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What is the marketing mix (4 P’s)?

Marketing decisions generally fall into the following four controllable categories:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place (distribution)
  • Promotion

These four P’s are the parameters that the marketing manager can control, subject to the internal and external constraints of the marketing environment.

Product decisions

The term “product” refers to tangible, physical products as well as services. Here are some examples production decisions that must be made:

  • Brand name
  • Functionality
  • Styling
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Packaging
  • Repairs and Support
  • Warranty
  • Accessories and services

Price decisions

How will you price your product or service? Some examples of pricing decisions to be made include:

  • Pricing strategy (skim, penetration, etc.)
  • Suggested retail price
  • Volume discounts and wholesale pricing
  • Cash and early payment discounts
  • Seasonal pricing
  • Bundling
  • Price flexibility
  • Price discrimination

Distribution (Place) decisions

Distribution is about getting the products to the customer. Some examples of distribution decisions include:

  • Distribution channels
  • Market coverage (inclusive, selective, or exclusive distribution)
  • Specific channel members
  • Inventory management
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution centers
  • Order processing
  • Transportation
  • Reverse logistics

Promotion decisions

In the context of the marketing mix, promotion represents the various aspects of marketing communication. Marketing communication decisions include:

  • Promotional strategy (push, pull, etc.)
  • Advertising
  • Personal selling & sales force
  • Sales promotions
  • Public relations & publicity
  • Marketing communications budget

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