Understanding the 4 P’s of Marketing

By QuickBooks Canada Team

2 min read

Before you can sell a product, you need a marketing strategy to build connections between the product and your target customer. The 4 P’s – product, place, price, and promotion – are a common marketing mix that can give you an integrated marketing approach. Each of the four basic marketing elements has a different impact on how you market a product. However, when applied together in a marketing effort, the 4 P’s can deliver marketing results greater than the sum of their parts.

Product

Product is not necessarily a priority among the 4 P’s, even though it’s the first one on the list. Your product can’t reach the market if it’s wrongly priced and you sell it in the wrong place and at the wrong time. All four elements have to work in concert to achieve a marketing success. To get a product right, you must ask questions with your target customer in mind. For example, what does the customer want, and how can your product satisfy the customer’s needs that your competitors’ can’t? However, locating the customer with a unique product is only the start of a total marketing effort.

Place

The place element has to do with where you sell your product – both physical locations and intangible sales channels. You must ask yourself where buyers are most likely to go for the product you offer, such as the kinds of stores and other sales channels they’re also open to, be it online or direct mail via catalogue. You can only sell your product to buyers if you put your product where your buyers are, assuming it’s at the right price and with timely promotions.

Price

You can have the right product and sell it to the right locations and through proper sales channels, but if prospective customers don’t see value in the price of your product relative to its functions, you don’t have a sale. You must ask these questions when setting the price:

  • What are the established price points for similar products in the area where you sell?
  • How sensitive might potential buyers be to price changes?
  • Can offering discounts be helpful in attracting additional buyers?

The right price can be critical in closing the deal, especially in a competitive market.

Promotion

You use promotion as advertising to communicate your overall marketing messages to a target market. People may not know what product you have, where it is available for sale, and at what price you sell it. To have a complete market offering, you need to have a promotion about your business and relevant product information at the right time. While planning promotions, consider what the most effective media may be for your promotion, when is the best time is to launch a promotion, and what the timing looks like for potential subsequent promotions. An effective promotion at the right time can help build positive market impressions on other elements in your marketing mix. By having the 4 P’s work in coordination, you see a better chance of getting your product sold, the ultimate marketing goal.

References & Resources

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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