7-ps-of-marketing

What Are The 7 Ps Of Marketing? The 7 Ps Of Marketing In A Nutshell

The notion of a marketing mix was first mentioned by E. Jerome McCarthy in his 1960 book Basic Marketing, A Managerial Approach. McCarthy’s marketing mix was limited to product, price, place, and promotion – otherwise known as the 4 Ps of marketing. The 7 Ps of marketing is a model incorporating seven elements into the ideal marketing mix. Indeed, researchers Mary Jo Bitner and Bernard H. Booms added a further three elements to the original model: people, processes, and physical evidence. 

Understanding the 7 Ps of marketing

The 4 Ps of marketing were created at a time when businesses were more likely to sell products than services. What’s more, the role of customer service in branding was less well understood. 

As the business landscape began to evolve, researchers Mary Jo Bitner and Bernard H. Booms added a further three elements to the original model: people, processes, and physical evidence. 

Though instituted in 1981, the 7 Ps of marketing is still widely taught today. Businesses use the model to review and define issues likely to affect the marketing of their products and services. In so doing, they are better able to satisfy the needs and wants of customers in their target market.

The 7 Ps of marketing

Let’s now take a look at each of the seven elements in more detail:

  1. Product – above all, the product should live up to its expectations. Does it do what the customer wants it to do? Product marketing should incorporate the benefits customers will receive when buying goods or services. These are most often tied to features such as design, quality, warranty, and accessories.
  2. Price – the marketing team must also identify how much the target audience is willing to pay for something. At the same time, they must also be sensitive to company profit margins, overheads, and other associated costs. Discounts and seasonal pricing may attract and retain customers.
  3. Place – the product must be located where the consumer finds it easiest to purchase. This may be in a brick-and-mortar store, or it may be online. 
  4. Promotion – this includes advertising, direct marketing, in-store promotions, and of course digital marketing in all its shapes and forms. Understanding consumer purchasing patterns and targeting them at the correct stage of their buying cycle is paramount.
  5. Physical evidence – this takes two forms. The first is physical evidence that a transaction took place and may include receipts, invoices, packaging, and postal tracking information. The second form of physical evidence refers to the branding a consumer is likely to interact with before making a purchase. This includes websites, logos, company headquarters, social media accounts, and business cards.
  6. People – who are those directly or indirectly involved in selling the product or service? Here, it’s important to realize that a brand is only as good as the people selling it. Employees must be adequately trained. For example, customer service representatives must display some degree of empathy toward others. Managerial staff must be visionaries who drive the company forward with respect for its values.
  7. Process – this refers to the process of delivering a product or service. For consumers, it describes how easy a company is to do business with. Seamless delivery processes save time and money for the business. If a high standard of service can be maintained, this also builds brand loyalty. 

Key takeaways:

  • The 7 Ps of marketing describes the ideal marketing mix consisting of the following elements: product, price, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, and process. 
  • The 7 Ps of marketing is a modern adaptation of the 4 Ps of marketing. The latter was developed in the 1960s when businesses were product-focused and devoted less time to customer service.
  • The 7 Ps of marketing enables businesses to meet the needs and wants of their target audience. The model remains relevant today as marketing trends shift predominantly online.

Connected Business Concepts And Frameworks

Ambush Marketing

ambush-marketing
As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Brand Building

brand-building
Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Equity

what-is-brand-equity
The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

brand-positioning
Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

business-storytelling
Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

content-marketing
Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Digital Marketing

digital-marketing-channels
A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Growth Marketing

growth-marketing
Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

guerrilla-marketing
Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Inbound Marketing

inbound-marketing
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

integrated-marketing
Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

marketing-mix
The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Personas

marketing-personas
Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Multi-Channel Marketing

multichannel-marketing
Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

multilevel-marketing
Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Niche Marketing

microniche
A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Relationship Marketing

relationship-marketing
Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Sustainable Marketing

sustainable-marketing-green-marketing
Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"