Four P’s of Marketing
Marketing Mix: the 4Ps
The reflection on the marketing mix and 4P policies provides a framework to ensure that this analysis is done in the most comprehensive way possible.
The objective of this article is to introduce you to the 4Ps and to give you ideas for applying these concepts within your company.
The four P’s of Marketing
The 4P framework allows the business manager both to have a global reflection and not to neglect any point of his commercial strategy.
Approached for the first time by Neil H. Borden, it is Philipe Kotler, considered as the leader of the school of marketing management who took up this notion and popularized it.
The 4Ps are a mnemonic tool to review the different commercial levers available to the company.
Once mixed with the right dosage, the 4Ps should allow the company to find the ideal recipe to market its products and services.
The four P’s of Marketing (also called Marketing Mix) combines the following 4 policies:
- product policy,
- the price policy,
- the distribution policy (place) and finally
- communication policy (promotion).
Now let’s take a closer look at each of these policies.
The different Marketing Mix policies
The product policy is the starting point of your business strategy. It must look at all the characteristics of each product so that you can provide an attractive offer for your customers.
It is therefore the most important policy since it defines the specifics of the products you are going to sell.
The term product designates here both consumer goods and services, and tangible or intangible products (eg e-books).
In your marketing plan, the product policy must define in detail all the characteristics of the product:
- the level of quality,
- content or functionalities,
- the design (colors, format, etc.),
- related services (for example warranty or after-sales service),
- the conditioning,
To establish this list, you will need to rely on your market research and the information you have gathered from your prospects.
The implementation of the product policy is also an opportunity to consider the customer relationship in the long term: what happens after a customer has bought your product? Can you then sell him accessories, refills, or additional products or services?
The price policy
The price (sales) policy must be implemented taking into account a set of internal and external constraints.
- current market share and target market share,
- cost price and profitability objective,
- positioning (luxury, premium, inexpensive, etc.).
- transport and distribution costs,
- the purchasing power of target consumers.
The pricing policy must also take into account the volumes (differences between retail prices and wholesale prices, any discounts or discounts) and the conditions of sale (payment terms, penalties for late payment, or, on the contrary, discounts. in the case of cash payments).
Distribution policy (place)
Distribution is interested in the means at your disposal to market your products.
Here you must consider all the distribution channels on which your sales strategy will be based:
- Will the sales be intended for individuals, professionals?
- Will it be retail, semi-wholesale, wholesale?
- Will sales be possible through the internet (e-commerce, affiliation) or simply through traditional channels?
- Have you planned for distribution through purchasing centers or supermarkets?
- Are there prescribers or companies with whom you can set up partnerships?
- Will you have a sales force?
- Will you have franchisees?
You should also ask yourself about the logistical constraints linked to each channel:
- how will the stocks be managed?
- how will the products be transported?
- how do you plan to present your products? Will they be displayed on displays?
Finally, you will need to consider the human resources necessary for the implementation of the strategy:
- will sellers be attached to your business?
- will you be using sales reps or multi-card sales reps?
- who will take care of the transport, packaging, and shelving?
As you can see, the distribution policy has many facets and its reflection must, once again, be carried out conscientiously so as not to miss important elements.
Communication policy (promotion)
Communication policy is undoubtedly the policy that business creators think about the most when they want to market a product or service.
Communication is again a fairly large field for which you will have to take into account all the possibilities offered to establish your commercial strategy:
- sales promotion
- direct marketing (flyers, emailing, telemarketing, etc.)
- public relations
- social networks
Here you will have to think about the most suitable means of communication according to your type of product, your target, and your price level.
Some will not suit you and you will quickly give up on them, perhaps because of their cost, or their difficulties in setting up. Others on the contrary will turn out to be paid choices allowing you to sell a large number of products.
The marketing plan is the culmination of your reflection on the marketing mix and the 4Ps. It will summarize your commercial strategy and present all the actions to be implemented taking into account each of the ingredients of the four P’s of Marketing.
The marketing plan is established over a fixed period (6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years) detailing the products marketed, the distribution channels, the prices charged, the target customer segments, the actions to be implemented, and the results. expected figures.
Like the business plan, the marketing plan is not a frozen document. Indeed, you will surely have to make it evolve according to the feedback that you will obtain on the ground.
It is also important to understand that each of the 4P policies is interdependent on the other. The choice of the price will depend on your marketing policy. Likewise, the distribution can lead to a modification of the packaging. Etc.
As you can see, thinking about the marketing mix makes it possible to put each of the elements influencing the company’s sales strategy flat out and to obtain a concrete action plan to be implemented in order to achieve your commercial objectives.