What are the 4Ps of Marketing?

Changes in the World of Marketing – Non-Scaling Marketing

During the twentieth century, marketing has become one of the biggest industries in the world. And, at that time, the marketers came to the realisation that they had to market to scale. They would make consumer categories by using specific patterns. Most commonly, they would divide their consumers by income, gender, demographics, and other statistics.

In turn, that approach has led to the creation of various marketing theories that revolve around categorisations. Those theories delve deep in how marketing experts can use the categories to their advantage. One of the most popular concepts is the idea of 4Ps of marketing.

The most famous proponent of the 4Ps of marketing is Philip Kotler, the renowned author and marketing expert. His accomplishments have made him a common name in the classrooms of business schools. Namely, you can’t learn about mass marketing strategies without hearing of that man.

But in the 21st century, marketing is changing its form once again. Instead of focusing on mass marketing, companies are finding success by focusing on smaller audiences. They are using precise targeting and trend spotting to advertise to members of certain niches and micro-communities.

That transformation is the result of the development of modern technologies. Namely, artificial intelligence with the power of big data analytics can greatly enhance the effect ads have on people. Furthermore, the existence of social media is changing the game on another level. But let’s go back and cover the 4Ps of market fragmentation.


What are the 4Ps of Marketing in the New Age?

For the sake of clarity, we should separate the two prominent ages of modern marketing. We should call the current age the Age of Market Fragmentation. In this age, the norm in marketing is targeting niche audiences. Professional marketers can’t rely on old consumer theories and buying behaviour markers to make their calls.

For that reason, the marketing experts of the 21st century have to find a new way to approach the traditional thinking of 4Ps of marketing. But in order to find that new approach, we have to understand each and every element of the 4Ps of marketing.


The very first element we should talk about is the first element of the 4Ps, namely — the product. In the age of market fragmentation, the product is going through constant changes. Nowadays, the providers are combining the modern approach with the approach of the previous era. Namely, instead of just creating different features for different niches, they are creating separate products.

Take for example the niche of phone applications. Instead of creating big apps that can handle everything, they are creating a specific app for every niche. They are creating micro-apps for specific consumer segments.

Providers are no longer creating one-size-fits-all products on the same scale as during the previous era. Some companies are even going so far as to treat each customer as a separate market segment. And they are capable of doing so thanks to the power of artificial intelligence and big data.

To put it simply, the age of mass marketing is over. Instead, marketers are offering a higher level of personalisation in product creation.


The second P of 4Ps is going through similar changes. Namely, the prices are becoming one of the dynamic aspects of the market. Marketers are creating dynamic pricing algorithms that separate consumer segments and figure out which prices should be offered to which segments. The prices can change depending on the conditions on the market or the needs of the sellers or their consumers at any moment in time.

Take for example the surge pricing that various apps such as Uber are using. They are basing their prices depending on the fluctuations in the supply and demand in real time. Additionally, big online retailers are using a number of variables to determine their prices.


Similarly to the other aspects of the marketing mix, the promotion element is going through some noticeable changes. Marketers have to follow specific conditions of the market and use the appropriate advertising channels.

For that reason, we can actually notice important differences in the methods advertisers use with different channels of marketing. TV ads are nothing alike online ads, and mobile ads have their own attributes that set them apart from print ads. In fact, those differences can be so significant that laypeople might not realise that they are looking at ads for the same product, but on different outlets. Each channel and each segment of the market gets an entirely different advertisement method.


Marketers still have to pay attention to determinants of the previous era. But focusing on linguistic and cultural issues is still important. However, advertisers have to tailor their offer in accordance to their respective niche and micro-marketing needs.

These changes are very noticeable when it comes to global brands. While they are trying to keep the global brand image, large companies are still adapting to local conditions. That has brought about the new approach to marketing known as the “glocal” approach. One of the companies that use the local approach is Coca-Cola. With a bit of research, you can easily see that the way Coca-Cola products are being sold around the world varies depending on the local customs and market preferences.


In the End

All of this points to a single conclusion — strategies have to evolve. It is no longer possible to rely on the strategies of the previous era.

The basic principles do remain the same, but everything about them is changing quickly. And the only way to keep up with those changes is to leverage the power of technology.

In fact, it is time for companies to start adapting their marketing strategies to the new technologies. From what we can see, we can expect that the market fragmentation goes on. And the more the market fragments, the less valuable the old approach becomes. So learning the new rules of marketing is becoming a crucial part of surviving as a company of the 21st century.

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