The 5 Ps of Marketing: Exploring the Marketing Mix Concept

The 5 Ps of Marketing: Exploring the Marketing Mix Concept

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The 5 Ps of Marketing is one of the essential concepts in advertising. But what is it about?

The 5 Ps stand for:

  • Product
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • People

Each of these five notions is integral to creating a successful marketing campaign. This blog post will give a brief history of the concept and discuss its importance in marketing today.

Key Points

  • A Brief History of Marketing Mix
  • What Are the 5 Ps of Marketing
  • Marketing Mix Modification
  • How to Use the 5 Ps
  • Example
  • Importance of the Concept
  • Final Thoughts

A Brief History of Five Four Ps of Marketing


The 5 Ps (then known as 4 Ps) of Marketing were first introduced in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy. At the time, there were only four Ps: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. 

McCarthy was a professor of marketing at Michigan State University, and his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach is still one of the essential texts in marketing education. He considered that marketing activities could be roughly organized into four fundamental categories.

So, what is the 5th P of marketing?

The fifth P of marketing is People, and it was included two decades later in the marketing mix variables. 

Adding the People aspect into the marketing mix was a way to drive towards more customer-centric pricing, promotion, and placement strategies.

What Are the 5 Ps of the Marketing Mix


The 5-P model is considered a staple in any marketer’s toolkit. But what do they actually mean?

Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Product


This is what you’re selling—an item that addresses the customer pool’s specific needs is the basis for all other components of the marketing mix. It can be:

  • Tangible—a physical product, e.g., new headphones
  • Intangible—services, ideas, experiences, e.g., photography

Why is the creation of a product the starting point for the marketing mix? Whatever it is, the product needs to be something that people want or need—without demand on the market for your product, none of the next steps in the marketing mix will make any difference. It’s important to make sure that you understand what makes your product unique and how it can solve customers’ problems in a way no other product on the current market does.

Some of the crucial decisions marketing executives have to make about the product is its design (the quality, essential features, etc.), assortment (range, mix, lines), branding and packaging, complementary services, warranties, terms of use and return, and product life cycle management.

Price


Determining the right price for your product is one of the essential aspects of marketing. You don’t want to sell your product too cheaply or too expensively.

But here’s the thing: Your price doesn’t always have to be what you’re charging for an actual product, like a smartphone or wedding photography service. You can also create value with content marketing and other forms of engagement that don’t immediately benefit your bottom line but build brand awareness and trust with your customers.

Additionally, it’s important to consider payment terms—credit, payment methods, and discounts.

Place


Where will your product be sold? Will it be available online and in stores, or will you earn only as an ecommerce business?

This also includes where your content will exist online, overall. For example, if you’re a professional photographer, should you post on Instagram, Twitter, or both? What about your website?

The third P establishes your product’s accessibility—it considers the best way to make it as convenient as possible for target customers to buy it.

Promotion


How to market a product? This is the term for all of your efforts to spread the word about your goods. The most important types of promotion in marketing include advertising, public relations, social media marketing, direct marketing, sales promotions, etc.

The most important aspects to consider are:

  • Promotional mix—striking an acceptable balance of marketing, be it through traditional or digital channels
  • Messaging strategy—how to communicate what you offer to the audience in an effective and concise way
  • Channels—what are the most practical ways to reach the target audience
  • Frequency—when to communicate

Your promotion efforts should be centered around your target customer’s needs and interests. So if you’re selling wedding photography, for example, most of your promotion activities will likely focus on Facebook marketing and Instagram advertising because that is where brides-to-be spend their time online.

People


Your customers are essential to your business. So you need to understand who they are and what motivates them to buy.

That’s why marketers spend so much time creating customer personas and buyer profiles. These are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on market research, demographics data, and online behaviors.

The People part of the concept is about the human factor—interactions between customers and personnel, and even customers with customers.

For the ideal results, marketers focused heavily on customer service and branded presentation of their efforts. Staff training, uniforms, handling service failures and complaints are crucial parts of the marketing strategy.

Marketing Mix Modification: What are the 7 Ps of Marketing?


In the 1980s, Booms and Bitner proposed adding another 3 Ps (people, process, physical evidence). The expanded concept is considered more applicable for services marketing.

Process


Process refers to the mechanisms and procedures and the overall flow of activities that deliver the service to the customer. What is your strategy for a seamless delivery?

Physical Evidence


Buying environment, the space where customers interact with personnel, physical commodities (furniture, equipment)—all of these aspects impact the way customers view a business or a brand and it’s what physical evidence in marketing mix deals with.

How to Use 5 Ps of Marketing Effectively


Now that you understand the 5 Ps of Marketing, how can you use them effectively in your own business? Here are a few tips on how to weaponize the core aspects of marketing:

  • Start by creating a buyer persona. This will help you determine what your target customer needs and how you can create value for them with your 5 Ps of Marketing efforts.
  • Use the 5 Ps to define a strategy that meets those needs and accomplishes your business goals in terms of revenue, profits, and growth. Remember: Your 5 Ps of Marketing are all connected.
  • Keep your 5 Ps in mind when creating content, whether a blog post, Facebook ad (if you’re not doing it, what are you waiting for?), or Instagram story. Ask yourself: What value does this provide for my target customer? How can I tie this back to my 5 Ps?
  • Pay attention to how your 5 Ps affect each other. If you increase the price of one product, what impact will that have on demand? How can you use this information to adjust your 5 Ps of Marketing strategy?
  • Use analytics and data to guide your 5 Ps. By tracking KPIs like website traffic, sales revenue, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), and other metrics, you can determine what changes will be most effective in your 5 Ps of Marketing efforts.

Example of the 5 Ps of Marketing


Here’s an example of using the 5 Ps of Marketing that will help you understand how they work together to create a successful marketing campaign:

Let’s pretend that your company is Adidas and you’re launching a new sneaker called the Adidas Ultra Boost.

Product

The Adidas Ultra Boost is the newest running shoe from Adidas. It features responsive cushioning technology and has been praised by critics for its comfort and style.

Price

Adidas has a long history of selling premium athletic footwear, and the Ultra Boost is no exception. The suggested retail price for the shoes is $180.

Place

The Adidas Ultra Boost will be available at major retailers, such as Foot Locker, as well as online.

Promotion

Adidas has created a robust marketing campaign around the new shoe launch. This includes digital ads, social media content, and a television spot during the 2020 Super Bowl.

People

Adidas is running their ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and YouTube because they know that’s where their target customers spend their time online. And if you want to purchase a pair of Ultra Boosts for yourself, you’ll need to act quickly since they’re in high demand.

Importance of 5 Ps


The 5 Ps of Marketing is crucial for your strategy because it help you understand what drives your business.

By focusing on the 5 Ps, you can better understand how to market and sell your products or services and make more money with fewer headaches.

And don’t forget that while the 5 p’s may be universal, every industry is different. So it’s essential to tailor your marketing efforts to fit your specific business and customers.

Final Thoughts


The essential elements of the marketing mix are product, place, price, promotion, and people. These 5 Ps all work together to ensure that your business is as successful as possible.

I’d argue that it all beings and ends with the 5th P—people! That’s who you’re marketing to in the first place! So before you start creating the 5 Ps of Marketing strategies for your business, make sure you know who your target customers are and what they need from you.

When creating 5 Ps of Marketing content, always ask yourself: What value does this provide for my target customer? How can I tie these 5 Ps in the best possible strategy for my business and customers? It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post, Facebook ad, or Instagram story—the 5 Ps of Marketing should always be top-of-mind.