Decoding the 4Ps: Essential Marketing Strategies

Decoding the 4Ps: Essential Marketing Strategies

The roots of modern marketing can be traced back to 1964 when Neil Borden, from Harvard Business School, wrote about the 12-component marketing mix.

Neil attempted to define the main tasks undertaken by those working in a marketing capacity. At the time, marketing was still in its infancy, and most theories concerned manufacturing physical products.

Over time, the 12-component mix was refined and eventually, the four Ps of marketing emerged. This is certainly something you should know as part of some marketing basics: product, price, place and promotion.


We often use the phrase “products and services” when discussing what a company sells. In marketing, when we speak about a product, we use it as a term to cover all items, tangible and intangible.

A good marketer will know about every aspect of their product. They will have spent time studying the market, speaking with customers to understand their challenges, and then they will have had a hand in developing a product that serves that customer group. Once a product is created, your job as a marketer is to introduce it to your customers in a way that appeals to them.


This P is about how your product is placed (literally and figuratively) in the market and how that then affects how the product is viewed by potential customers. Where will the product be advertised? Magazines? Online only or a mix of both?


Once you have a product that you know appeals to your chosen market, you have to decide on a price that depends on how much the market is willing to pay.

This is not a straightforward calculation; as a marketer, you’ll need to know your customer group, what they value most, and how much they earn if you should offer a discount (and how much).  Every aspect of pricing can affect whether a product is successful or not.


The final piece in the puzzle, this P, concentrates on how you will promote your product. Marketing covers such a wide range of activities that the avenues for promotion are almost endless. From print advertising to online ads, special offers, discounts, and sales, what you choose to do is dependent on your product and your customer group.

Which social media platform will you use? Will you blog? Will you use email marketing? These activities fall under promotion and form part of any marketing strategy.

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