What is the 4Ps in marketing? Examples of 4Ps Marketing and Real Case Study

The concept of 4Ps in Marketing was first introduced under the term Marketing Mix in an article by Neil Borden in 1964.

At that time, the term Marketing Mix included quite a few factors such as: product, marketing plan, distribution, price, brand, packaging, advertising, promotion, personalization).

Then, marketing expert E. Jerome McCarthy grouped these factors into 4 basic parts that greatly contributed to the construction & development of marketing strategies that we still call the 4Ps of Marketing today.

So what is 4Ps Marketing? The 4Ps in Marketing? Why does William Review provide Review services or what products/services your company provides should apply the 4Ps model well? And how to use the 4Ps to create a successful marketing campaign?

Let’s find out now!

What is Marketing Mix?

The Marketing Mix (or marketing mix) is a concept commonly known as the 4Ps of Marketing, consisting of marketing tools used by marketers to achieve their marketing goals.

What is the 4Ps in Marketing?

4Ps in Marketing is a marketing model that includes 4 basic elements: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. These four elements are also known as the marketing mix. The level of success at applying the 4Ps in Marketing will strongly affect your revenue.

4Ps in Marketing

To answer this question, marketing experts believe that there are 4 factors that affect the purchase decision. These 4 elements are known as the marketing mix or 4Ps in Marketing:

  • Product: What will you sell?
  • Price: How much do you charge for the product?
  • Place: Where will the customer buy the product?
  • Promotion: How will customers learn about the product?

The level of success at applying the 4Ps in Marketing will strongly affect your revenue.

Note: In this section, we use the word “product” to include both “goods” and “services”.

1. Product

What will you sell?

To determine what to sell, you must understand your potential customer’s needs for your product/service and then tailor the product you’ll sell to meet those needs.

The more you meet your customers’ expectations, the more opportunities you have for them to buy from you, refer you to others, and come back again in the future.

4Ps in Marketing1

Some important points to consider when designing a product include:

• Mass production or made to order

Will your product be mass-produced and the same for everyone to buy, or will you offer a separate product according to customer needs?

• Your product

Is your product:

  • Convenience goods: things that people usually have to buy regularly at low cost (ice cream, magazines, cigarettes, water, …)
  • Shopping goods: what they will consider shopping and comparing products of different brands (furniture, clothing, electronics, …)
  • Specialty goods/items: something special they will only buy a few times, like an expensive gift or luxury item (motorcycle, antique, art collection, …)
  • Unsought goods: something that consumers do not know about and do not want to buy unless there are special circumstances (accident insurance, funeral services, fire extinguishers, …)

Understanding which category your product fits into is important in determining how to price it, where to sell it, and how to promote it.

• New or existing products on the market

If the product you are going to sell is a new product, you will have to educate the market, convince people that they need it, and create a demand for the product.

If you’re creating an improved version of an existing product, you need to show people that it’s better in features or cheaper than what your competitors are offering.

• Check the product:

Sometimes, a mistake (big or small) in a product can disappoint people, causing revenue to drop. Make sure the product you’re about to launch gets good feedback from people who match your potential customer profile.

Here are some suggested questions that you can apply:

  • Does the product meet the needs of the customer?
  • What features does the product need to meet these needs?
  • How will customers use the product?
  • What does the product’s packaging look like?
  • Can customers try the product before buying it?
  • Does the size, color, and name of the product attract attention?
  • What makes the product different from the competition?

2. Price

How much can you charge for your product?

The cost that you sell will affect the number of products sold:

  • If your prices are too low, it may cause customers to think the product is of poor quality or you will have less profit.
  • If your prices are too high, customers may buy less or buy in smaller quantities.

To determine product costs, you should consider:

  • Product costs (fixed and variable costs)
  • Price of products of competitors
  • How much customers are willing to pay for your product
  • Knowing the factors above will help you determine how much profit you can generate from your goods or services.

Based on market share and competition, some questions for you to help determine the price of a product include:

  • What value does the product/service provide to the customer?
  • Should a discount be offered to a specific customer segment?
  • Are your prices higher or lower than your competitors?
  • Payment method (cash or card payment) and payment term (one-time payment or monthly payment)

3. Place

Where will people buy your product?

Place is where you will sell the product and how you will distribute it.

  • Will you sell the product directly to customers, or will you hand it over to dealers or distributors who will sell it on your behalf?
  • If you sold your product yourself, would you sell it over the internet, by mail, or in a store?
  • Is the location you choose convenient for potential customers to stop by?

Whether you’re just starting out in business, looking at new distribution methods, or trying to sell your products abroad can be helpful.

  • Choosing and setting up a location: Trying to decide where your business will be located and how it will settle once you get there? Consider your options.
  • Supply Chain Management: Effective supply chain management can help you create a seamless process from production preparation to delivery and consumption.
  • Export: Grow your company by selling products and services abroad.

4. Promotion

Promotion in marketing is a form of promoting products to many users. This is an important factor in the 4Ps Marketing model that determines the revenue of a business.

In order for customers to buy from you, they need to know about it, have a positive impression, and be convinced that they need or want the product.

There are many tactics you can use to promote your products to potential customers, including:

  • Traditional advertising on television, radio, billboards, in newspapers or magazines
  • Advertising on the internet, Social Media and other online advertising techniques
  • Participating in trade shows/fairs and events
  • Print flyers
  • Direct marketing via phone (Telemarketing), Email Marketing

Determining which method is right for your business depends on your budget and potential customers. You have to make sure you’re advertising your product where people will see it (e.g. main street frontage, downtown, internet), and that’s where the most profit is generated.

Product packaging is also an important part of your marketing strategy, especially if the product you are displaying is placed on a shelf next to a competitor’s product.

You need to think about:

  • How do your competitors pack their products?
  • What kind of packaging design (color, style, material) will appeal to your potential customers?
  • Can people see the product’s features and benefits by looking at the packaging?
  • What are the label packaging requirements?

The message you use and the brand image you develop is very important in getting people to know and love the product you are selling. Specifically:

  • Your message needs to convince consumers that they need or should buy the product, and that it will bring them the necessary value.
  • Your brand must be compelling enough for them to remember it and think about your product or business when making your purchasing decision or recommending it to their friends.

What is the meaning of 4Ps strategy in Marketing?

Create new, quality products

Marketing strategy 4Ps requires businesses to understand the market, needs and wants of consumers. Such useful information will help businesses create and modify products to satisfy consumers’ desires.

Products that are improved in terms of quality, design, and quality standards will be brought to the market to meet the needs of consumers and bring outstanding profits.

Enhance brand value, company reputation in the market

The goal of the 4Ps strategy is to spread the product widely throughout the market, so businesses will have activities to promote and introduce products to domestic and foreign consumers.

This contributes to improving business performance, helping more people know the image of the business. Enterprises that create prestige and image are believed to develop quickly in the market.

Create a healthy and fair competition environment

The market is increasingly competitive when there are too many products of the same type, requiring businesses to constantly improve their creativity, explore and upgrade new features for their products. With superior quality and competitive prices with competitors, the 4Ps strategy will have solutions to create competitive advantages for businesses in the market.

Increased benefits for consumers

Through the implementation of the 4Ps strategy, the products are improved with better quality, features, and competitive prices. This helps consumers access good, convenient and fast products.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the 4Ps marketing model

Advantages of 4Ps Marketing model

Easy interaction with customers

Through social networking sites, businesses can know customer feedback, what the public is thinking about their brand or marketing strategy.

In addition, your brand posts are widely shared, reaching many customers thanks to many positive comments. If that happens, then your strategy is reaching the right target audience and is on the right track.

Easy to measure parameters

There are many different tools to support the measurement of parameters for the work of marketers. When implementing a marketing strategy on any mass media channel, you can collect data in a clear and detailed way.

Businesses will know how effective the results of reaching customers are through brand promotion campaigns. Give impetus to the next strategy to surpass the previous strategy number.

Easily reach the intelligent target audience

The tools used in modern marketing help businesses easily reach target customers. For example, advertising services will help businesses reach people who are interested in your products/services and who are in real need.

Disadvantages of 4Ps Marketing model

Easy to create a sense of distraction

Try to put yourself in the shoes of a customer, you will probably feel annoyed when you do anything to be monitored and suggested. There will be suggestions that suit your needs and many times they don’t.

Easy to miss

Reaching customers with modern marketing is easy and beneficial, but easily overlooked. For example, through advertising in mass media, internet users only need to scroll down or skip, and the ad immediately disappears.

Fierce competition

The modern marketing market is fertile, so it’s normal for many people to jump in and create a fiercely competitive environment. Businesses are forced to be stronger, constantly creating new content, changing to not be out of date compared to competitors.

Solid strategy and financial strength are also important in modern marketing wars.

6 Steps to develop 4Ps in Marketing Mix

Creativity and the ability to catch trends are two of the must-have requirements of a Marketing Manager.

But just relying on these two factors can lead to innovative new products that may not meet the needs of the market.

To be successful, the Marketing Mix needs to be based on a clear study of the 4Ps in Marketing, and combine it with innovation through the following 7 steps:

#1. Identify Unique Selling Points

Unique selling points (USPs) are values ​​that only your product/service has.

This is the difference that helps you stand out from the competition. By surveying consumers, finding ways to meet their needs, you will be able to identify what are the key features or features of your product that make it so popular.

#2. Understanding customers

Identify your customers through questions:

  • Who will buy the product?
  • What pain/problem are they experiencing?
  • What kind of product do they want?

Understanding customer needs will help you make the right offers with insight into your target audience, thereby marketing more effectively.

#3. Get to know your opponent

Costs and accompanying benefits such as discounts, warranties, special offers, etc. of competitors must be determined and analyzed carefully.

This work will help you set a price for your product in the most realistic and objective way that is suitable for consumers.

#4. Evaluate distribution channels and purchasing locations

At this step, marketers need to learn:

  • Where do potential customers usually shop?
  • What social channels do they usually use?

The choice of distribution channels and marketing methods need to be carefully considered. Because many online Internet channels (such as Facebook, website, YouTube, …) can target a large number of customers on a large scale.

Meanwhile, if the product only serves a certain market, marketers will often focus on promoting a specific channel/geographic region.

#5. Promotion strategy development

Based on identifying potential customers and setting a price for the product, to this step, a marketing communication strategy needs to be implemented.

Regardless of the advertising method used, it is necessary to ensure that it attracts potential customers, and the features and benefits of the product are highlighted and easy to understand.

#6. Combine factors and check overall

At this step, you need to consider how the above factors fit together?

Because all 4 elements in 4Ps Marketing are dependent and closely related to each other, combined to create a successful strategy.

  • Do distribution and marketing channels reinforce the value of the product?
  • Is the brochure suitable for the proposed distribution channel?

Right in the next section, I will provide you with a specific Case Study so you can better understand how a company applies 4Ps Marketing!

Case Study: 4Ps Marketing Strategy at McDonald’s

The implementation of Marketing Mix has greatly contributed to increasing the operational efficiency and revenue of McDonald’s in the global fast food market.

In the example below, I will show you how McDonald’s has applied the 4Ps Marketing to its business!


As a chain of restaurants specializing in serving fast food, McDonald’s menu is full of food and drinks, including the main product lines:

  • Hamburgers and sandwiches
  • Fried chicken & fish
  • Salad
  • Desserts
  • Milk shake
  • Breakfast
  • McCafe

4P Marketing Strategy at McDonald

In the 4Ps, the product is the fundamental determinant of McDonald’s brand and corporate image. Because McDonald’s is famous and known for its hamburgers!

However, McDonald’s has been expanding and diversifying its menu over time with fried chicken, fish, drinks, desserts and breakfast items.

While diversifying product lines, the company always meets the needs of the market and spreads business risks when it is not dependent on one or a few market segments. This factor has shown that McDonald’s not only innovates products to attract more customers, but also helps a much more stable revenue stream.

Place of distribution (Place)

In this section, I will show you the locations selected by McDonald’s to deliver products to customers and how customers can access the product.

McDonald’s distributes products through distribution channels such as:

  • McDonald’s Restaurant
  • Kiosk
  • McDonald’s Mobile App
  • Websites like Foody, …

Of these distribution channels, McDonald’s restaurants generate the largest source of revenue. Overseas, many restaurants also create a Kiosk to sell products on special occasions at the stadium, …

McDonald’s Mobile App helps customers easily access information and purchase products, and also accumulate membership points, find the nearest McDonald’s store.

Besides, customers can also order through websites specializing in order serving such as Foody, GoViet, GrabFood, for example.

Advertisement (Promotion)

McDonald’s uses marketing tactics to reach and chat with its potential customers.

For example, to inform customers about a new item and convince them to buy it, McDonald’s uses a combination of the following:

  • Run ads
  • Promotions
  • Public Relations
  • Direct Marketing (Direct Marketing)

Running ads is one of McDonald’s most notable tactics. Not only using TV, printed leaflets, McDonald’s also uses other media to convey its advertising message.

For example, McDonald’s offers coupons and bundled gifts for certain products to attract more consumers.

In addition, public relations activities such as the Ronald McDonald House charity also help increase brand value. Sometimes, McDonald’s also direct marketing at community events, big parties, etc.

Price (Pricing)

With the goal of maximizing profits and sales volume, McDonald’s uses a combination of pricing strategies as follows:

  • Bundle pricing
  • Psychological pricing

In a bundle pricing strategy, McDonald’s offers food combos that are more discounted than buying each item separately. For example, customers can choose Happy Meal combo including fried chicken, burger, soft drink to save costs.

On the other hand, psychological pricing strategy with $2,99 instead of rounding to $3 VND, also helps consumers buy more food.

> Is your product/service marketing campaign enough to attract customers? Applying 4Ps in Inbound Marketing will be an effective solution for you!

In this article, I have gone through in detail all the information you need to know about the 4Ps of Marketing. Hopefully after the article, you will find the answer to what the 4Ps in Marketing are and above all know how to apply it in your marketing & business campaigns.

What are your thoughts? Let me know how you applied this 4Ps marketing strategy and how successful it was!

Good luck!


What the Marketing Mix Is and Why It’s Important– The Balance Small Business
Definition of ‘Marketing Mix’– The Economic Times
The Marketing Mix and the 4Ps of Marketing– Mind Tools

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