The 4 Ps of Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Examples)

The 4 Ps of marketing…

You’ve probably heard about them from a friend, a textbook, or even at school. I know it sounds like a boring topic that’s common sense, but there is more to it than meets the eye. And no, it’s not just for large companies… the smaller you are, the more important for you it is to leverage the 4 Ps. So before we dive into it, let’s first break down what they are…

The 4 Ps of marketing is a famous concept that summarizes the 4 basic pillars of any marketing strategy: product, price, place, and promotion. It sounds simple and it really is (the harder part is implementing it, which we will get into later). The idea behind the theory is that if you implement them, you will generate more sales. But sadly nothing is that easy.

The origin of the concept, also known as marketing mix, goes back to 1960 when McCarthy introduced it in his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.

I know that’s ages ago, but it is just as valid today. Let’s dive into each P…

Product

Group of cosmetic products on white background

The product is what the company sells.

It might be a product like a soft drink in the beverage industry or dresses in a clothing store. Or these days it may even be software like Ubersuggest.

It could also be services, such as consulting or a paid speaking gig or even a therapy session.

In short, the product is everything that is made available to the consumer.

In the 4 Ps strategy, defining this means understanding what your offer needs in order to stand apart from competitors and win over customers.

In other words, what makes your product so great or unique? Because if you don’t stand out it’s going to be hard to thrive.

For example, you may know about my product Ubersuggest, but you probably already know about a handful of my competitors?

So what’s the big thing that makes my product stand out from everyone else?

I don’t focus on features… I don’t have 100s of reports… instead, I focus on usability. My goal is to make Ubersuggest really easy to use, especially if you are new to marketing.

On the flip side, my competitors focus on ad agencies and really advanced marketers. I built something for a different target market, even though I am in a crowded market place.

Price

Price tags mockup

Price is simple, it refers to how much you charge for your product (or service).

And although it’s simple to understand, it’s really hard to come up with the “right” price. The one that doesn’t just drive the most amount of sales but also drives the most profit.

The real question is, how do you want to be perceived?

Amazon wants to be the place where you can get the best-valued products from A to Z. And of course, delivered at a fast pace so it’s convenient for you.

My buddies’ company, Imperia Caviar offers high-end caviar at low prices. He’s able to get the same caviar that big brands charge thousands of dollars.

Place

“Place” is another word for location.

As they say in marketing, it’s all about the… location, location, location.

I once ran a tech conference in Los Angeles called Twiistup.

It was a cool event with LA vibes and celebrities. I didn’t create the event, I bought it out years ago.

But you know what? It failed.

It wasn’t because the event wasn’t good, it was more so that I moved it to a terrible location.

I moved it from Santa Monica, which is the heart of the Los Angeles tech scene, to the valley, which is an hour drive from where all the tech companies are located.

In other words… location, location, location.

You have to pick a location where your customers are. Don’t expect them to come to you, you have to go to them.

Promotion

Promotion Product Strategy Marketing Concept

My favorite P… and the one I tend to blog about the most.

Promotion!

Once you’ve optimized the previous 3 Ps, it’s time to promote your offer.’

And to be clear, when I talk about promotion I am not just talking about getting your brand out there… I am talking about generating revenue.

What’s the point of promotion if you can’t drive sales?

But with all of the channels out there on the web, which ones do you start with first?

If they are big, you’ll see data on how much traffic they are generating… which keywords they rank for on Google… the sites that link to them and talk about them… and even how many social shares they are generating.

If they are small, you won’t see any data. You’ll have to put in a bigger competitor.

Another site that you should use is Similar Web. Put in your competitor’s URL and you’ll see tons of data on how they promote themselves.

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