4 Ps of marketing

The 4 P’s relate to the four variables that are under the firm’s control that can affect the level of demand for the firm’s products – the Product, Price, Place and Promotion. They are distinguished from environmental and competitive action factors that are not directly under the firm’s control.

The Mix concept was first developed by Borden and refined by McArthy. It can be criticiesd for promoting a product rather than a customer or market orientation. However it is well understood concept and provides a framework for further discussion.

The four marketing decision variables are:

Price variables

  • Allowances and deals
  • Distribution and retailer mark-ups
  • Discount structure
  • Price quality Strategies

Product variables

  • Quality
  • Models and sizes
  • Packaging
  • Brands
  • Service
  • Design
  • Features
  • Product line / Range decisions

Promotion variables

  • Advertising
  • Sales promotion
  • Personal selling
  • Publicity
  • Direct Marketing
  • Push vs.Pull Strategy
  • Internet

Place variables

  • Channels of distribution
  • Direct or Indirect channels
  • Outlet location
  • Sales territories
  • Warehousing system
  • Selective vs. Intensive
  • Retail variables
  • E-Commerce or virtual


  • Lilien, GL, Kotler, P., Moorthy, KS. “Marketing Models”, 1992. Prentice-Hall International. Englewood Cliffs NJ.

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