The 4 Ps of Marketing

4 Ps OF MARKETING
Product, Place, Promotion & Price

The 4 Ps of marketing classify the controllable elements of your marketing plan. Product, place [distribution] and promotion are all expenses; price brings in revenue.

"It is critcally important for family businesses to pay close attention to controlling each," according to leading family business marketing expert Don Schwerzler. "Many family businesses do a poor job of coordinating their marketing and business development efforts (marketing materials, promotions, web site)- and do an equally poor job of connecting their marketing efforts to the strategic vision of the company."

Schwerzler has been studying and advising family business entrepreneurs for more than 40 years and is the founder of the Family Business Institute.

One of the best books on marketing is Basic Marketing: A Global Managerial Approach written by professors E.Jerome McCarthy and William Perreault.

McCarthy's earlier classification of the 4 Ps of marketing in Basic Marketing remains a great way to help us focus on the elements of a good marketing plan that we can't control but must be aware of and anticipate such as:

New Competitors

New Legislation

Change in Consumer Confidence

Change in Consumer Tastes


The 4 Ps of Marketing are the controllable elements.

  1. Product

    The first element of the 4 Ps of marketing focuses on your individual goods and their product line. Product includes services and electronic or digital products such as e-books that don't have a recognizable physical substance..

    Includes features and benefits, installation, service, warranty, packaging, branding.

    Overlooked Small Business Opportunities on the Net..... and How to Earn a Superior Living at Them
    provides great insight for service businesses looking to start or expand.


  2. Place [Distribution]

    The next of the 4 Ps of marketing focuses on getting product to your customer.

    Includes warehousing, fulfillment, electronic download, shipping, middlemen.

    Packaging Products and Services
    Packaging, as a business term, is a very broad umbrella that describes a multitude of different segments of product and service industries.

    There's A Product in Every One of Us
    not only shows you how you can develop your own product from your own knowledge, but also how this type of product solves major distribution problems, thus taking care of the second of the 4 Ps of marketing.

    An Affiliate Program
    lets you sell other people's products while you build your own product and business and is usually accomplished without carrying inventory or shipping problems.

  3. Promotion

    This element of the 4 Ps of marketing focuses on communicating with your customer.

    Includes advertising, copywriting, media selection, sales force, personal and mass selling, sales promotion, positioning.

    A significant problem for many family businesses - their entire marketing effort is focused on promoting products or services and little or no attention is paid to promoting the company's "brand" in a way to create interest from the M&A experts.

    When planning for retirement , the exit strategy most favored by family business owners is to pass the business to their kids.

    But when it comes to "creating wealth" for the family, selling the business may be a better option!

    Our family business M&A marketing expert can help – just use the ASK THE EXPERT FORM at the bottom of this page for a confidential consultation.

    Business promotion ideas include a wide variety of promotional products and personalized gifts

    Community events are one of the best ways for family businesses to promote and "brand" their business products and services. One of the most popular community events are air shows. If you are an aviation buff and/or enjoy the patriotic theme of most air shows, and your family business supports the local air show but would like to expand the reach of your promotional program - one resource to consider is air show advertising. Air Show Advertising Another option worth considering is being a "sponsor" for an organization - an organization that aligns with the values of your family business. One such organization that we recommend is the Wounded Warriors Project Advertising and promotion are important components of any marketing strategy – be it print, radio, TV, web site, or social media.

    The major advertising event of the year for larger-sized companies is the Super Bowl. The ads not only get a lot of pre-game hype, they are effective days, weeks and months after the game.

    Our family business marketing expert presents a simple but elegant approach to positioning in The ABC's of Positioning.

    It's Words That Sell - Not Graphics
    will get you primed for the copywriting and advertising that you need to do with this element of the 4 Ps of marketing.

    Using a Web Site to Promote Your Family Business
    Essential information from "the bible of selling online." Includes specialized sections on Product, Traffic Generation and multi-product stores. Check out a few SBI sites

    Altruistic Marketing Strategy
    Altruistic Marketing is a strategy that links marketing and business development goals with good neighborship. It enables a family business to support good causes and good people - and gain some great publicity too!

  4. Price

    The successful producer of an article sells it for more than it costs him to produce - that's his profit. The customer buys it because it is worth more to him than he pays for it - that's his profit. No one can long make a profit producing anything unless the customer makes a profit using it.


    - Samuel Pettengill, US Congressman, 1930's

    Price is the only element of the 4 Ps of marketing that involves revenue rather than expense, so it's impact can be dramatic.

    Pricing includes discounts, allowances and incentives, and strategies like penetration pricing or skimming.

    Pricing Strategy Software not only shows you the importance and strategies of this major element of the 4 Ps, it goes much farther!

    • Access and download a free course and book about Pricing
    • Learn about an online survey tool that lets you find the Perfect Price (tm) of existing or new products

      Access this tool online and in just a couple of minutes see for yourself just how easy it will be for your customers and prospects to provide you with the vital information you need to price correctly.

      No more guesswork, no more over-pricing that kills off sales, no more under-pricing that leaves money on the table...

    Pricing Strategy Applied With Help of Pricing Software
    Read about our own experience using this survey tool with our colleagues on one of their products!

Webmaster's Note

The 4 Ps are a type of "push" marketing. Advertising and promotion play a strong role in pushing sales to customers.

In recent years, customers are starting to get too many messages. So, they listen to each other. Customer relationship marketing [CRM] focuses on how sellers can use in-depth marketing intelligence to build trust, loyalty and long-term engagement with customers.

Click here to learn about the 4 Rs of customer relationship management.





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