The four Ps of marketing, or as they are sometimes called, the marketing mix, are a set of tools used to gain an advantage in the marketplace. A business cannot physically make a customer spend money, but they can set in place the four Ps to help maximize the product’s potential. The four Ps are a combination of price, product, promotion and placement.
In order to maximize a product’s potential, these four variables can be controlled by the company. There are other variables that cannot be controlled by the company, such as employment factors and business competitors, but the four Ps can be controlled to gain a competitive place in the market. Each of the four Ps must be broken down by the company and analyzed before the product is placed on the market. Each of the four Ps is considered just as important as the others. They are interdependent in making a product or company a success.
Each of the four Ps has unique factors to consider. The main consideration associated with the product variable is the actual commodity or service to be sold in return for money. The company needs to consider the quality of the product, its uniqueness in the marketplace and the branding that will be used. Other product decisions include different variations on the product and add-on products available. The packaging of the commodity is another product variable.
Promotion variables are linked with advertising. Promotion is very important when selling a commodity. It is a way of making the public aware of the product and the company. There are many forms of media available to gain public awareness, such as newspapers, television, trade shows and the Internet. One of the most important aspects of promotion is to place in the customer's mind a need for the product, whether the advertising is subliminal or in-your-face.
The price variable must be thought through from the manufacturer's end to the final customer price. Distribution must also be taken into account, and if the product is to be sold in stores, the retailer's mark-up will need to be considered. Other aspects, such as business competitor’s prices and payment plans for the commodity, are also included in the pricing variable.
Placement is another important aspect of the four Ps. Where and to whom you sell your product must be considered. Who your target audiences are and which niche of the market you are aiming for should also be well thought out. The quality of the product will help determine who your target audience is and where you place your product. There are many different channels of distribution for a product, and exact placement is key.