Marketing's Four P's

Marketers of products and services must consider the Four Ps of Marketing - price, place, promotion, and product. This leads to the best sales increase.

Most people have a tendency to lump "Sales and Marketing" together, thinking of them as synonymous. This is not the case, however. Marketing is a completely separate function that helps position products and services correctly so that Sales can be more effective. At the core of Marketing are the "four P's" - Price, Product, Promotion, and Place. Marketers adjust each of these components to arrive at a mix that the customer will prefer over competitors.

Product. The product is the full bundle of goods and services offered to the customer. This includes the appearance, functionality, and support or non-tangibles the customer will receive. The physical product itself is part of "product" as well as any packaging it arrives in.

Place. This is where and how your product is distributed and sold. Will you sell it yourself, through a broker, or a distributor? Will you run a retail store or sell only to retailers? If a service, do you deliver in person or through the internet or telephone? These questions all involve "place".



Promotion. This is the advertising and selling part of Marketing. Often, promotions are categorized into push versus pull. Advertising pulls by making the consumer aware of and ask for your product or service. Incentives, such as premiums or price reductions, push your product out the door by encouraging your customers to purchase in volume, more, or more often than he would otherwise purchase.

Price. This is how much you charge for your product or service. Considerations include whether you will charge the same amount all of the time or vary it in some way. Varied pricing could occur according to geography, time frame, or volume. Additionally, with a service, price can be varied according to level of service.

These are the bare bones basics - price, promotion, place, and product. Obviously volumes can be written on each. For a more in-depth look at Marketing in practice, have a look at the American Marketing Association website www.ama.org.

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