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Are the 4Ps of Marketing Still Relevant Today?

To understand what marketing is, you must first understand what marketing is not. At its core, marketing creates value that inspires your consumers to buy your product or service. Yes, marketing is still relevant today because consumers want to feel inspired and informed. What has changed is how the consumers receive your message.

The 4Ps of marketing are still relevant today. Product, Price, Place, and Promotion still define the marketing mix. This post will explore each of these four P’s in more detail. We will also look at the critical elements of a marketing strategy. 


The product or service guides all marketing efforts. Whatever you are bringing to the market must be packaged to make it easy for people to purchase. Your product range should deliver on whatever it promises to. If you sell services, your product should have tangible/measurable benefits. The product can also be intangible such as an idea, but it must still benefit users in their daily lives. A compelling story may be necessary to hit your marketing objectives in the case of ideas.  

What characteristics of your product may need to adapt for a global audience? Modern businesses can leverage better transit times and easier communication to serve a broader customer base. When considering taking a product worldwide, you may want to look at suitability. A perfect product for the American audience may not be quite right for the Saudis. Macbooks, for instance, may require custom keyboards to cater to a different alphabet. 

Every potential product attribute must be considered through the eyes of your target audience. This is how you can achieve optimal product design. 


To make money from any business venture, you must be able to reach your target audience. Your place of operation determines who you can reach and where you can reach them. You may think that you can just go anywhere and reach anyone, but this isn’t true. There are physical limitations on where you can physically operate.

A lot of industries have benefited from the internet. For example, if you run a restaurant, you cannot open up a shop next door to a hospital. Similarly, if you own a car dealership, you cannot set up shop right outside of a train station. This is one way the Place in marketing is not quite as restrictive as it used to be in years gone by. 

Businesses can now tailor their marketing according to their target audience’s location. For instance, a candle maker from the UK may run one ad for UK customers and yet another for customers in France or Spain if they ship the products there. Marketing communications can and should be tailored to place if they are successful. We must never forget that consumer behaviour differs from one place to another. The place now directs the promotional side of things more than ever. 


Promotion is one of the 4ps of marketing. You must promote your product or service so that potential customers know about it. This means telling others about your product or service to learn about it too. Promoting your product or service can be done through many channels. Some examples include:

  • Advertising – Print ads, radio spots, television commercials, etc.
  • Social Media – Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos, Instagram posts, etc.
  • Direct Mail – Catalogs, flyers, brochures, etc.

The promotion of your product or service creates awareness of your brand. Awareness leads to interest which leads to sales. To get started with promotion, you’ll need to decide how much time you’re willing to spend promoting your product or service.

The promotion has somewhat evolved over the last decade as well. Today, marketers have access to an unprecedented amount of data. This makes it easier to make better decisions when it comes to promotions. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is that it’s still important to research before making any significant decisions. 

Avenues such as social media provide a quicker feedback loop when promoting products. This is especially true when using paid channels. The key difference between this method and print is that nothing is set in stone. Businesses can change their minds and methods based on an advert’s response. They can test and gauge performance on a smaller audience before opening it up to the masses. 

Online marketing campaigns

Marketing online is very different from traditional forms of advertising. It involves building trust with your audience first. Once you’ve built trust, you can start selling your product or service. A sound strategy for internet marketing is also known as digital marketing because most work happens here. There are three main types of online marketing strategies; Search engine optimisation (SEO), Social media marketing (SMM), and Content Marketing (CM). Every kind of strategy will cover all three stages of the marketing funnel.

SEO helps businesses reach out to new customers by increasing traffic to their sites. SEO ensures that your product is visible to those looking for it in search engines like Google. Your website needs to meet specific criteria to appear in search results.

SMM focuses on growing your presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. This allows you to build relationships with current and prospective clients.

Content marketing is probably the best way to increase traffic to your site. When people visit your site, they should find content that interests them. People want to read something informative and entertaining. If you write interesting articles and put them on your site, you’ll attract readers who share your passion.

Distribuiton Channels

Once you know where your target market is located, you can begin distributing your business’ products or services to them. You may use direct mail, email, phone calls, text messages, television, radio, billboards, newspapers, magazines, door-to-door visits, or referrals.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is one of the oldest distribution channels. It is a form of direct marketing. Companies send letters, postcards, flyers, catalogues, and more to potential customers. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another excellent way to get out about your business. You can create emails that contain links to your website, special offers, and more.

Phone Calls

No one likes a cold call! Phone calls are a great way to build good public relations. When done right, they convert better than most forms of marketing. You have the customer on the other end of the line. This allows you to deal with any reservations that they may have in real-time. It often sets a precursor for the expectation of excellent customer service. 

Text Messages

Text messaging is a quick and easy way to communicate with your customers. Customers tend to be more apprehensive about giving their phone number or consent for text messages. This has primarily died down due to other methods such as social media. It is still well utilised in the food service businesses. Pizza companies often send out offers to customers this way. 


Pricing models have also evolved over the years. We only used to have to worry about credit terms. The arrival of digital products has somewhat forced our hand on this one. Most businesses have had to adapt their pricing models to the form of products they are pushing and how consumers respond. UK business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar famously turned down an opportunity to collaborate with a young Bill Gates. The reason was simple. The product wasn’t tangible! Consumer behaviour is different when interacting with products that aren’t tangible. 

SaaS companies have also realised that the promise of what their product can do is no longer sufficient to convert a customer. Does your current marketing strategy allow customers to see firsthand how excellent your product is? Enter the freemium pricing model. 

A lower price for a trial period is another way you can do this. If you have a great product, price control is one of the key factors in lowering entry barriers. It allows public perception to be formed to drive more sales eventually. Over time, this will lead to sales cycles in target markets through word-of-mouth. 

Pricing is changing the 4 Ps of marketing. There is no one size fits it. It requires creativity. We have seen this in pharmaceuticals. 

Determining the right price for a product 

Whether it’s a virtual product or a physical one, there are many ways to determine the right price for a given product. Some of these key factors include:

  1. What is the cost of producing the product?
  2. How much do similar products sell for?
  3. Are there any possible upsells?
  4. What is the product life cycle?
  5. Are there any barriers to entry?
  6. Do I need to pay for advertising?
  7. Is my product unique?
  8. Can I afford to lose money if people don’t buy?
  9. How long should I expect to wait before making any profit?
  10. What is an acceptable cost of customer acquisition?

The cost of manufacturing will determine how much you would need to sell a product to offset the cost of making it—the margin’s better, the more wiggle room you would have for marketing and other post-production-related activities.

If you are coming into a competitive market, it will help to establish what your competitors are selling their products for. You could then work backward from this figure and come up with a fair price for your product.

Some businesses have various products that are sold at a loss. This loss is offset by their hero products/upsells larger profit margins. Upsells can be a great way to increase your product’s profitability.

How often will users need to purchase your product? Products will longer lifecycles can often fetch a higher price. Customers can justify spending more money on them because it is a one-off. 

You can sell products with a higher barrier to entry at a higher price point. What stops other businesses from copying your products and undercutting your price? Will you rely on building brand recognition or being the first to market? 

Your marketing hub is not free! Even the 4 Ps of marketing will not absolve your business or marketing costs. You should factor these into your price. 

If your product is not unique, it is more challenging to convince customers to pay a premium rate for yours when there are cheaper options. You might use some well-thought-out branding or marketing to change this sentiment.

If your price point is set in stone, you may need to lose money for a while as brand recognition is established. Some of the biggest silicon valley businesses, such as Netflix, have been through this period. It is crucial to figure out how long you can operate at a loss before you are forced to shut down.

Not all businesses will turn a profit immediately. The cost of growth will often eat away at it. Managing expectation in this regard goes a long way. 

Finally, knowing your target acquisition cost on any ad spend is essential. Once your acquisition hits the target rate, you will know that your product is settled. This can be a guiding light as you trade. 

Sales Life Cycles

The Sales Life Cycle (SLC) concept is another aspect that has changed. We would simply try to sell to every prospect at once in the past. Nowadays, we must understand that not everyone needs our product simultaneously. We need to identify which stage of the SLC each prospect is in and then tailor our approach accordingly. 

We are now living in an era where the consumer has become empowered. They can research products online before making a purchase decision. This means that there is less pressure on us to close deals quickly. Instead, we should focus on building long-term relationships with our customers. 

We should also look at the age groups that we market to. Millennials are becoming the largest demographic group in the world. They are the future leaders of society. As a result, they are looking for brands that offer them value. This is why we see so many companies offering free trials and discounts. 

The 4Ps of marketing have been around for decades but have evolved. These changes have allowed us to serve our customers better and grow our businesses. 

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