What Are the Four Ps of Marketing? – 3 Elements of Promotion

The marketing mix of products, people, placement, and promotion creates four pillars that form the basis of every marketing campaign. These pillars can be thought of as the “DNA” of marketing. They can help businesses identify marketing goals and strategies, and measure the success of their campaigns. The four Ps framework was originally created by Phillip Kotler in 1981.


What is the product that you are promoting? For example, soap, moisturizer, or refrigerator appliances? Your answer will determine the nature of the rest of your discussion. There are three distinct types of products:

  • Raw Materials – Products that are at the heart of the operation: oil, gas, potash, and others.
  • Finished Goods – Manufactured products that have been processed to meet the highest standards of quality: food, beverages, household articles, and more.
  • Service – Products that enable people to perform a task or provide a service: construction equipment, travel agencies, education, and more.


How are you promoting this product to the people? For example, you can have a consumer-facing website for general use or a social media profile for specific campaigns. When deciding on your strategy, it’s important to establish the type of people that you want to reach:

  • Your ideal buyer – The type of person most likely to purchase your product or service.
  • Your target audience – The type of people you want to reach with your campaign, which will depend on your product or service.
  • Key groups – The type of people you will need to include in your campaign to make it successful.


Where are you placing your product or service? Sometimes, it’s most effective to place products in the path of least resistance. This means that you should put your product in front of potential customers and leave it there. Depending on the type of product or service that you are selling, you can use various tools to pinpoint the right placements. One of the best examples of this principle is the Google AdWords tool. With this tool, you can enter a keyword or phrase, set the daily budget, and receive a list of potential placements.

You can also choose specific locations such as store fronts, billboards, and magazine racks. When deciding on your strategy, ask yourself:

  • Is my product/service easy to find? Can people easily research my product/service online?
  • Am I likely to walk past this placemark again?
  • Does this placement show the best possible image of my product/service?


What are you promoting? The final element of your marketing mix is promotion. This is where you decide how to get the word out about your product or service. You can use various tools to establish the most suitable tactics and strategies. One of the most popular marketing tools is Google AdWords. With this tool, you can establish how you will promote your product and what results you expect. For example, you can choose to pay to have your ads displayed on popular websites or you can opt for paid search ads that appear at the top of search results. You can also choose to target specific markets or demographics with your ads. 

Other tools that can be helpful include social media, which lets you establish accounts on popular platforms like Twitter and Facebook. You can use these platforms to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, and engage with customers and potential leads there. Depending on the size of your business, you can take advantage of affiliate programs, which earn you a commission when someone buys a product that you promote. 

The above four Ps framework will help you structure your discussion on the nature of marketing. It will provide you with a common language when communicating with colleagues, and assist you in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy.