The concept of the 4P marketing mix - is it still valid?


Appropriate marketing activities are the basis of effective business. Depending on the company's goals, market and the characteristics of the target group, they can be carried out in many different ways. Many companies base their strategy on the so-called marketing mix. What is the traditional 4P marketing mix concept? And does it still work in today's market?

What is a marketing mix?

In the Encyclopedia of Management, we can read that marketing mix, otherwise known as a marketing composition, is a "broad category of interrelated elements (activities, processes, methods and techniques) used in the enterprise and forming an integrated system of influencing the market environment of the enterprise (customers, competitors)". In other words, they are inseparable elements thanks to which the company can increase the demand for its products by influencing the market in a specific way.

There are several versions of the marketing mix. One of the most basic, and at the same time the most popular, is the 4P model. What is the concept of the 4P marketing mix? And is it still valid?

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Traditional 4P marketing mix concept

4P is the oldest concept of marketing mix proposed by McCarthy. The name of the model comes from 4 words in English: product, price, promotion, place. 


The first - and key - element of the 4P concept is a product, i.e. a physical commodity produced by the company. It should be considered in 4 different categories: in terms of the market, technology and technology, position among other offers and life cycle. The product must fulfill certain basic and additional functions. It should also fully meet the expectations of customers. When analyzing, it is worth taking into account its quality, packaging, image and value.


The second element of the traditional concept of marketing mix is price, i.e. the cost that the buyer has to incur in order to acquire the product. The price depends, among others from the cost of production, distribution and promotion.

The price is based on detailed analyzes, taking into account such aspects as:

  • pricing policy, including price and cost comparison,
  • demand price elasticity index,
  • profitability thresholds,
  • discounts,
  • terms of payment.

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The third element of the traditional marketing concept is promotion. These are all activities undertaken by the company in order to provide information about the product and to develop the demand for the product. The most popular forms of promotion include:

  • advertising - paid, impersonal, addressed to a mass recipient through selected communication channels, e.g. social media, television, printed materials,
  • public relations - activities aimed at developing and maintaining a positive image of the company in specific target groups, the form of maintaining contact with these groups,
  • personal sale - all activities aimed at delivering products to buyers; personal sale is divided into wholesale and retail trade,
  • sales promotion - economic incentives, encouraging consumers to try the product and, consequently, purchase it; these are, among others tastings, discount coupons, quantity promotions, contests,
  • sponsorship - support for various actions and initiatives to achieve specific marketing goals.


The fourth element of the classic 4P mix marketing concept is distribution (place). Distribution is any method of placing finished products on the market and delivering them to the target customers. Distribution includes the appropriate location of retail outlets or the way of arranging goods on store shelves. 

The concept of marketing mix in the modern world

Product, price, promotion and distribution are not everything. Today, much more matters. Entrepreneurs must take care of their customers, employees and pay attention to every element of their business that may have an impact on the final success in the market. 

With the development of the market and the changing needs of recipients, there was a need to modify the traditional concept of marketing mix. Specialists modernized the 4P model, adding 3 new "P" to it:

  • people (people)
  • physical evidence,
  • processes (processes).

This is how the concept was born marketing mix 7P.

The 7P model first of all draws attention to the fact that human resources are an inseparable element of every enterprise. No company would exist without employees. They create products and services, improve them and are an important link in the sales process. Employees have a huge impact on the company's development, its position on the market and competitive advantage. An investment in employees is an investment in the entire company!

The material certificate includes all factors that are responsible for the company's image. Among them, we can mention the logo, website, design of a sales premises or company headquarters, employees' uniforms, or the company's location. Properly selected elements of material evidence create a certain image of the brand and evoke specific reactions among recipients. This in turn contributes to sales.

Processes, on the other hand, are activities that affect the quality of the services provided. The key processes include:

  • the use of systems that allow for automation and acceleration of sales, 
  • observation and analysis of customers' purchase paths and adapting marketing activities to them,
  • monitoring and solving customer problems.

Your marketing strategy should be based on all 7 elements of the marketing mix - 4 basic and 3 additional. A comprehensive approach to marketing allows you to conduct effective, multi-faceted activities that bring long-term benefits. The traditional concept of marketing mix extended by 3 additional elements is your ticket to the big business world!

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