Marketing Mix: 4 P's Model vs 4 C's Model

Philip Kotler is considered the father of modern marketing. He defines marketing as ‘a social and managerial process whereby individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others’. According to the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing, ‘Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably’. Hence in short, marketing is all about identifying and meeting human and social needs profitably.

Marketing mix is one of the most significant and fundamental development in the area of marketing. The term ‘Marketing Mix’ was developed by Neil Borden who first started using the phrase in 1949. The marketing mix (commonly referred to as the 4 Ps) is a foundation model for businesses. It includes everything the company can do to influence the demand for its product. It can be defined as "a set of marketing actions, tactics, or tools that a company uses to promote or advertize its brand or product in the target market".

4 P’s Model (Product Marketing Mix): Marketing mix is an important tool for creating and maintaining a value-added offer for consumers. The marketing mix refers to four broad levels of marketing decision, commonly referred to as elements of marketing mix, namely: product, price, place, and promotion. The 4Ps model was created by E. Jerome McCarthy and first published in 1960 in his book ‘Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach’. This traditional model of marketing mix is more suitable for product marketing:

1. Product: This includes all activities relating to the product, service or idea to be offered. In the marketing field, a product is something that can be offered to a consumer which might fulfill a need or desire.

A product life cycle is the amount of time a product goes from being introduced into the market until it is withdrawn from the shelf. There are four widely agreed stages of a product's life cycle— introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.

2. Price: This element of marketing mix consists of all activities relating to the price to be charged for the product, service or idea. Thus, in the marketing context, pricing is the method of deciding what a business gets in return for its product or service. Pricing considerations include cost of production, market price, competition, market condition, brand and quality of product.

3. Place: This element covers all activities relating to distribution of the product, service or idea. The distribution network can be indirect where we use intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers or direct where the product is delivered directly to the customer.

4. Promotion: Promoting the product or service is critical so that consumers are made aware of it and influenced to purchase the same. Elements of promotion mix include advertising, publicity, sales promotion and direct selling of a product, service or idea.

7 P’s Model (Service Marketing Mix): The 4Ps were developed at a time when companies were more likely to sell products, rather than services, and the role of customer service was not so well recognized in supporting brand growth. Later in late 1970’s, the need to modify and extend the existing principles of marketing mix was widely acknowledged by Marketers and also suggested by prominent American marketing expert, Philip Kotler. This led to the creation of the extended Marketing Mix (7 P’s Model) in 1981 by Bernard Booms and Mary Bitner who added three new elements to the existing 4 P’s Model. The extended elements are: People, Processes and Physical Evidence. The extension is done to make it suitable for services marketing as the original 4P’s model was more suitable for product marketing.

The basic difference between product and service marketing is that products are tangible, and services are intangible. Tangible products are generally considered to be easier to sell because they can be viewed, illustrated, handled, shown and are also easier for the customer to understand in terms of value or need. Therefore, the goal of your marketing campaign should include identifying the right market for your product and promoting it in such a way that gets the best response from the target audience.

Services, being intangible, can be more difficult to show their value as one cannot see or touch them. The aim of marketing campaigns in this case is to establish good relationships with your target audience, and to grow and build trust.  In service marketing, basically you are selling yourself by creating relations of trust and confidence.  

4 C’s Marketing Model: The 4’Cs Marketing model was developed by Robert F. Lauterborn in 1990. These four crucial factors determine whether or not the marketing of a product or brand is successful. They are: Customer Value, Cost, Convenience and Communication. The difference between 4P’s and 4C’s marketing models is that 4P’s model is more Producer oriented (seller’s perspective), whereas 4C’s model is more Consumer oriented (Buyer’s perspective). Thus, in the client-oriented philosophy of marketing, the four P’s can be translated into 4 C’s of marketing principles as represented below:

There are two 4C’s models within the marketing domain which should not be confused with each other. One model as discussed above relates to marketing mix and proposed by Robert F. Lauterborn. The other 4C’s model for marketing communications was put forward by David Jobber and John Fahy, in their book ‘Foundations of Marketing’ in 2009 discussed the 4C’s model of Marketing Communications. The 4C’s of Marketing Communications are: Clarity, Credibility, Consistency and Competitiveness.

SIVA Model of Marketing Mix: The traditional marketing mix is based on product-oriented approach which revolves around Product, Price, Promotion, and Place (4 Ps).  The S.I.V.A. Model provides a customer-centric model – a modern alternative to the well-known four Ps marketing mix model. It was developed in 2005 by Chekitan Dev and Don Schultz. SIVA stands for Solutions, Information, Value, and Access which accurately reflects the customer-focused strategy that is the need and demand of today’s marketplace.

Self-Check Exercises

1. In Marketing mix, which scope of product supports the element?

Answer: (D) All the above

2. Which of the following is NOT an element of 7 P's of Marketing Mix?

Answer: (C) Plan

3. Which of the following is the characteristics of a Service?

Answer: (C) Intangibility

4.The term 'Marketing mix' was developed by __.

Answer: (C) Neil Borden

5. Select the forms of Promotion Mix from the following: (a) Publicity (b) Sales Promotion (c) Advertising (d) Personal selling

Answer: (D) All the above

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  1. After reading and understanding the whole concept given above, I'm not able to understand what is the relation of these models with library science.
    Plz sir tell me!

  2. After reading and understanding the whole concept given above, I'm not able to understand what is the relation of these models with library science.
    Plz sir tell me!