Long Live the 4 P's of Marketing

July 08, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Remember the 4 P's that make up the marketing mix;  Product, Price, Place, Promotion? The theme of this blog is to look at fundamentals and cut through all the marketing stuff we hear about day in and day out. Is anyone able to keep up with it all? So, my fellow Manufacturing Marketers, let's look at the fundamental ingredients of the marketing mix. I propose that marketing strategy and tactics built around the 4 P's of marketing is a lost art and should be brought to the surface.

I was attending an Eloqua Experience conference a few years ago and I remember someone up on the stage mocking the 4 P's. It went something like this, "can you believe that some people are still talking about the 4 P's of marketing". I said to myself, what ignorance is this I'm hearing from a company selling marketing expertise no less? Sure, marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, et al are great, but they are not a strategy in themselves, they are only a tool that enables execution. Every Manufacturing Marketer must understand the fundamentals of their business and how it relates to the marketing mix. If you don't understand this, stop what you're doing, back up and make sure you have a clearly defined answer for each of these 4 P's.

4 p's of marketing

P1 - Product.  Everyone in business is selling something and at some point you decide on what product you will attempt to sell. Product could be a physical thing or a service. Why did your firm choose the product or service you are presently marketing? Define the offering from an audience perspective.

P2 - Price.  At some other point, you decided how much you would charge for your product. Price is usually taken much more lightly than it should be. Price may be just a way to make a profit or it might be part of the strategy to take a position in the market. How did your firm arrive at it's price structure?

P3 - Place.  Place defines the channel you use to sell your product; direct, distributors, resellers, agents, mix, etc. At some point, there is a transaction where your product is exchanged for money, this is the 'Place'.  Why did your firm choose the channel where your products are sold?

P4 - Promotion.  Ah, finally, we arrive at the place where most of us Manufacturing Marketers understand. What's that? You thought marketing was only about promotion?  Non, non monsieur et madame. (I'm at the Montreal Airport right now, so threw in a little local flavor here). Promotion is about how we tell the target market about our wonderful product and why they should buy many. Why are you choosing the promotions you are executing on a daily basis?

The 4 P's are the trunk of the tree. They are the concrete foundation that holds up you house. house-frame-300x300.jpgEverything related to marketing which is really everything about the business, should come back to the 4 P's. For you, the Manufacturing Marketer, are the "builder of the house" and the ingredients of the house are product, price, place, and promotion.

Your formal marketing plan should address each 'P' in detail. You don't have a formal marketing plan?  Mon Dieu!  If you don't have a formal marketing plan, you'll be amazed at what you don't know about your business. Get started today.

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