Discuss the “four Ps” of marketing–product, place, price, and promotion and their role in building a successful marketing strategy for a small business.
Building a successful marketing strategy can be a challenge. Conducting proper marketing research can lead to the results your firm desires. It all comes down to knowing your target market, their needs and wants, and conveying that message. One example would be observing trends, what is hot right now? “For entrepreneurs who are observant and position their companies to intercept them, trends can be to their companies what the perfect wave is to the surfer” (Scarborough & Cornwall, 2019, p. 342). It is also all about timing with trends, for instance how hard seltzers were once the craze, now the market is saturated and sales for each company are way down.
Product, place, price, and promotion (The Four P’s or Marketing Mix) are the foundation of building a successful marketing strategy. The costumer has needs and wants, the marketing mix and research can help determine exactly what that is. Feedback from the customer is also important in grooming the perfect product for your target audience, most firms achieve this through blogs and social media.
The Product, what are we making? And, of course for whom? The product can be and improved everyday normal product such as soap, or something new altogether. One key item is a business must maintain a competitive edge over the competition.
Place, where will we be selling the product? The emergence of e-commerce has changed the way people shop, and how quickly they want their products. Consumers have become comfortable with purchasing a product online and having it delivered to their door. Small business in start-up can benefit greatly from e-commerce vise selling a product with more overhead in a tradition brick and mortar setting.
Price, how much are we selling it for? This can become one of the most challenging tasks. “Priced too high you risk your consumer not seeing the value; priced too low, you risk the consumer losing confidence in your product, as being cheap” (Contributor, Chron, 2021). Part of this decision is knowing what type of product you have. If it is a premium product it should have a premium price, but that also has to do with knowing your target market (who can afford it, what they are willing to pay).
Promotion, getting word out to the public about your product. The days of door-to-door marketing for products are almost gone unless it is for something like tree service in the local area. Social media has become one of the greatest tools for product promotion due to the fact you can reach a large audience in a minimum amount of time. However, that only goes so far, and you need to think about people approving of or vetting your product such as blogs, and celebrity endorsement. If you’re creating a product to be sold locally such as a cupcake shop, think local advertisement. “Sponsor an event designed to attract attention” (Scarborough & Cornwall, 2019, p. 347). Sponsor a local 5k and getting your company name on a banner, is a good way for potential consumers to wonder what you have to offer.
Contributor, Chron. (2021, July 19). Retrieved from What is Marketing Mix?: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/marketing-mix-638….
Scarborough, N., & Cornwall, J. R. (2019). Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. New York: Pearson.
The four Ps are the essential factors required in marketing a product. The four Ps stand for: the product (the good or service), the price (what the consumer pays), the place(the location where a product is marketed), and promotion (the advertising).It is also known as the marketing mix, and each factor may be affected by internal and external factors in the overall business environment. If one is affected the others are affected as well because they interact significantly with one another. “Considering all of these elements is one way to approach a holistic marketing strategy”(Twin 2021)
The 4 Ps are implemented in companies to identify important factors, including what consumers want, if their product or service meets or fails if their product or service is perceived globally., if products stand out from their competitors, and how they interact with their customers.
The concept was developed by Neal Borden in 1949 at Harvard University; as the marketing industry has advanced, the concepts of people, process, and physical evidence have become important components of marketing a product, too. According to Borden, “When building a marketing program to fit the needs of his firm, the marketing manager has to weigh the behavioral forces and then juggle marketing elements in his mix with a keen eye on the resources with which he has to work.” (Borden, N. 1964 pg. 365). According to Culliton, “An executive is a mixer of ingredients, who sometimes follows a recipe as he goes along, sometimes adapts a recipe to the ingredients immediately available, and sometimes experiments with or invents ingredients no one else has tried. (Culliton, J. 1948)”(Baalbaki 2015)
“E. Jerome McCarthy, in 1960, was the first person to suggest the four P’s of marketing – price, promotion, product and place (distribution) – which constitute the most common variables used in constructing a marketing mix. According to McCarthy the marketers essentially have these four variables which they can use while crafting a marketing strategy and writing a marketing plan. In the long term, all four of the mix variables can be changed, but in the short term it is difficult to modify the product or the distribution channel.” (Baalbaki 2015)
Today, technology has helped companies gain a greater level of integration between businesses and consumers, and also to overcome some of these barriers. People, process, and physical evidence are extensions of the original 4 Ps and are more relevant to the current trends in marketing.
For success, any successful marketing strategy requires revisiting over time. If a company is developing a 4 Ps marketing strategy for their business, it is important to understand that the elements of the first marketing mix they create are not intended to be static; they are meant to be adjusted and refined as the company’s product grows and as your potential buyers change.
The model of the 4Ps can be integrated when planning a new business venture, a small business, evaluating an existing offer, or trying to optimize sales with a target group. It can also be used to test your current marketing strategy. Moreover, in 1981 Bernard Booms and Mary Bitner built a model consisting of seven P’s (Bo. They added “People” to the list of existing variables, in order to recognize the importance of the human element in all aspects of marketing. “They added “process” to reflect the fact that services, unlike physical products, are experienced as a process at the time that they are purchased.”(Baalbaki 2015)
Below please find a brief description for each factor and their role in building a successful marketing strategy for product or service.
Product refers to a good or service that a company offers to customers. The product should fulfill an existing consumer demand or be so compelling that consumers believe they need to have it and it creates a new demand. To be successful, the marketing department needs to understand the life cycle of a product, and business executives need to have a plan for dealing with products at every stage of their life cycle. The type of product can also dictate how much businesses can charge for it, where they should place it, and how they should promote it in the marketplace.
The different tasks a small business must ascertain in the product/service factor are design, quality, technology, services, and availability. All these tasks with be performed with professionalism and quality.
Price is the cost consumers pay for the product/service. The marketing and financial departments must link the price to the product’s real and perceived value, but they also must consider supply costs, seasonal discounts, and competitors’ prices. In some cases, business executives may raise the price to give the product the appearance of being a luxury. Alternatively, they may lower the price so more consumers can buy the product.
The different tasks a small business must ascertain in the price factor are strategy, list price, discounts, allowances, payment period, credit terms, and payment methods.
When a company makes decisions regarding place, they are trying to determine where they should sell a product and how to deliver the product to the market. The goal of business executives is always to get their products in front of the consumers that are the most likely to buy them.
In some cases, this may refer to placing a product in certain stores, but it also refers to the product’s placement on a specific store’s display. In some cases, placement may refer to the act of including a product on television shows, in films, or on web pages in order to garner attention for the product.
The different tasks a small business must ascertain in the place factor are trade channels, coverage, assortments, locations, transportation, logistics, and e-commerce.
Promotion includes advertising, public relations, and promotional strategy. The goal of promoting a product is to reveal to consumers why they need it and why they should pay a certain price for it.
Marketers tend to tie promotion and placement elements together so they can reach their core audiences. For example, In the digital age, the “place” and “promotion” factors are as much online as they are offline. Specifically, where a product appears on a company’s web page or social media, as well as which types of search functions trigger corresponding, targeted ads for the product.
“Promotion refers to specific and thoughtful advertising that reaches a company’s target market. A company might use an Instagram campaign, a PR campaign that showcases a product, or an email campaign to reach its audience at the right place and the right time.”
An example of a tie between promotion and placement is the Swedish vodka brand Absolut. “Absolut sold only 10,000 cases of its vodka in 1980. But by 2000, the company had sold 4.5 million cases, thanks in part to its iconic advertising campaign. The images in the campaign featured the brand’s signature bottle styled as a range of surreal images: a bottle with a halo, the bottle made of stone, or as the outline of trees on a ski slope. To date, this Absolut advertising campaign is one of the longest-running continuous ad campaigns of all time, from 1981 to 2005.”
The different tasks a small business must ascertain in the promotion factor are advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, corporate identity, and form of promotion.
In addition to the four P’s the different roles a business must ascertain in the people factor related to: business culture, recruitment, training, assessment, involvement, control, and support.
The small business must participate actively in all the process including organization, core service and support.
Inclusive of all the four p’s, people, and process, businesses must gather physical evidence from interior and exterior, related to design, cleanliness, style, decoration, acoustic, smell, and employee appearance
The role of the four p’s in building a successful marketing strategy for small business is to involve in promoting a brand’s unique value and help an organization stand out from the competition.
“The four Ps are a tried-and-true formula for an effective marketing plan. The reason the 4 Ps were developed decades ago was to determine a specific recipe or “marketing mix” that will satisfy both the needs of the customer and the retailer’s needs. This recipe has proven to be successful when properly determined and utilized.’ (Notre Dame 2020)
The role of government regulation is to “establish rules of conduct for citizens and organizations…[and is the] primary way An economic regulation relates to “the operation of the free market and the forces of supply and demand”, whereas social regulations focus more on employees, consumers, and the environment (Lawrence and Weber 2017, 144, 146). An example of economic regulation as mentioned by the text is the Dodd-Frank Act of 2011 which sought to oversee large financial institutions in the wake of the mortgage bubble bursting in 2008.
Incentives are “public policy tools [which are used] to achieve policy goals. The tools of public policy involve combinations of incentives and penalties that government uses to prompt citizens, including businesses, to act in ways that achieve policy goals” (Lawrence and Weber 2017, 139). An example in the text of an incentive in place in the U.S. is the ban on the use of cell phones (that were not hands-free) while driving as put in place in 2015. Another example, mentioned in chapter 8 of the text is “financial-incentives strategy (where businesses provide incentives to influence government policymakers to act in a certain way, such as making a contribution to a political action committee that supports the policymaker).” (Lawrence and Weber 2017, 160)
Regulations and Incentives relate to the concept of negative externalities created by businesses in that they are a direct result of the negative externalities. These are described by the text as “spillover effects, resulting when the manufacture or distribution of a product gives rise to unplanned or unintended costs (economic, physical, or psychological) borne by workers, consumers, competitors, neighboring communities, or other business stakeholders” (Lawrence and Weber 2017, 142). An example of a negative externality is “parents who have to pay higher health-care costs related to pollution-induced asthma among their children because of increased industrial activity in their neighborhood” (Britannica 2021).
Britannica. (2021). Market Failure. Environmental Economics. https://www.britannica.com/ topic/environmental-economics/Market-failure. Accessed 22 July 2021.
Lawrence, Anne T., James Weber. (2017). Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy. (15th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
In todays political climate government regulations and incentives make a lot of people upset. For example, in my city many people loved the idea that our mayor in conjunction with the governor were seeking companies to come to the Bluff City. There were others who saw this as a political ploy to win favor with the companies and set themselves up for many different benefits. When I was in the service, I seen it a whole lot and some of the government regulations helped reduce these kinds of negative outcomes of illegal benefits by the companies and individuals in the government / military.
I think that businesses have no place in government. Our government was setup for the people and by the people not to allow businesses the level of influence they have today. “But others are not as confident that the presence of business enhances the political process. In this view, business has disproportionate influence” (Lawrence & Weber, 2017, p. 159). When a company came to the Bluff City and said, “I can provide x amount of jobs to your community if you do this, that and the other, to include tax breaks.” Then up and leave when they can make it work. Leaving the city with a mess to cleanup and fewer jobs.
Companies make some many promises, and government individuals think they can profit from these regulations and incentives, and it is the taxpayer that is a lose at the end of the day. The working men and women are the ones who have paid their taxes and worked hard to end up with nothing to show for the regulations and incentives that the politicians have given and the promises that the companies have made.
Lawrence, A. T., & Weber, J. (2017). Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy (15th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Create Custom