining a products placement. The placement strategy can be helpful when it comes to assessing the most suitable channel of distribution to be used.

Questions:

  • Where do customers search for your products online, offline, what kind of channels?
  • How would you be able to get to the right distribution channels?
  • Do you have to utilize a sales force? Alternately go to trade fairs? On the other hand make online entries?
  • What do your rivals do, and in what capacity would you be able to gain from that and/or differentiate?
  • Price

Price refers to the real amount the end user is expected to pay for the product. The price of a product is a key factor on how it performs in the market. This is related to the product’s perceived value to the customer as against the actual product costing. A product with a higher or a lower price tag than its perceived value will not perform well in the market – either perceived as too expensive or cheap and low quality respectively. As such, understanding how a customer perceives what you are selling is extremely important. Factors such as distribution, value chain costs, markups and the way competitors price a rival product may also affect the price.

Pricing questions:

  • What is the value of the item or service to the buyer?
  • Are there established price points for items or services here?
  • Is the client price sensitive?
  • Will a little decline in value gain you additional market share?
  • On the other hand will a little increment be indiscernible, and thus gain you extra profit?
  • How will your price contrast with your rivals?

  • Promotion

The promotion plan comprises of the marketing communication strategies and techniques. These may entail advertising, sales promotions, special offers, as well as public relations. Regardless of the channel used, the promotion should be appropriate for the product, the price as well as the targeted end user.

Questions:

  • What channels would be used for promotions?
  • Will you reach your audience by advertising online, in the Press, on TV, Radio, or on Billboards?
  • When is the best time to showcase?
  • Are there any wider ecological issues that affect the timing of your market launch, or the timing of ensuing promotions?
  • How do your rivals do their promotions?

Using a marketing mix offers an excellent way to ensure that the right product is put in the right place. The marketing mix is a very important tool that helps businesses understand what value the product or service can provide and how to successfully market the product. This mix is generally implemented through the 4Ps of marketing, namely Price, Product, Promotion and Place.

The 7 Ps of services marketing

Services are very different from products. So the marketing concepts need to be revisited while marketing a service. Services can range from financial services provided by the banks, technology services provided by the IT Company, food and ambiance as a service provided by restaurants or even a blog where an author provides a service (information presentation, interesting reading etc) to his audience. Services marketing are dominated by the 7 Ps of marketing namely Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence. The 7P framework is one of the most popular framework for deciding a marketing strategy, right from strategy formulation to actual implementation.

We have already dealt with the 4Ps, hence we just run through the remaining 3Ps, thus:

  • People

The best food may not seem equally palatable if the waitress is in a sour mood. A smile always helps. Intensive training for your human resources on how to handle customers and how to deal with contingencies, is crucial for your success.

  • Processes

 Services being intangible, processes become all the more crucial to ensure standards are met. Process mapping ensures that your service is suitable for your target segment.

  • Physical evidence

Often, customers depend on other cues to judge the service offering. This is where physical evidence plays a part. Would you like eating at a joint where the table is greasy or the waitresses and cooks look untidy and wear dirty aprons? Surely you would evaluate the quality of your experience through proxies such as these.

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