Michael E Parker For those of you just starting a business, the 4 P’s of marketing are pretty essential. The idea of the Marketing Mix became popular in the 1960s, but the concept had been around before then and it still holds true today. The 4 P’s – Product, Place, Promotion and Price are the  4 controllable categories that help deliver a product successfully to your target customer.

  1. Product: The cornerstone of any business is the product. Even with all of the corporate structures in place, if you don’t have a strong or clearly articulated product then your business is not sustainable. You should be able to identify what value the product brings to the market. It’s important to keep in mind that  a product doesn’t have to be a physical object, but it can also be a service, a level of quality, or the way you conduct business. Thinking broadly about the idea of a product is another key to success in this area.
  1. Place – When it comes to selling a product to a customer, the idea of place is extremely integral to the proces. Place can refer to the physical place where you intend to sell your product, as well as the product’s place in the market. Logistical considerations and planning are necessary in figuring out how customers can physically get to the product. As a business owner, one should consider what “proper placement” is  and what segment of the market should be seeing your product first. Poor placement can hurt sales, even if you have a great product. Really plan out and consider the logistics in timing and placement and how your product will move throughout the supply chain. and system.
  1. Promotion : Advertising and sales are the traditional ways that we are trained to promote a product. However, there are a variety of ways to approach promotion. Focus is key in order to really hit your target. This means you should know your audience. Who are you selling to? Who is most likely to not only buy your product, but to support future products and talk positively about it? Make sure to do your research and focus on timing. If you’re just starting out and haven’t developed a target audience yet, aim for mass appeal. Make an impact on people with your product – your customers can become a promotional campaign on their own. Word of mouth is a tried and true form of promotion. This is an opportunity you don’t want to lose.
  1. Price – The final “P” in the Marketing mix is as important as the others. The price point either invites or discourages the customer. Another area that requires some research is figuring out where your product’s price falls within the market. Figure out how elastic the price can be for your product. Elasticity relates to how the market responds to your pricing. We set a certain tone with the price, but ultimately the price should be dictated by the market. What is the competition like? What is the trend in demand for your product? These are all questions that help determine the right price point.

Each one of the 4P’s plays an important role in effectively providing a great experience with your customer. The customer is the root of the whole system, and it’s your job to provide them with the best experience with your product.