Marketing is one of the foundations of a successful business plan.

An effective marketing strategy can make the difference between a product selling or being ignored by consumers. Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” In simpler terms, it’s putting a product in the right place, at the right price and at the right time.

Because marketing strategies are so important, business leaders will nearly always have a hand in shaping marketing initiatives. These leaders utilize the four principles of marketing as the heart of their business strategies. These principles are known as the four P’s of marketing: product, price, place and promotion.

Four Principles of Marketing

Principle 1: Product

The product is the good or service provided to meet a specific customer’s need. All products go through a logical life cycle, and it’s important for marketers and business professionals to understand the phases a product goes through. Developing a profitable product means ensuring its high performance, as well as its value for the money. As such, it’s important that marketers have in-depth knowledge of the products they’re promoting.

Examples of a product may range from goods such as food and clothing to services like a lawn-mowing service or piano lessons.

Principle 2: Price

The price depends on several factors. Cost of production, customer demographics, product demand, brand image and history all influence a product’s price.

For example, if the cost to produce a given product is $1, the cost to market it is $1, and the cost of shipping is $1, a company would use those costs, as well as the product’s perceived value and potential target demographic, to establish a reasonable price point, while still enabling the company to make a profit.

Principle 3: Place

Place refers to the point of sale. This principle varies between brick-and-mortar retail stores and online shopping sites. For example, it’s probably best for a brick-and-mortar store owner to sell products that local consumers need, such as raincoats and umbrellas in the Pacific Northwest or sunscreen in the Southwest. On the other hand, a website can sell a wide range of products to an even greater range of consumers. Only delivery stands between the customers and the products.

Place, too, may indicate a product’s actual location within a store or on a website, and whether its accessibility helps drive sales.

Principle 4: Promotion

Promotion encompasses marketing communication strategies and techniques, such as advertising, sales promotions, special offers and public relations. Whichever mechanism is used, it must be suited to the product, price and consumer. Ultimately, promotion is how companies communicate their product to consumers.

Examples of promotion include advertisements for holiday sales or exclusive one-day deals during the year to bring people into the online or brick-and-mortar marketplace.


Business Management at West Virginia State University

Marketing is one of the most important components of a successful business. West Virginia State University’s fully online B.S. in Business Administration: Management provides you with the skills needed to take a leadership role in today’s business environment. The challenging curriculum trains you in key business areas, including marketing, finance, accounting and information systems.

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