Marketing Mix Elements – How to Define (4Ps) or (7Ps)

Marketing Mix

What is the Marketing Mix?

The marketing mix or 4 P’s of marketing refers to a combination of marketing tools used to pursue organizational objectives. A combination of effective elements helps businesses develop a productive marketing plan. In addition, a productive combination gives businesses the ability to influence customers.

For years the marketing mix has been widely recognized as the foundation for marketing decisions. This set of marketing tools gives businesses the ability to make informed marketing decisions. Ultimately, organizations can devise a strategic marketing approach to systematically develop strengths and avoid weaknesses; in addition, increase competitiveness and adaptability.

Purpose of Marketing Mix Concept

The marketing mix contains a combination of marketing activities that are necessary to influence customers. The variables and tools of the mix are essential to success. Analyzing each element helps organizations pursue market objectives. Consequently, giving organizations the ability to identify solutions to attract potential customers.

History of the Marketing Mix Concept

Harvard University Professor James Culliton was the first individual to introduce features of the marketing mix. In 1948, Professor Culliton referred to business executives as mixers of ingredients in his publication entitled “The Management of Marketing Cost”.

Several years later Neil H Borden, a colleague of Professor Culliton’s published an article stating he coined the term marketing mix. Nonetheless, scholars continuously debated about the core elements of the marketing mix up until 1960.

That same year (1960), American Professor E. Jerome McCarthy published the textbook entitled Basic Marketing: “A managerial approach”. McCarthy’s book introduced the 4 P’s of marketing (product, price, place, promotion) as a conceptual framework for making marketing decisions. A managerial approach turned out to be a game-changer and remains a top seller in university marketing courses to this day.

McCarthy’s publication formed the 4 fundamentals of marketing; widely recognized as the original marketing mix or 4 P’s of marketing.

In the early 80s, service markets began to evolve. At this time marketing experts began to discover limitations in the original mix. Experts called for a revision after realizing the mix provided marketing tools for products but lacked tools for service markets. Consequently, the 4 P’s was extended to the 7 P’s, which added process, people, and physical evidence.

Original Marketing Mix (4 Ps of Marketing)

Before any company can succeed, they must make calculated decisions about their product, place, price, and promotion. These four elements are known as the four fundamentals of marketing or the original marketing mix. The original marketing mix or 4 P’s of marketing stands for product, place, price, and promotion.

4 P's of Marketing

The four P’s are most effective when selling products. Typically, companies analyze the marketing mix when developing new products or evaluating existing products. Companies use the information they collect to encourage customers to purchase products or services.

What are the 4 Cs of marketing?

The original marketing mix or 4 P’s of marketing is an acronym that stands for product, price, place, and promotion.

On the other hand, there are two models of the 4 C’s; Lauterborn’s 4 C’s (consumer wants and needs, cost, convenience, and communication) and Shimizu’s 4 C’s (commodity, cost, channel, communication).

As noted, the goal is to find the right combination of ingredients. A combination of the desirable ingredients helps your organization:

  • Produce valuable products.
  • Secure a strategic location.
  • Provide competitive prices.
  • Identify productive means of promotion.


The cost or price typically refers to what customers are willing to pay for goods or services. It should be evaluated from both the owner and customer perceived value. Nonetheless, the price can allude to the time and effort consumers are willing to relinquish to purchase goods or services.

Setting the price of your goods involves determining your payment terms, pricing strategies, pricing tactics, and methods of price-setting. Most importantly, it’s vital to evaluate your method of pricing from the consumer’s perceived value.


Product(s) refer to tangible goods you produce and offer to customers. Your products should be designed to meet the customer’s needs and wants. Therefore, it’s imperative to produce products and services according to the wants or needs of the buyer. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the needs and wants of your customers prior to developing your product.

Choosing your product involves marketing decisions about product design, branding, packaging, and labeling, warranties, returning, and managing products through the life cycle.


The place refers to customer access or where customers access your services. For this purpose, you should include every location you use to conduct your business, i.e., website, applications, or blogs.

When searching for locations, it’s recommended to search for physical locations that are within your budget. In addition, your location should provide convenience for your customers.

You’ll also need to evaluate marketing decisions about franchising, market coverage, assortment, inventory, and transport.


Promotion alludes to marketing communications. Specifically, tactics or techniques that organizations use to pursue customers.

Your methods of promotion can either make you or break your business. Therefore, it’s essential to find productive methods of promotion to increase awareness, create interest and generate sales.

Fortunately, the evolution of digital marketing has produced endless possibilities for organizations to promote products & services. Nowadays, you can promote your brand without spending too much money on advertising; in fact, you can promote your business without spending a dime on advertising. You can use promotional techniques like video marketing, article marketing, social media marketing (SMM), and much more.

Typical marketing decisions include; promotional mix, message strategy, and message frequency.

Expanded Marketing Mix (7 Ps of Marketing)

The 7 P’s expands the elements of the original marketing mix by adding people, process, and physical evidence. As mentioned, the 7 P’s framework is more effective for service markets.

What are the 7 Ps of marketing?

The 7 P’s of marketing is an acronym that stands for product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence.

However, many organizations that provide services online have also found the use of the 7 P’s model. Hence, you probably should consider utilizing the 7 P’s model; especially, if you are promoting your brand around the globe.

7 P's of the Marketing Mix


The people refer to individuals that represent the organization. These are company representatives that conduct daily business operations. From a marketing perspective, it’s important to value your staff. More importantly, it’s critical to treat your employees how you want to be treated. Keep in mind, you’re only as good as your weakest link. Therefore, everyone should feel as if they’re being treated fairly.

In other words, establish incentives for employees. Satisfied workers equal more production, of course, more production equals more money.


The process alludes to the flow of activities in your business environment. These are actions or steps taken to deliver a product to a customer. Typically, individuals within the organization are responsible for developing the blueprint. However, there are professionals that will assist you with creating a blueprint if you need assistance.

Physical Evidence

The physical evidence is the habitat of the business environment where services are provided. For example, the physical evidence for a restaurant would be the dining area. The dining area is the location where employees interact with customers.

However, physical evidence can also refer to proof or confirmation of your brand. In addition, it can allude to evidence of business transactions.

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