Marketing was ultimately
built on the basis of the 4P’s which addressed the key components needed to
market a product. However, after many years, the 4P’s may not be so relevant in
helping to do so, due to its incapacity to adapt when attempting to effectively
market a service. As a result, extensions of the marketing mix such as the
introduction of the 7P’s of marketing appear to be more preferable to many,
particularly, for these companies offering services. While this may be the
case, it is a common belief that the 4Ps remain a solid baseline for organisations
to utilise when marketing a product, despite the need for additional
considerations when marketing a service.

Jobber (2001) debated
that the 4Ps assist and contribute in a positive manner through acting as a
‘memorable and practical framework for marketing’, which is undoubtable, as the
very concept of marketing has become ‘synonymous’ with the 4Ps. The marketing
mix succinctly addresses constituent parts necessary for deliberation when
marketing a product, consisting of product, place, promotion and price. In
doing so, it is believed that the most significant factors are addressed
accordingly, which may be true for products, but has limited application to
service marketing. This is unfortunate considering the ever-growing sector of
services being delivered within todays society.

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Initially, the growing
dissatisfaction for the use of the 4Ps arose due to its over simplistic nature
and lack of completeness. Brunner (1989) argued that in order to be able to
market services, the 4Ps must be modified and ‘extended’ to a degree which
compensates for the deficits within the current marketing mix. Further evidence
for this is argued by Constantinides (2006) who suggested that the 4Ps are
‘inadequate to address specific marketing situations like the marketing of
services.’ Indication of this is exemplified through its failure to incorporate
a huge component part of any organisation, which includes the people. This predominantly
affects organisations who offer services, where the employees are relied on to
essentially sell and provide the service (McGrath, 1986).  Doing so, customers then have a tendency to associate
the employees with the type of experience they felt they had with the service,
for instance, the experience of flying with an airline alongside air hostesses.
 The behaviour and mannerisms of the
personnel at an airline all help to market the experience of using their
service to travel. The flight attendants’ proficiency to warmly approach and
welcome customers aboard the flight also contributes in being able to put
disconcerted passengers at ease. Simultaneously, by providing all customers
with food and assistance during late hours of the night exhibits their inherent
inclination to assist and provide for the passengers aboard. For this reason, Gummesson
(1994) describes the people aspect of the marketing mix as a ‘major marketing
parameter’ due to these aspects helping to shape the way that the service is
viewed in the public eye. The individuals in the service are characteristically
just as important as the other 4Ps, as in many instances, a product or service
can simply not be marketed without the assistance of employees who help to
encourage a more profitable outcome. Therefore, it is vital that organisations
do not underestimate the importance of hiring the best employees, considering
the wider impact they have upon the overall marketing campaign. Additionally,
it also demonstrates the inequitable nature of the 4Ps as a marketing model,
which reduces its credibility and application to all areas of marketing, and
more importantly, service marketing.

The 7P’s also integrate
the concept of ‘physical evidence’ as another important factor to consider
whilst marketing any product or service. Mcgrath (1986) suggests that location
is particularly important as part of the user experience, due to its ability to
demonstrate the quality of the service that will be provided through its
presentation. Aesthetics including the décor within the premises, as well as
the hygiene are both factors which provide the customer with an initial impression
of the company. This may be particularly relevant and vital for businesses
offering services such as those in the food catering sector. Customers are
unable to see what the service is like before physically purchasing anything,
which therefore makes it even more important for businesses to market their
service through ‘physical evidence’ of what they have to show for themselves.
In doing so, it grants the customer with more faith to put into the service,
and in many ways, exemplifies the way the business realises the importance of
the overall customer experience. It appears evident that physical evidence
should not be dismissed, considering the importance it plays in really helping
to gain loyal customers as well as making a lasting impression, which the
current use of 4P’s does not address.

Process is also
considered part of the 7P’s, which is typically overlooked and considered as
rather ‘trivial’. However, it is clear within every service that customers
search for a sense of fluidity in the way that it is run. By this, it includes
aspects such as ease of access to the service, as many businesses happen to be
telephone-based. Therefore, if customers are unable to access the service
promptly, this will only push customers away, believing their custom is not
valued enough. This consequently also has a lasting impact upon future
prospective customers who may have heard about the poor process. If a business
is not running smoothly, customers will immediately be led to believe that the
company is incapable of meeting their needs effectively, and once again, will
have a negative lasting impression which is discouraging of the service.
Ultimately, process should be considered as one of the most important and
relevant elements in the marketing mix, as without an efficient process of
service, customers will be discouraged to value it at all.

Although these 3
additional Ps are very relevant, it may still be argued that while they are not
explicitly included in the title of the 4Ps, they are still equally considered.
Zineldin et al (2007) argues that ‘people, processes and physical evidence can
be discussed under product’. This is because each of the 4Ps are believed to be
broad enough to elicit further considerations from marketers, especially when
marketing a service. This may be due to the fact that the service itself is
considered to be the ‘product’, therefore still incorporating the additional
3Ps to the current 4 of the marketing mix.

In addition to the 7P’s
of marketing, Robert Lauterborn had also proposed the introduction of the 4C’s
of marketing (Marketing Mix, 2017). Like the 7P’s, the model highlights the way
that the current nature of the 4P’s is simply too broad to commendably take
into account all areas when marketing a product or service. Robins (1991) implied
that the 4Ps were internally marginalised, suggesting that it simply did not
place enough importance upon the consumers but upon internal business strategy.
Whereas the 4Cs did so, in exemplifying this ‘external’ manner in marketing
through vigilant reflection of the consumer. It suggests that there are other
areas to also consider, with particular emphasis placed upon ‘consumer wants
and needs’. It aims to advocate that prior to marketing a product or service,
the organisation must identify whether the initial creation of the product
would assist in responding to current consumer demand. Therefore, this requires
the business to delve deeper into consumer buying trends in order to be able to
better market the product, thus looking into the marketing strategy in further

Kotler(2008) therefore
proposed that the 4Ps can be substituted by an alternative ‘C’. For instance,
‘product’ is considered to be ‘customer solution’ which suggests that when
purchasing the product or service, consumers are either finding their solution
to a current complication they may be having, or purchasing something of real
worth to them. Rather than predominantly focusing on the design of the product
as in the current marketing mix, it addresses whether it provides a solution to
a customer’s requirement.

‘Price’ is deemed as ‘customer
cost’. The current marketing mix customarily concentrates on price sensitivity
and competitors pricing, whereas customer cost provides a broader insight upon
the costs to the consumer of utilising and disposing of the product which are widely
disregarded. In considering these additional factors, it provides a greater and
more comprehensive awareness of the overall costs, not only to the business but
also to the consumer.

As opposed to ‘place’,
the third ‘C’ is referred to as ‘convenience’ which may be critiqued for being
indistinguishable, in that it also aims for the product to be accessed by
customers in a straightforward and convenient manner, whether that be through
alternative distribution channels, or in stores etc. The applicability and
importance of convenience/place is evident in its inclusion in both marketing
systems, as this may be argued to be the only component of the 4Ps which
exclusively concentrates on the consumer at such an extent.

Lastly, in place of
‘promotion’, ‘communication’ is regarded as the final ‘C’ of the marketing mix,
which also highlights the value of smooth communication between the business
and the customers themselves in evidence of the inherent objective of being
able to maintain strong consumer relationships.



Due to similarity in the
nature of the 4Cs to the 4Ps, it may be disputed that it is illogical to have acquired
the 4Cs as an entirely new marketing mix to be used by marketers in place of
the 4Ps. In contrast, it is critically noted that the 4Cs are irrefutably much
more customer orientated, in that each ‘C’ stresses the importance and value of
the customer to the product/service which is being marketed. Whereas, the 4Ps
often steer marketers away from the real significance of the consumer, and
alternatively deflects attention in the direction of more trivial internal details
regarding the business.

Although the 4Ps do play
a helpful role in eliciting the thought process of marketers using the model,
it insufficiently addresses all aspects of marketing to be credited as a
universal marketing strategy and refutes its claim to be relevant for both
products and services. This in itself appears to be an issue due to the
ever-growing number of services in todays society. Without an elaborate
framework for marketers to utilise whilst marketing a service, it may be argued
that there may be a chance of incompleteness and may result in a marketing
campaign which has not considered vital factors which require seeing to. For
this reason, 4Ps may be deemed as ‘outdated’ to an extent for todays marketers
to use, though it may not be considered as completely dismissed as it still
provides a good outline which remains effective for many of todays biggest
businesses in the world. However, the lack of elaboration within the framework
is what makes it concerning, as excluding such important factors such as
people, physical evidence and process, may result in a partially effective
marketing strategy not only for services but also for products.



















1)      A. J. Magrath, When marketing services, 4 P’s are not
enough, Business Horizons, 29(3) 1986, pp 44-50

2)      C.L. Goi, (2009) A review of Marketing Mix: 4P’s or
More? International Journal of Marketing Studies

3)      D. Jobber, (2001) Principles and Practice of
Marketing, London, McGraw-Hill Education

4)      E. Constantinides (2006) The Marketing Mix Revisited:
Towards the 21st Century Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management,
22:(3-4), pp407-438

5)      E. Gummesson (1994) ‘Making Relationship marketing
operational’, International Journal of Service Industry Management, 5(5),

6)      F. Robins (1991), ‘Four Ps or Four Cs or Four Ps and
Four Cs’, MEG Conference. As seen in
E. Constantinides (2006) The Marketing Mix Revisited: Towards the 21st
Century Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, 22:(3-4), pp407-438

7)      G. C, Brunner (1989), ‘The Marketing Mix: Time for
Reconceptualization’, Journal of Marketing Education, 11(1), pp. 72-77

8)      M. Zineldin, S. Philipson, (2007) “Kotler and Borden
are not dead: myth of relationship marketing and truth of the 4Ps”, Journal of
Consumer Marketing, 24(4), pp.229-241

9)      P. Kotler, G. Armstrong, (2008)  Principles of Marketing, Pearson Prentice
Hall, pp47-53

10)  The Marketing Mix, 2017, http://marketingmix.co.uk/ (Accessed 18/12/2017)






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