4Ps: How to Use the Principles of Marketing in Your Marketing Mix?
The 4Ps are 4 basic marketing principles. Companies can use these 4 elements to build their marketing strategy.
Here are the 4Ps in question:
- Place (Distribution)
In this article, we will go into more detail on each of these elements and explain how you can use them.
In addition, we can also advise you on the best marketing agencies to develop your strategy.
What Are the Main Marketing Principles?
Marketing principles, as we know them today, have been around since the 1960s.
A lot has changed since then, but the principles remain the same. In 60 years, companies have had a lot of time to evolve, to digitalize, and the typical customer does not belong to the same generation anymore.
You can read our study which presents the generational differences between boomers, millennials and gen z in their use of social networks.
That said, despite all these changes, the main marketing principles remain the same.
Once again, we are talking about the 4Ps:
- Place (Distribution)
In reality, there are also 3 other principles that can be added to this list and we could then talk about 7Ps :
- Physical evidence
- Staff / People of the team
We present each of these elements, and their impact on a marketing strategy, in the rest of this article.
Price determines what your audience is willing to pay for your product. Most of the time, the price of a product helps position it in the market:
- Entry level
- High end
- Luxury / Premium
Generally speaking, defining the price of a product will have a significant impact on its success. This is because the price will determine how a customer perceives the quality of your product.
A cheap price may suggest a lower quality product, for example, even if this is not necessarily the case.
The different pricing strategies
The skimming strategy
This strategy consists in setting a high price to address only a certain type of customer. This clientele is either made up of wealthy people or people who are really enthusiastic about the product in question.
The penetration strategy
With this strategy, you start directly with a competitive price. This allows you to quickly conquer the market, and therefore make a place for yourself.
We have already mentioned it, but the second P refers to the product. It may seem obvious, but the product can be divided into three categories: basic product, tangible product, and extended product.
This should not be seen as the product itself, but more as the values of the product.
An electric bicycle, for example, gives the user the advantage of being able to get from point A to point B without having to make too much effort.
This refers to the product as such. To take the previous example: the electric bicycle.
All the extras that go beyond the tangible product constitute the extended product.
This can manifest itself in different ways:
- Product guarantees,
- Free delivery,
- Maintenance plans,
These are all extras that make a product more attractive.
The promotion, as its name indicates, aims to promote your products and services. There are as many different techniques as there are communication channels at your disposal.
Here, your promotion strategy will mainly depend on your objectives and the audience you are targeting.
If your audience is large and geographically localized, display advertising will do the trick if this channel is well suited to your product.
On the other hand, if you’re targeting a younger audience, and you’re selling a physical product aimed at them, it would be interesting to look at TikTok.
In summary, the third P you can use to build your marketing strategy is promotion. And this one will depend on your ability to find an alignment between:
- Your product,
- Your target audience,
- And your objectives.
Here, the question is know where you will sell your products and services? How will you distribute them: E-Commerce or physical store?
There are several distribution strategies you can use:
- Intensive distribution, which consists of placing your product in as many different locations as possible (e.g. a chain of supermarkets).
- Selective distribution, which consists of concentrating on a few hyper-specialized outlets specific to your niche.
You can also opt for exclusive distribution, which consists in building your own online store and not relying on any other distribution channel.
A marketing agency can help you choose the most appropriate strategy. However, you should know that depending on your distribution strategy, it will be necessary to adapt your marketing strategy. That’s why it’s important to work with an agency.
This is perhaps the least known marketing principle, but when it comes to buying a product, there is always a process in place.
Whether it’s visiting a store, going to an online store, or choosing from several options: all of these steps are part of a process.
As the company/seller of the product, you are in charge of this process. Your role should be to make this process as smooth as possible and remove any friction that might prevent your customers from placing an order.
Here are some questions that can help you do that:
- What does the customer have to do before they can get your product?
- What are the steps that make up your customer journey?
- What should your customers do if they are unhappy with the product or want to give feedback?
You can take the time to answer these questions, and then determine how to optimize each step of your sales process.
Again, your goal should be to make it as smooth as possible to maximize your sales.
Physical evidence is not yet well known in marketing principles, mainly because it was added later to this list.
Specifically, all the physical things that are related to your brand, and that you can touch (your offices, your stores, your business cards, etc…) are part of the physical evidence.
This principle refers to the appearance of your brand. You can use it to enhance your brand image and strengthen your marketing strategy.
Staff / People of the team
Finally, the last P to consider is the people that make up your team. In many cases, they have a key role to play in the success of a product.
We can think of the people in charge of customer service or your sales team directly in contact with your customers.
Moreover, don’t forget that your teams, and the people who make them up, give a face to your brand. It is, therefore, crucial to put their well-being at the center of the debate, to guarantee the success of your strategy. It depends on it.
Any study that talks about marketing mentions the marketing mix and the 4Ps (7Ps in the updated version). Philip Kotler developed these great marketing principles in the 1960s, and they are still valid today. Despite the drastic changes we have experienced since then.
The goal of a marketer is to apply these principles in the best possible way. By using and combining these principles, it becomes possible to build a marketing strategy that delivers a memorable customer experience.
Finally, whether it’s your store, your business card, or your staff: keep the customer’s perspective in mind.