The marketing mix is the set of controllable, tactical marketing tools that a company uses to produce a desired response from its target market. It consists of everything that a company can do to influence demand for its product. It is also a tool to help marketing planning and execution.
The marketing mix can be divided into four groups of variables commonly known as the four Ps:
Each of the four Ps has its own tools to contribute to the marketing mix:
An effective marketing strategy combines the 4 Ps of the marketing mix. It is designed to meet the company’s marketing objectives by providing its customers with value. The 4 Ps of the marketing mix are related, and combine to establish the product’s position within its target markets.
The four Ps of the marketing mix have a number of weaknesses in that they omit or underemphasize some important marketing activities. For example, services are not explicitly mentioned, although they can be categorized as products (that is, service products). As well, other important marketing activities (such as packaging) are not specifically addressed but are placed within one of the four P groups.
Another key problem is that the four Ps focus on the seller’s view of the market. The buyer’s view should be marketing’s main concern.
The four Ps of the marketing mix can be reinterpreted as the four Cs. They put the customer’s interests (the buyer) ahead of the marketer’s interests (the seller).
Kotler, P., Armstrong, G., Cunningham, P.H. (2005). Principles of Marketing. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada. pp. 67-70.
Want to learn how to understand and talk to your customers? Join us for our next cohort of the Customer Development Immersive.
Expanding your business into a new market? Sign up to the International Growth Collection to access specialized resources built in partnership with Export Development Canada.