Are the 4 P’s Still Relevant?



Product. Price. Place. Promotion. The 4 Ps. Seemingly, a quartet of words not only synonymous with the marketing mix but also longstanding heavyweights when discussing how to build a company brand.

“They are still the foundation for establishing how products are released to the market,” said MultiView’s CEO Andy Keith, who added that a fifth P can now be argued as equally important as the four. Keith said packaging needs to be mentioned, “as Steve Jobs proved time and time again.”

In its simplest form, marketing can be defined in one sentence with all four Ps included. The goal: To promote the best product at the right price and the right place. Learning and understanding the marketing mix makes this objective even easier to comprehend. The marketing mix helps to understand what a product can offer and how to plan accordingly in offering that product.

Let’s quickly break down each P – for all the newbies or those who need a refresher course. A Cleverism article gives a pretty good breakdown of each, but here’s the lightning-round version, so to speak. Product is the company’s service. It’s what’s being provided to the consumer. Price is what you’re wanting consumers to pay for the product. Place involves how a product will be offered to a consumer. Promotion focuses on telling that consumer about your product.

The marketing mix is one of the first things taught in many “introduction to marketing” courses. It’s been around for decades, and while it may be seen as a basic model of marketing, its framework, to this day, can be viewed as untested.

In short, the four Ps will tell what your company is all about. It will define your brand. And it can make you – or break you.

In asking if the marketing mix and the four P are archaic, the answer will have its yeas and nays. In asking if they’re relevant in marketing today, that’s a no. A resounding no, per Keith.

During his days as an undergrad at the University of Texas at Dallas, Keith learned the importance of the four Ps and in asking if they still need to be taught, he emphatically stressed their importance and also provided an explanation – “as a basis for asking questions on each one to determine how prepared they are to go to market or sustain current market share.”

“By identifying something they possibly overlooked, MultiView can design a strategy with products that will provide a balanced approach,” Keith said, discussing the company’s drive and motivation using the marketing mix.

With the needs of consumers rapidly changing, brands should make it a priority to revisit what defines their marketing mix and use the four Ps in doing so. That framework will still help marketers to not only re-evaluate their goals but find measures to take their platforms to even higher levels.

In fact, during these current times, Keith said one of the four Ps, product, may be the key to a new level of success.

“The web has given the average consumer a powerful voice, and it seems most consumers spend less time on determining what best suits their needs and place greater emphasis on reviews they find,” Keith said. “If your product is substandard, you can expect for it to be called just that when you have disappointed consumers who have spent their hard-earned money on your product.”

The four Ps are still a great marketing tool. Basic enough to help new students learn the ins and outs, basic enough to reteach those currently in business marketing who could use the tutelage. The marketing mix is catered to satisfying both the consumer and the seller, and the four Ps – if executed properly – will serve as the bridge leading to success.

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