High Performance: The 7 Ps of the Marketing Mix

February 24, 2014 -  By
Photo: Karen Arnold/

Photo: Karen Arnold/

As an undergraduate student, one of the first business concepts I was introduced to was the Marketing Mix. Sitting in MKT101, my first marketing class at Michigan State University, I learned about the “4 Ps” of marketing. When combined, they became the Marketing Mix.

Product. The first P is the product (or service) you offer. At its core, marketing is all about understanding customer needs and creating unique solutions. The product or service is the solution. Product includes all aspects of your solution. What is it and how is it unique?

Price. The second P is the price you charge for your solution. It includes all aspects of pricing, such as bundling, discounts and rebates, to name a few. You even may choose to implement what’s called discriminatory pricing, which is not what you think it is. This P is all about pricing.

Place. The third P is the place where you bring your solution to the customer. It includes the distribution method and channels. For physical products, it includes the entire sequence of logistics required to bring the product to market. For services, it includes the process for delivering the service.

Promotion. The fourth P is promotion, meaning the way you get the word out about your solution. It includes all forms of advertising, coupons, direct mail, specialty items, brochures, flyers, door hangers, internet marketing, etc.

All marketers have to make decisions regarding the four Ps. And as they do so, they create a customized blend of ingredients they feel will result in the best solution. This is the marketing mix.

3 more Ps: People, Packaging and Positioning

By now you’re questioning if the headline is right since it refers to 7 Ps. It is.

That’s right, 4 Ps were apparently not enough. The additional Ps are people, packaging and positioning.

People, of course, are the people who contribute to your solution. Packaging refers to the appearance of your solution from the prospect’s perspective. And positioning denotes how your solution compares your competitors’.

The next time you think about marketing, I encourage you to consider the 7 Ps—or at least the 4 P’s if you’re short on time.

To that end, happy marketing in 2014.

Photo: Karen Arnold/

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About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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