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The Marketing Mix – The Four P’s of Marketing

Learn how to boost your marketing performance

Key learning outcomes:

  • Establish that the marketing department has a key role in a business’s success or failure.
  • Recognise that a new product or service should be designed with customers’ needs and preferences in mind.
  • Acknowledge the importance of a pricing strategy that considers value for the customer and the opportunities for discounting.
  • Identify the ideal distribution channel for a new product or service and the most appropriate method of promotion.


There is so much more to marketing than just advertising and promotion. While it is true that the marketing department is responsible for getting the customer’s attention, there are a number of other components that make up what is known as the “marketing mix”. No matter whether your business is large or small, success or failure will often, to a large degree, rest firmly in the hands of the marketing department. Marketing is responsible for determining the customers’ needs, identifying the target market and working out how to get the products to the customer. Pricing and promotion also come into the mix. The “four P’s” is a framework developed in the 1960s by the US University of Notre Dame’s Professor EJ McCarthy. It is still used and taught extensively, and remains as relevant today as it was then. In this article we explain each of the four P’s in detail and show you how you can apply the theory to your business.


The product might be a good, service or even a message such as the Cancer Council’s “Slip, Slop, Slap” campaign. This element of the marketing mix determines what is going to be offered to the market. A number of key questions need to be answered at this stage to ensure the product is designed to satisfy customer needs:

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