The Four Ps

When your startup is ready to market a product to customers, you and your team will need to work with the “four P’s” of marketing in order to be successful, as defined by market acceptance of your product as well as revenue for your company.  Focusing on the four main components of marketing will help you and your startup prepare more effectively to go to market with your product. A bad marketing mix can sink your product if you aren’t careful.  

Fruit Stand

The Four P’s of Marketing are:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

The product is whatever tangible or intangible product or service you have to offer for customers to use and buy. From a marketing standpoint, the idea is to describe the product and explain why it is different or better than the competition.

The price determines how much profit you will make, what discounts you will be able to offer ad how customers will perceive the product (premium vs value vs no frills, low cost product).  

The place is where you will sell your product – online or in a brick-and-mortar store (or elsewhere). This component of the marketing mix is about distribution of your product.  

The promotion involves advertising, public relations and a range of marketing activities (search engine marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, email marketing, etc).

Four Brown Straw Hats Display

As a startup founder, you need to be familiar with these marketing concepts, even if you consider yourself a product-focused engineer or a “big thinker” or a financial numbers person. You will need to provide oversight to the marketing efforts of your startup.

When marketing professional and marketing professionals speak to you in the future, you can always bring it back to these fundamentals of marketing: the four P’s. These will help you have a framework to structure productive conversations about marketing. To develop a strong marketing strategy, you need to balance the product, price, place and promotion, as well as have each of them clearly defined.