The 5 Ps of Marketing and Why You Need to Know Them

5 ps of the marketing mix

Marketing is a process by which products and services are introduced to the market. It involves creating awareness and interest in these products and services, and ultimately getting people to buy them. There are many factors that go into marketing a product or service, and these are collectively known as the Four Ps of marketing, or the “marketing mix“.

When I began my marketing career, and all through my education in Business Management & Marketing, plus when with Fortune 500 companies and other multi-billion-dollar corporations, the discussions about marketing were never focused on things like social media and which platform should I post on and how often should I post and what should I post. Yet that’s the questions that most entrepreneurs are asking and the focus of the marketing recommendations being shared.

In college, we learned about the 4 Ps of Marketing. And don’t get me wrong … in the big corporations we did have discussions and made plans and strategies around social media at a more granular level. But where I see a lot of entrepreneurs go wrong is by putting such a large amount of focus on social media marketing, because that’s the primary thing they see going on. They aren’t seeing those back-room and behind-the-scenes discussions that the big guys are having that are actually driving their success. And those high-level strategy discussions are what I bring you access to … and a lot of those with multi-million and multi-billion-dollar organizations start with the Four Ps of Marketing.

Except I’m going to give you 5 Ps of Marketing, because the traditional model forgets one of the most important parts – the People. And if you ignore that, you’re more likely to get the others wrong.

Marketing is the process of creating awareness and interest in products and services, and getting people to buy them. The 4 Ps of marketing are product, place, price, promotion, and I always add a fifth one: people. Each one of these Ps contributes in its own way to the success or failure of your marketing venture.

Fortune 500 companies focus on the 5 Ps … and you should too. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these:

The 5 Ps of Marketing

Product

The first P of marketing is product. This refers to the actual product or service that you are selling. It is important to have a clear idea of what your product is and what it offers consumers.

How do they benefit, what outcomes do they experience when they purchase your service or your widget. How does it solve their problem? Does it? And does it solve the right problem? Is it the right product or service for the job? How can you finetune your product or service and make it more effective?

Does your target audience even want this product? There’s no point trying to push a product or service that no one is actually interested in buying – at which point you may need to revisit what you offer and determine how you can change it to meet the consumer’s needs and desires.

You need to know what makes your product unique and different from the competition, and you must be able to articulate this in a clear and concise way.

Place

The second P of marketing is place. This refers to the distribution channels through which your product or service will be made available to consumers. 

It is important to carefully consider your distribution channels, as they can have a big impact on the success or failure of your marketing venture.

An example of a distribution channel might be selling via a social media platform – such as Facebook Marketplace. It might be a brick and mortar store, or several if you are able to get your product line into a retail chain. Maybe it’s a booth at a monthly local vendor fair. Perhaps you have an ecommerce website. Or maybe your distribution is on QVC.

As you can see, there are so many options for your place, and when you limit your focus to just one – like social media – you’re missing out on what may actually be a better and more effective distribution channel.

Price

The third P of marketing is price. This refers to the price that you will charge for your product or service. It is important to carefully consider your pricing strategy, as it can have a big impact on the success or failure of your business venture.

Your price needs to hit that sweet spot for your consumers – and you. It needs to provide enough revenue to cover your expenses plus allow for a reasonable profit. It also needs to be in line with what your consumer target group is willing to pay.

You also need to consider what your competitors are charging. We never recommend that you try to differentiate your product or service on price primarily, but if your pricing structure is vastly different from your competitors, there needs to be a reason why that the consumers can understand and value.

Promotion

The fourth P of marketing is promotion. This refers to the marketing activities that you will undertake to promote your product or service. It is important to carefully consider your promotion strategy, as it can have a big impact on the success or failure of your marketing venture.

There are as many avenues of promoting your product or service as there are businesses. This is a spot with the 5 Ps where social media marketing takes its place. Yet it is not, and should not be, the only or the primary way that you choose how to promote your business. 

Many entrepreneurs focus their efforts on digital marketing, and let’s face it, it’s so much easier to start there because the barriers to entry are low. Yet an equally important area to focus upon is some of the more traditional marketing promotions. You need both digital marketing and traditional marketing to effectively grow your business to 7-figures and beyond and maintain it’s success once you reach that peak.

People

The fifth and final P of marketing is people. This refers to the target market that you will be marketing to. It is important to carefully consider your target audience, as they will be key to the success or failure of your marketing venture.

Having a solid and in-depth understanding of your target audience helps you finetune your strategies in each of the other Ps – product, place, price and promotion.

And despite what you may hear from other marketing advice who tell you to niche down, when done strategically you can (and should) have more than one target audience “avatar” that you are marketing to. We always get the question whether or not an entrepreneur should choose a niche. While you may only want to start with one, to reach that million-dollar-business mark and beyond, you will need to have expanded your reach beyond that very small, tight niche that you may have started your business with.

Marketing is a vital process for any business, and the 5 Ps of marketing are essential factors in the success or failure of any business venture. Product, place, price, promotion, and people are all important factors to consider when planning a marketing campaign – and when planning your product or service, and your business in general.

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