Developing Your Marketing Mix: the 4 Ps of Business Growth

The classic marketing mix was developed by Professor James Culliton in 1948. He was a Professor of Marketing at Harvard University, and his ideas still mostly hold true in today’s modern world. 

But what is a marketing mix, how can you establish one that works for you, and what do you need to do right now to ensure that your business grows at the rate you want it to?

We’ll answer all these questions and more in this blog. Let’s get started!


What is a ‘marketing mix’?

The classic marketing mix is made up of 4 Ps – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. 

In general, a marketing mix is everything your business needs to consider to generate traction, attract new leads and, ultimately, grow. It forms the core of any great marketing strategy and really should not be ignored. 

Every business is unique, which means that every marketing mix is unique, too. For some businesses, your process will be absolutely key, for others, price will be essential. The 4 Ps will help establish your ongoing marketing framework; you can use different elements to help influence daily marketing decisions.

The secret is finding a mix that works right for you, so here’s everything you need to know about the 4 Ps of marketing:


1. Product (or service)

Sitting at the top of the marketing mountain is your product or service.

If what you offer is rubbish, there’s only so much that marketing can do to save you. If your product or service is fantastic (and we presume that if we asked you, you’d say it was), then a product-first approach makes the most sense. 

In other words, if having the best product is the cornerstone of your strategy, marketing needs to blend into the background; it shouldn’t be in your face or super obnoxious. Instead, it should work to highlight your product. If your product or service is truly fantastic, it will sell itself. 

Great product-led marketing efforts will:

  • Allow the product to sell itself
  • Establish you as industry leaders (your content should educate & inform, answering any questions your readers have and generally being a valuable resource)
  • Position your business as a helpful ally
  • Share case studies and authentic success stories
  • Focus on product development – how are you improving and how can you position this?

However, a product-led approach often only works if your USPs are strong. If you’re working in a saturated market, this can often fail – you need to make a bigger splash. 


2. Price

Price is, and always will be, a key factor in any decision-making process. There are many different ways you can approach price:

  • Price higher than your competitors & focus on luxury market positioning (your marketing needs to tie into your positioning – premium marketing for premium products)
  • Match competitor prices, but focus on benefits and features you offer
  • Price lower than competitors to break through and build momentum (this doesn’t necessarily denote a lower quality, simply that you offer a product that meets a need)

You may also consider offering promotions. No matter what price you opt for, the most important thing is that your comms help justify what the buyer is paying. 

If you’re selling a service, what value does your service add? How can you quantify this? 

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should talk about it in all your content – the more value you add, the more attractive your proposition will be. 


3. Promotion

Promotional channels are essential, especially in the modern market. You have an incredibly diverse suite of promotional options, some work better than others depending on your industry, so it’s important that you experiment to see what resonates with your audience. Promotional channels include:

  • Your website – This is your digital shop window, it needs to shine a light on your brand and what you do. 
  • Content – Your content is designed to nurture leads and move people through the marketing funnel. 
  • Social channels – An active social media presence is essential for many businesses, as it’s a strong source of validation for any potential customers/clients.
  • Digital ads – Pay-per-click advertising sits at the core of many modern digital marketing strategies. It’s one of the most potent methods of promoting a business.
  • Marketing emails – Marketing via email is still incredibly important, even after all these years! It’s one of the only promotional channels where you can speak directly to your audience.  
  • SEO – Search engine optimisation is incredibly important in promoting your business. Your website and content all need to be designed to rank on Google and other search engines. 
  • PR – Sometimes, a good piece of public relations content can do wonders for your brand. Get your articles published in relevant publications and organically build your reputation. 


4. Place

Where do you plan to sell your product/service?

Do you intend to operate an ecommerce website, or does your product benefit from an in-person sale?

Place is especially important for B2C businesses, or any businesses that sell physical products, but it’s still important to consider the sales experience no matter your industry/product type. 

For example, you might sell a service that relies on your people. You should consider whether an in-person meeting should be a part of your marketing process, one designed to build rapport with potential customers. 

In addition to this, remember that your website is your online digital shopfront. You need to understand whether you’re appearing for the right search terms and whether your website is easy to find. 

You also need to be sure that it is giving off the right first impression (this will help justify pricing, as mentioned earlier). Your website is a place in and of itself. It needs to represent your brand in the best way possible. 


How to develop a marketing strategy using the 4 Ps?

It can be incredibly difficult as a business owner or internal marketing manager to know how best to position your business for success. You need to establish a unique proposition that’s tailored specifically to your target audience, you need to build a website that best reflects your brand, you need to develop content that’s tailored to what your audience want to read. 

There’s a lot to do, so understanding your marketing mix is important, which means that you’ll likely need a marketing strategy consultant to support. 


Do you need a marketing strategy consultant?

To help answer this, we’d like to pose a second: are you in a position to handle a full digital marketing strategy, including content, design, SEO, PPC and more?

If the answer is no, then you’ll likely need a marketing consultant to help you through the process. 

Or, even better, a full digital marketing team from Catalyst

We can either act as an extension of your team, filling in any marketing skill gaps, or we can provide an end-to-end digital marketing solution. Our partnership approach is designed to ensure that you have the knowledge and resources available to promote business growth and realise your organisational ambitions. Proper, plain-speaking, honest marketing that evolves alongside your business.

Get in touch with our experts today for an impartial conversation about your digital marketing future.

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About the author

Sarah Groves has worked in marketing for over 20 years. 

She’s worked across a wide range of B2B and B2C sectors, both big blue chips and SMEs. As co-owner of Catalyst, Sarah draws on her broad experience to oversee the delivery team and help input into client strategies. She’s built a curated team from the best talent across copy, design, SEO, PPC and strategy, providing you with the most cost-efficient way to grow your business and thrive. 

When Sarah’s not working, you’ll find her spending time with her young family, or taking the dog for a long walk while listening to a podcast. 


Sarah Groves