Although the marketing process is fairly complex, marketers have found ways to simplify things for the general public. Marketing is often described as having the right product in the right place at the right time. For non-marketers, the simplicity of this concept makes sense: if a company puts a good product at a good price in front of an interested customer at the right time, they are likely to buy. Of course, there are other factors at play as well. Recently, more marketers are finding that customer experience is rising on the list of customer wants. Customers will even pay more money for a similar product as long as they are getting a superior customer experience. That could explain the success of the Apple Watch, which has similar features as other smartwatches while priced far above the market. Still, price, product, promotion, and place is a good start for understanding the basics of marketing and how companies get their products in front of the right audience.
Price is fairly simple; it is the price that consumers are paying for the product. To a large extent, the price determines the number of sales. The price is linked to the value that buyers perceive the product has.
The product is the actual good or service that is being sold by the business. Products have a life cycle, and businesses should understand which stage their product is in and market it (and price it) accordingly. Businesses must know what problem their product is solving so that they can figure out who their target audience is. If the company doesn’t know what problem is being solved or who their audience is, the product can fail.
The strategies businesses use to communicate the product are called promotion. Promotion might be sales promotions, advertising, special offers, or good press. Promotion is a key aspect of marketing, but it isn’t the entirety of marketing: price, product, and place are also key to marketing efforts.
Place is also called placement. It is how the product will be presented to the customer. Often this is through distribution for a placement strategy that gets the product to the right stores.
The 4 P’s of marketing (Marketing Mix) help companies to get a basic understanding of what they are trying to do and who they are trying to reach. It helps brands understand what their digital media strategy is, how they are using social media and SEO, and what changes need to be made for them to reach their goals. If any of the 4 P’s is off, then the entire strategy could fall apart. If your business has the right product at the wrong price, then a customer might choose a competitor. If you have the right price and product but the wrong promotion, then an otherwise interested customer might never see the product. That’s why all of the 4 P’s must work together in concert in order for a marketing strategy to reach its full potential.