Marketing Basics- The 4 Ps

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What is marketing? What is meant by marketing a product?

The purpose of marketing is simply to sell a product or service. Most people associate marketing with selling physical products. We visualize Coca Cola advertisements, Best Buy flyers, for sale signs, posters on buses etc… Many also view marketing as trying to make a product stand out versus other competing ones.

However, you must understand that this also applies to ideas and concepts. When you are trying to get someone to “buy into” your idea you are subconsciously marketing it to them. The facts you use and the presentations you put together are in essence marketing activities.

To explain the basic tenets of marketing, I would like to go through an introduction to the 4 P‘s of marketing. Combined, these 4 items make up what is known as the marketing mix. The 4 P‘s are:

  • Product – The product or service being offered.
  • Price – The amount charged for the service.
  • Place – The distribution or location.
  • Promotion – The messages issued on behalf of the product (i.e., advertising, word of mouth, etc…)

Each component of the marketing mix has variables that can be changed. A change in one variable can result in a change in the perception of a product. Furthermore, different variations of a marketing mix will be more or less appealing to specific individuals or groups of consumers. The different variables of each P are:

  • Product variables: Functionality, Appearance, Quality, Packaging, Brand, Warranty and Service / Support.
  • Price variables: Discounts, Allowances, Financing, Lease Options and List Price.
  • Place variables: Channel Members, Channel Motivation, Market Coverage, Locations, Logistics & Service Levels.
  • Promotion variables: Advertising, Personal Selling, Public Relations, Message, Media & Budget.

How do you know which variables to manipulate? For the answer to this question you will need to read my next post on segmentation.

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