If you’ve taken marketing courses in the past, you may be familiar with the ‘4 Ps’. They are the cornerstone elements that need to be considered when evaluating your company’s marketing strategy. Recently, these have expanded to the 7 Ps that influence customer behaviour and satisfaction as a response to changes in the marketplace.

The 4 Ps of marketing were identified by a Harvard University professor over 70 years ago in classic marketing mix theory that was used as a framework to identify elements at play in the study of marketing. Learning the roles of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion has served marketers well as a checklist to properly promote their brand or products.

As marketing theory evolved over time, it became clear that this approach needed to be expanded to include more elements due to changes in market dynamics. Below are some of the key economic changes that have come into play since the original 4 Ps theory was introduced:

  • The huge increase in the number of services vs. physical products sold.
  • The growth in the number of sales channels available to purchase these products and/or services.
  • An increase in the various media channels that companies now have at their disposal to interact and communicate with customers.
  • Rapidly changing customer attitudes and expectations (think back to Covid-19 and surges in eCommerce and virtual experiences).

With these changes, marketing theory combined the 4 Ps with 3 additional segments to now include People, Process, and Physical. The 7 Ps provide a more comprehensive framework for companies to develop their marketing strategies. Each element plays a vital role in delivering value to customers and achieving business objectives.

By considering and optimizing these factors, companies can:

  • Better understand their target market
  • Differentiate themselves from competitors
  • Build strong relationships with their customers

In this bi-weekly series of articles, we’ll discuss each of the 7 Ps in detail, and how to apply each for the biggest impact in your marketing mix.

Ken Freek and Drew McLaren are experts at Connecting for Results, a management consulting firm serving print companies across North America. Ken combines his experience in marketing, operations, automation, change management, and supply chain and logistics to provide a solutions-oriented approach to business challenges. A former company owner and marketing expert, Drew’s experience running a family print business gives him a leg up with decision makers. Both Ken and Drew excel in identifying new marketing and sales growth opportunities. To work with them, contact us!