Evolution of the 4 Ps: How the Marketing World is Changing

Marketing execs are likely familiar with the “4 Ps of marketing,” long considered key to any good marketing strategy. 

But with higher consumer expectations due to an ever-changing digital marketing landscape, the traditional “4 Ps” might not be cutting it anymore. Here’s what you ought to know to stay ahead of the curve.

What Are the 4 Ps of Marketing?

The “4 Ps” in marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. This marketing mix is considered the traditional method for advertisers trying to showcase a product or service. Although there are many “marketing mixes,” the 4 Ps are generally the most common among marketing professionals.

The 4 Ps cover a range of factors that marketers must consider when marketing a product. These factors include what customers want, how the product meets their needs, how it is perceived, how it stands apart from competitors, and how the company that produces it interacts with customers. Here’s how each P can be defined.


The first step of a marketing campaign is understanding the product or service. A marketer must define the product and address its qualities to introduce it to potential customers. Defining the product is also necessary for distribution, as marketers must understand the product’s life cycle. Understanding the product thoroughly also influences how much it will cost, where it is placed, and how best to promote it.


Setting a reasonable price is an integral part of the marketing mix. When establishing a price, marketers must consider both the product’s real and perceived value while also factoring in supply costs, competing prices, and retail markup. 

It is common for businesses to raise the price of a product to deliver a luxurious or exclusive appeal. Companies sometimes do the opposite as well, cutting prices so more consumers try it.


Place refers to the decision of where the product is made available to customers — whether online or in physical stores — and how it is displayed in those locations. Place is essential, as products should be available in stores that meet its criteria and the company’s style. 


Promotion refers to how businesses tell consumers their product is necessary and appropriately priced. Promotion covers business-to-consumer (B2C) advertising, public relations, and the overall media strategy used to introduce a product. 

Photo: via Shutterstock.com

Two New Ps in Marketing

As the marketing world evolves and new digital developments continue to gather traction, experts have identified two additional Ps that marketers need to consider: process and people. 


Automation, systems, and purchase processes now play a crucial role in the modern marketing mix. Processes can reduce the cost of advertising while also playing an integral part of customer satisfaction and measuring metrics. According to an article from Forbes, Walmart and Amazon’s successes can be largely attributed to their unique processes and logistics. 


The second and final factor of the evolving marketing mix is people. Companies must strategically hire and train the right people to provide superior and memorable customer service to make their brand stand out from competitors. Employees ought to understand customer behaviors and tendencies to be able to relate to them on a human level.

Although the traditional 4 Ps of marketing hold value in today’s digital landscape, there is no denying that two, three, or maybe even four more “Ps” might need to be considered for businesses to stand out. The traditional marketing mix is a template all companies need for a holistic marketing strategy, but depending on the industry, research into evolving marketing mixes might make all the difference.

If you have questions about how to incorporate the 4 (or 6) Ps into your marketing strategy, visit our contact page today. Our expert strategists are here to help!

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