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Marketing mix
“4 P’s” redirects here. For other uses, see 4P.
he claims that he was inspired by Culliton’s idea of 'mixers’, and credits himself with popularising the concept of
the 'marketing mix'.[12] According to Borden’s account,
The 'marketing mix' (also known as the four Ps) is a
foundation concept in marketing. The marketing mix he used the term, 'marketing mix' consistently from the
late 1940s. For instance, he is known to have used the
has been defined as the “set of marketing tools that the
given to
firm uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target term 'marketing mix' in his presidential address
the American Marketing Association in 1953.[13]
market”. Thus the marketing mix refers to four broad
levels of marketing decision, namely: product, price, pro- Although the idea of marketers as 'mixers of ingredients’
motion, and place.[2] Marketing practice has been occur- caught on, marketers could not reach any real consensus
ring for millennia, but marketing theory emerged in the about what elements should be included in the mix until
early twentieth century. The contemporary marketing the 1960s.[14] The 4 Ps, in its modern form, was first promix, or the 4Ps, which has become the dominant frame- posed in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy in his text-book,
work for marketing management decisions, was first pub- Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.[15] McCarthy
lished in 1960.[3] In services marketing, a modified and used the 4 Ps as an organising framework for the entire
expanded marketing mix is used, typically comprising work with chapters devoted to each of the elements, conseven Ps made up of the original 4 Ps plus process, people, tained within a managerial approach that also included
physical environment.[4] Occasionally service marketers chapters dedicated to analysis, consumer behavior, marwill refer to eight Ps; comprising the 7 Ps plus perfor- keting research, market segmentation and planning to
round out the managerial approach. Phillip Kotler, a promance.[5]
approach, and
In the 1990s, the concept of four Cs was introduced as lific author, popularised the managerial[16]
[6] with it, spread the concept of the 4 Ps.
a more customer-driven replacement of the four Ps.
4 Ps have been widely adopted by both marketing acaThere are two theories based on four Cs: Lauterborn’s
four Cs (consumer, cost, communication, convenience), demics and practitioners.
and Shimizu’s four Cs (commodity, cost, communication, The prospect of expanding or modifying the marketing
mix first took hold at the inaugural AMA Conference
Given the valuation of customers towards potential prod- dedicated to Services Marketing in the early 1980s, and
to many imuct attributes (in any category, e.g. product, promotion, built on earlier theoretical works pointing
Taken coletc.) and the attributes of the products sold by other comlectively,
indipanies, the problem of selecting the attributes of a prodcate
uct to maximize the number of customers preferring it is
to the general marketing mix based on an understanda computationally intractable problem.[7]
ing that services were fundamentally different to products, and therefore required different tools and strategies. In 1981, Booms and Bitner proposed a model of
1 Emergence of the Marketing 7 Ps, comprising the original 4 Ps plus process, people
and physical evidence, as being more applicable for serMix: 4 Ps and 7 Ps Concepts
vices marketing.[19] Since then there have been a number
of different proposals for a service marketing mix (with
See also History of marketing, E. Jerome McCarthy and various numbers of Ps - 6 Ps, 7 Ps, 8 Ps, 9 Ps and occasionally more).
Neil H. Borden )
The origins of the four Ps can be traced to the late
1940s.[8][9] The first known mention of a mix has been
attributed to a Professor of Marketing at Harvard University, Prof. James Culliton.[10] In 1948, Culliton published an article entitled, The Management of Marketing
Costs [11] in which Culliton describes marketers as 'mixers of ingredients’. Some years later, Culliton’s colleague,
Professor Neil Borden, published a retrospective article
detailing the early history of the marketing mix in which
2 McCarthy’s Four Ps
See also Marketing and Marketing mix
The original marketing mix, or 4 Ps, as originally proposed by marketer and academic E. Jerome McCarthy,
provides a framework for marketing decision-making.[6]
McCarthy’s marketing mix has since become one of
the most enduring and widely accepted frameworks in
Table 1: Brief Outline of 4 Ps[6]
The Seven Ps of Services Marketing
The 4Ps have been the cornerstone of the managerial approach
to marketing since the 1960s
Product refers to what the business offers for sale and
may include products or services. Product decisions include the “quality, features, benefits, style, design, branding, packaging, services, warranties, guarantees, life cycles, investments and returns”.[22]
Price refers to decisions surrounding “list pricing, discount pricing, special offer pricing, credit payment or
credit terms”. Price refers to the total cost to customer to
acquire the product, and may involve both monetary and
psychological costs such as the time and effort expended
in acquisition.[22]
discussion topic at the inaugural AMA Conference dedicated to Services Marketing in the early 1980s, and built
on earlier theoretical works pointing to many important
limitations of the 4 Ps concept.[18] Taken collectively, the
papers presented at that conference indicate that service
marketers were thinking about a revision to the general
marketing mix based on an understanding that services
were fundamentally different to products, and therefore
required different tools and strategies. In 1981, Booms
and Bitner proposed a model of 7 Ps, comprising the original 4 Ps plus process, people and physical evidence, as being more applicable for services marketing.[19] Since then
there have been a number of different proposals for a service marketing mix (with various numbers of Ps - 6 Ps, 7
Ps, 8 Ps, 9 Ps and occasionally more). Today, most texts
are organised around a framework of seven Ps or eight
Ps. The 7 Ps comprises the original 4 Ps plus process,
people, physical environment.[4] The eight Ps framework;
comprises the 7 Ps plus performance which refers to the
standards of service performance or service quality.[5]
Place is defined as the “direct or indirect channels to market, geographical distribution, territorial coverage, retail
outlet, market location, catalogues, inventory, logistics
and order fulfilment”. Place refers either to the physical location where a business carries out business or the
distribution channels used to reach markets. Place may
refer to a retail outlet, but increasingly refers to virtual
stores such as “a mail order catalogue, a telephone call Table 2: Outline of the Modified and Expanded Marketcentre or a website [22] ".
ing Mix
Promotion refers to “the marketing communication used
to make the offer known to potential customers and persuade them to investigate it further [22] ". Promotion elements include “advertising, public relations, direct selling
and sales promotions.
People are essential in the marketing of any product or
service. Personnel stand for the service. In the professional, financial or hospitality service industry, people
are not producers, but rather the products themselves.[27]
When people are the product, they impact public perception of an organization as much as any tangible consumer
goods. From a marketing management perspective, it is
to ensure that employees represent the com3 Modified and Expanded Market- important
pany in alignment with broader messaging strategies.[28]
This is easier to ensure when people feel as though they
ing Mix: 7 Ps
have been treated fairly and earn wages sufficient enough
See also: Services marketing, Service blueprint, and to support their daily lives.
Process refers a “the set of activities that results in deBy the 1980s, a number of theorists were calling for an livery of the product benefits”. A process could be a seexpanded and modified framework that would be more quential order of tasks that an employee undertakes as a
useful to service marketers. The prospect of expanding part of their job. It can represent sequential steps taken
or modifying the marketing mix for services was a core by a number of various employees while attempting to
complete a task. Some people are responsible for managing multiple processes at once. For example, a restaurant manager should monitor the performance of employees, ensuring that processes are followed. (S)he is
also expected to supervise while customers are promptly
greeted, seated, fed, and led out so that the next customer
can begin this process.[28]
Physical evidence refers to the non-human elements of
the service encounter, including equipment, furniture and
facilities. It may also refer to the more abstract components of the environment in which the service encounter
occurs including interior design, colour schemes and layout. Some physical evidence elements provide lasting
proof that the service has occurred, such as souvenirs,
mementos, invoices and other livery of artifacts.[27] According to Booms and Bitner’s framework, “physical evidence is the service delivered and any tangible goods
that facilitate the performance and communication of the
service.[28] Physical evidence is important to customers
because the tangible goods are evidence that the seller
has (or has not) provided what the customer was expecting. The more inviting the physical environment that surrounds a product, the more people are willing to engage
in the service encounter.
Lauterborn’s four Cs (1990)
Robert F. Lauterborn proposed a four Cs classification in
1990.[29] His classification is a more consumer-orientated
version of the four Ps[30] that attempts to better fit the
movement from mass marketing to niche marketing:[29]
Shimizu’s Four Cs: in the 7Cs
Compass Model (1973-, 2010)
(organization, competitor, stakeholder) within the corporation. The company has to think of compliance and
accountability as important. The competition in the areas in which the company competes with other firms in
its industry.
The four elements in the 7Cs Compass Model are:
A formal approach to this customer-focused marketing mix is known as “Four Cs” (commodity, cost,
communication, channel) in the Seven Cs Compass
Model. The four Cs model provides a demand/customer
centric version alternative to the well-known four Ps supply side model (product, price, promotion, place) of marketing management.[39]
• Product → Commodity
• Price → Cost
• Promotion → Communication
• Place → Channel
The compass of consumers and circumstances (environment) are:
• (C6) Consumer – (Needle of compass to consumer)
The factors related to consumers can be explained by the first character of four directions
marked on the compass model. These can be
remembered by the cardinal directions, hence
the name compass model:
• N = Needs
• W = Wants
After Koichi Shimizu proposed a four Cs classification
in 1973, it was expanded to the 7Cs Compass Model to
provide a more complete picture of the nature of marketing in 1979. The 7Cs Compass Model is a framework of
Co-marketing (Commensal marketing or Symbiotic marketing). Also the Co-creative marketing of a company
and consumers are contained in the co-marketing. Comarketing (Collaborate marketing) is a marketing practice where two companies cooperate with separate distribution channels, sometimes including profit sharing. It
is frequently confused with co-promotion. Also Commensal (symbiotic) marketing is a marketing on which
both corporation and a corporation, a corporation and a
consumer, country and a country, human and nature can
• The 7Cs Compass Model comprises:
(C1) Corporation – The core of four Cs is corporation (company and non profit organization). C-O-S
• S = Security
• E = Education:(consumer education)
• (C7) circumstances – (Needle of compass to circumstances )
In addition to the consumer, there are various
uncontrollable external environmental factors
encircling the companies. Here it can also be
explained by the first character of the four directions marked on the compass model:
• N = National and International (Political,
legal and ethical) environment
• W = Weather
• S = Social and cultural
• E = Economic
EXHIBIT: Shimizu’s 7Cs Compass Model (Courtesy: ©
Koichi Shimizu, Japan)
These can also be remembered by the cardinal directions marked on a compass. The 7Cs Compass Model
is a framework in co-marketing (symbiotic marketing).
It has been criticized for being little more than the four
Ps with different points of emphasis. In particular, the
seven Cs inclusion of consumers in the marketing mix
is criticized, since they are a target of marketing, while
the other elements of the marketing mix are tactics. The
seven Cs also include numerous strategies for product development, distribution, and pricing, while assuming that
consumers want two-way communications with companies.
An alternative approach has been suggested in a book
called 'Service 7' by Australian Author, Peter Bowman.
Bowman suggests a values based approach to service marketing activities. Bowman suggests implementing seven
service marketing principles which include value, business development, reputation, customer service and service design. Service 7 has been widely distributed within
Difficulty of computational methods
7 See also
• E. Jerome McCarthy
• Advertising
• Co-creation
• Marketing
• Co-marketing
8 References
[1] Kotler, P., Marketing Management, (Millennium Edition), Custom Edition for University of Pheonix, Prentice
Hall, 2000, p. 9
[2] McCarthy, Jerome E. (1964). Basic Marketing. A Managerial Approach. Homewood, IL: Irwin.
[3] Grönroos, Christian. “From marketing mix to relationship marketing: towards a paradigm shift in marketing.”
Management decision 32.2 (1994): 4-20.
[4] Booms, Bernard H.; Bitner, Mary Jo (1981). “Marketing
Strategies and Organization Structures for Service Firms”.
Marketing of Services. American Marketing Association:
[5] Kotler, Philip (2012). Marketing Management. Pearson
Education. p. 25.
[6] Needham, Dave (1996). Business for Higher Awards. Ox-
ford, England: Heinemann.
Automatically selecting the attributes of a product (in any
category, i.e. product, promotion, etc.) to maximize the [7] Rodríguez, Ismael; Rabanal, Pablo; Rubio, Fernando
number of customers preferring the resulting product is a
(2017). “How to make a best-seller: Optimal product decomputationally intractable problem.[7] Given some cussign problems”. Applied Soft Computing. 55 (June 2017):
178–196. doi:10.1016/j.asoc.2017.01.036. ISSN 1568tomer profiles (i.e., customers sharing some features such
as e.g. gender, age, income, etc.), the valuations they
give to each potential product attribute (e.g. females aged [8] Groucutt, J. and Leadley, p., Marketing: Essential Prin35–45 give a 3 out of 5 valuation to “it is green"; males
ciples, New Realities,https://books.google.com/books?id=
aged 25–35 give 4/5 to “it can be paid in installments";
cd6Sjxu2lesC&pg=PA17, Kogan Page, 2004 ISBN 978etc.), the attributes of the products sold by the other pro0-7494-4114-2, p.17.
ducers, and the attributes each producer can give to its
products, the problem of deciding the attributes of our [9] Hunt, S.F. and Goolsby, J., “The Rise and Fall of the
Functional Approach to Marketing: A Paradigm Disproduct to maximize the number of costumers who will
placement Perspective,” (originally published in 1988),
prefer it is Poly-APX-complete. This implies that, under
reprinted in: Review of Marketing Research: Special Issue
the standard computational assumptions, no efficient al- Marketing Legends, Vol. 1, Naresh K. Malhotra,(ed),
gorithm can guarantee that the ratio between the number
Bingley, UK, Emerald, 2011
of costumers preferring the product returned by the algorithm and the number of costumers that would prefer [10] Banting, P.M. & Ross, R.E., “The marketing mix: A
Canadian perspective,” Journal of the Academy of Marthe actual optimal product will always reach some conketing Science, vol. 1, no. 1, 1973, doi:10.1007/
stant, for any constant. Moreover, the problem of findBF02729310
ing a strategy such that, for any strategy of the other producers, our product will always reach some minimum av- [11] Culliton, J. The Management of Marketing Costs, [Research Bulletin] Harvard University, 1948).
erage number of customers over some period of time is
an EXPTIME-complete problem, meaning that it cannot [12] Borden, N.H., “The Concept of the Marketing Mix,” Jourbe efficiently solved. However, heuristic (sub-optimal)
nal of Advertising Research, 1964, pp 2-7 and reprinted in:
solutions to these problems can be found by means of
Baker, M.J. (ed), Marketing: Critical Perspectives on Busigenetic algorithms, particle swarm optimization methods,
ness and Management, Vol. 5, Routledge, 2001, pp 3-4
or minimax algorithms.
and available online at Google Books
[13] Dominici, G., “From Marketing Mix to E-Marketing Mix:
A Literature Review,” International Journal of Business
and Management, vol. 9, no. 4. 2009, pp 17-24
[14] W. Waterschoo; C. van den Bulte (1992). “The 4P Classification of the Marketing Mix Revisited”. Journal of
Marketing. 56 (4): 83–93.
[15] McCarthy, E.J., Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach
Irwin, Homewood, Ill., 1960
[16] Keelson, S.A>, “The Evolution of the Marketing Concepts: Theoretically Different Roads Leading to Practically the Same Destination!" in Global Conference on
Business and Finance Proceedings, Volume 7, Number 1,
2012, ISSN 1941-9589
[17] Constantinides, ., “The Marketing Mix Revisited: Towards the 21st Century Marketing,” Journal of Marketing Management, vol.
22, 2006 pp 407-438
Online: http://intranet.fucape.br/uploads/MATERIAIS_
[18] Fisk, R.P., Brown, W. and Bitner, M.J., “Tracking the
Evolution of Services Marketing Literature, Journal of
Retailing, vol. 41, (April), 1993
[19] Booms, B. and Bitner, M. J. “Marketing Strategies and
Organizational Structures for Service Firms” in James H.
Donnelly and William R. George, (eds), Marketing of Services, Chicago: American Marketing Association, 47-51.
[20] Bitner, M.J., “The Evolution of the Services Marketing
Mix and its Relationship to Service Quality,” in Service
Quality: Multidisciplinary and Multinational Perspectives,
Brown, S.W., Gummeson, E., Edvardson, B. and Gustavsson, B. (eds), Lexington, Canada, 1991,pp 23-37
[21] Hartley, K. and Rudelius, W., Marketing, The Core, 4th
Ed., McGraw-Hill, 2001.
[22] Blythe, Jim (2009). Key Concepts in Marketing. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd.
[23] Bitner, M.J., “Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees, Journal of Marketing, vol. 60, no. 2, 1992, pp 56-71
[24] Hoffman, D., Bateson, J.E.G., Elliot, G. and Birch, S.,
Services Marketing: Concepts, Strategies and Cases,
(Asia-Pacific ed.), Cengage, 2010, pp 226-274
[25] Zeithaml, V. Bitner, M.J. and Gremler, D.D., Services
Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm,
(6th ed), New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013.
[29] Lauterborn, B. (1990). New Marketing Litany: Four Ps
Passé: C-Words Take Over. Advertising Age, 61(41), 26.
[30] Kotler, P. and Keller, K. (2006), Marketing and Management, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ,
[31] McLean, R. (October 19, 2002). The 4 C’s versus the 4 P’s of marketing.
Custom Fit Online.
Retrieved from http://www.customfitonline.com/news/
[32] Marketing, Marketing.
[33] Schultz, Don E; Tannenbaum, Stanley I; Lauterborn,
Robert F (1993), Integrated marketing communications,
NTC Business Books, ISBN 978-0-8442-3363-5
[34] Shimizu, Koichi(1989) “Advertising Theory and Strategies,” (Japanese) first edition, Souseisha Book Company
in Tokyo. (ISBN 4-7944-2030-7) pp.63-102.
[35] Shimizu, Koichi (2014) “Advertising Theory and Strategies,"(Japanese) 18th edition, Souseisha Book Company
(ISBN 4-7944-2132-X) pp.63-102.
[36] Shimizu, Koichi (2016)"Co-marketing (Symbiotic Marketing) Strategis,"(Japanese) 5th edition, Souseisha Book
Company (ISBN 978-4-7944-2482-2) pp.25-62.
[37] Solis, Brian (2011) Engage!: The Complete Guide for
Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure
Success in the New Web, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp.
[38] French, Jeff and Ross Gordon (2015)"Strategic Social
Marketing,"SAGE Publications Inc.,p.90.
[39] McCarthy, Jerome E. (1975)”Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach,” fifth edition, Richard D. Irwin, Inc.,
p. 37.
9 Further reading
McCarthy’s 4Ps
• Everyday Finance: Economics, Personal Money
Management, and Entrepreneurship. Overview:
Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Place, Promotion.
January 1, 2008.
[26] Shostack, G. L.. “Designing Services that Deliver”, Harvard Business Review , vol. 62, no. 1, 1984, pp. 133–139
• John A. Quelch; Katherine E. Jocz (Winter
“Milestones in Marketing” (PDF).
Business History Review.
The President and
Fellows of Harvard College.
82: 827–838.
[27] McLean, R. (October 19, 2002). The 4 C’s versus the 4 P’s of Marketing, Custom Fit Online.
Retrieved from http://www.customfitonline.com/news/
• John A. Quelch; Katherine E. Jocz (2012). All Business is Local: Why Place Matters More than Ever in
a Global, Virtual World. Penguin. p. 4.
[28] Rafiq, Mohammed (March 31, 2016). “Using the
7Ps as a generic marketing mix: an exploratory
survey of UK and European marketing academics”.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning.
13 (9): 4.
• Four P’s, Four C’s And The Consumer Revolution
10 External links
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