Marketing mix

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The four instruments of the marketing mix: product policy, price policy, distribution policy and communication policy

With the marketing mix , marketing strategies or marketing plans are implemented in concrete actions. The four classic instruments of the marketing mix are the so-called "four P" - English for Product, Price, Place, Promotion (in German this corresponds to the product , price (or conditions or contracting) , sales and communication policy ) and "four C" - English for commodity ( goods ), cost ( costs ), communication ( communication ), channel (channel) in the 7Cs Compass model.

This classification was first proposed by Jerome McCarthy around 1960.

Some authors add further "Ps" such as people / personal , processes or physical facilities (physical environment) to this definition, especially for service marketing , which has to be different from classic product marketing in many respects.


  • a highly innovative mobile phone (product) that is sold at high prices (price) only via a mobile phone provider (distribution) and is advertised through intensive public relations work, television advertising and websites (communication), or
  • a standard margarine (product) awarded the test “very good”, which is sold cheaply (price) as a private label in the grocery store (distribution) and is occasionally advertised in sales flyers in the market or via in-house distribution ( promotion ).

The classic 4 pillars (1960)

The classic functions of the marketing mix as supporting pillars of parts of corporate management on the basis of any relevant micro- and macroeconomic determinants

Product policy (Product)

The products or services that a company offers represent the core of all corporate activities and form the basis of every entrepreneurial success. The product policy comprises all considerations, decisions and actions that are directly related to the combination and variation of the properties of the product or service. This primarily includes product range planning , quality and service, but also packaging , marking and product design as well as other product-related services . The key categories of product policy and product management are innovation management, management of established products and brand management.

Two aspects are of particular importance for product innovations: the breadth and depth of the range. Companies that offer a wide range of products are also referred to as generalists. The offer depth, on the other hand, describes the different types and variations of a certain offer. Companies that focus on a broad range are generally referred to as specialists , while those with a very broad range are referred to as full-range providers.

Price Policy (Price)

The pricing policy includes all decisions and agreements on the remuneration of the service offer, on possible discounts as well as delivery, credit and payment conditions . In addition, there are measures to implement price policy goals on the market.

As a central aspect, it can be stated that the price is always based on the market, which consists of the components supplier , customer and competitor . However, in addition to the inevitable market orientation, costs should also be taken into account, as companies depend on making a profit with their products and services .

The two main design options for the entrepreneur with regard to pricing policy are the price level and price differentiation .

Communication (PhD)

Communication politics is a separate area of ​​the marketing mix . This means target and action decisions for the uniform design of all information relating to the product (corporate communication and corporate image ). The main instruments of communication policy are advertising , sales promotion , personal sales , sponsorship , trade fairs , events and public relations . The communication policy is also influenced by the communication between customers.

A well-structured and explicitly well thought-out communication policy forms the basis for customer trust and satisfaction. The primary goal of the marketing mix is ​​long-term customer loyalty. The target group can be specifically addressed via the channels of social media , PR, TV advertising, affiliate marketing and individual areas of search engine optimization. The networking of the channels with each other strengthens the communication policy and shows the potential of the marketing mix.

Distribution Policy (Place)

All decisions and actions of the company in connection with the path of a product or service from the provider to the end consumer are made under the distribution or sales policy . In retail, for example, the question arises as to whether the products are sold in a classic sales outlet ( PoS , shop) or whether the goods are brought directly to the customer (e.g. mail order companies that send the goods directly to the customer's home) . The different possibilities of the distribution policy are not mutually exclusive. There are often several options in parallel. The long-term planning and implementation of the sales policy including the selection of sales channels and sales partners as well as the design of customer relationships takes place within the scope of the sales strategy .

Four Cs in 7Cs Compass Model (1973)

After Koichi Shimizu developed a 4Cs model in 1973, it was expanded into the 7Cs Compass model in 1979.

7Cs Compass Model

  • (C1) (Corporation) Association - The core of the four Cs is the company (also non-profit organizations ), as this is where the marketing decisions are made. In a company, competitors, the organization and stakeholders play an important role that must be taken into account.

The next four elements in the 7Cs Compass Model are the four Cs (commodity) goods , (cost) costs , (communication) communication , (channel) channel as a correspondence to the four Ps. The 4Cs are used to define the perspective of the customer or consumer taken.

    • Product → (Commodity) goods
    • Price → (Cost) costs
    • Doctorate → (Communication) Communication
    • Place → (Channel) Channel
  • (C2) (Commodity) Goods: the goods and services that customers or consumers need to satisfy their needs.
  • (C3) (Cost) Costs: the costs of purchasing and other cost aspects that are relevant for customers or consumers (e.g. social costs ).
  • (C4) (Communication) Communication: not limited to pure marketing communication, but includes all communication that reaches the customer or consumer.
  • (C5) (Channel) Channel: Distribution channels through which the customer or consumer can receive the goods and services.

The factors for the consumers correspond to the cardinal points.

    • Norden / North = needs
    • West / West = Wants in the sense of specific needs, which a certain commodity is expected to satisfy.
    • South = security
    • Osten / East = consumer education (engl. Education)
  • (C7) (Circumstances) environment

Describes various, uncontrollable environmental factors that surround the company. Here, too, the factors are named according to the cardinal points.

    • North = national and international ( political , legal and ethical ) environment
    • West / West = weather
    • South = social and cultural environment
    • East = (Economic) economic environment

The 7Cs Compass Model is criticized for the fact that it brings little new compared to the 4Ps, except for a changed perspective. The involvement of the consumer in the marketing mix was viewed particularly critically, since the consumers represent one goal of marketing, while the other elements represent tactics.

Four Cs by Lauterborn (1990)

Robert F. Lauterborn proposed a Four Cs classification in 1990, which is a more consumer-oriented version of the four Ps. The attempt is made to better reflect the development from mass marketing to niche marketing.

(Consumer) consumer

A company can only sell what the consumer specifically wants to buy. The company should therefore investigate which products are in demand by the consumer in order to offer them and to turn the consumer into a buyer.

(Cost) cost

The price is only part of the total cost for the consumer to satisfy his want or need. Non-direct cost considerations are also included in the total costs. These are, for example, the cost of the time it takes to select and purchase it, the cost of conscience in consuming it (immediate consideration and evaluation of the impact of the use by the consumer), or even the cost of guilt "for the children not to." act "(long-term consideration and evaluation). It reflects the total cost of ownership.

The costs are not exclusively related to the consumer himself, but can also take other aspects into account from the individual perspective. The consumer's individual overall view of costs influences their purchasing decision.

(Communication) communication

Compared to classic brand advertising, communication with the consumer is necessary. The aim should be to enter into a dialogue with the consumer and to positively charge their perception of the brand, product or service so that this also has a positive influence on the purchase decision.

In this sense, communication encompasses any form of communication between the company and the consumer, including all classic advertising and communication channels.

(Convenience) convenience

In the age of the Internet, catalogs, credit cards and headphones, consumers are neither limited in space nor time in order to satisfy a want or a need. Consumers want to use these possibilities accordingly in order to find and buy products and services in the most convenient way for them.

The other "Ps" (2006)

Since the establishment of the classic marketing mix, different focuses on special forms of management have become modern, the marketing mix has also evolved. Some of these currents have been maintained in various industries, partly outside the conceptual sovereignty of marketing, partly as an integrated model. Originally the 4Ps were expanded to 7Ps and currently represent 10Ps in the context of the components.

In the 1970s, pricing policy in particular was given a lot of space. This was followed later by the “ shareholder value ” approach , which has since been replaced in the scientific literature by a more holistic view of all legitimate interested parties . Currently (as of 2006) there is a tendency towards the establishment of individual “ balanced scorecards ” for the marketable management of companies. Three additional " Service Ps " have been added especially for the service sector . These are process, people and physical evidence.

In addition to the classic functions of the marketing mix, such models contain other Ps:

  • Processes - see process management
  • Packaging - see packaging
  • Personnel, People or Persons - see personnel policy
  • Politics - see lobbying in politics
  • Physics - see corporate identity
  • Physical Evidence - (store design, etc.)
  • Personal Politics
  • Physical Facilities - equipment policy (e.g. physical equipment of the building, reception, etc.)
  • Public Voice - appearing in “ blogs ”, “ communities ” and through multipliers
  • Product Positioning - see Positioning (Marketing)
  • Pamper - the focus on the wellbeing experience of (existing) customers. The research by Reichheld / Sasser has shown the profitability of a long customer relationship.


Individual evidence

  1. 7Cs Compass model (1979) in Japan ( memento of the original from October 5, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Jerome McCarthy: Basic Marketing: A managerial approach. 1960.
  3. See, for example, The new marketing mix ( Memento from December 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 92 kB).
  4. See Christian Homburg, Harley Krohmer: Marketing Management: Strategy - Instruments - Implementation - Management. 3. Edition. Gabler Verlag, 2009, Chapter 1.1: "Introduction - Markets as reference and target objects in marketing", p. 13.
  5. ^ Heribert Meffert: Marketing. 10th edition. Wiesbaden 2008, p. 478.
  6. ^ Anne Grabs, Karim-Patrick Bannour, Elisabeth Vogl: Follow me! Successful social media marketing with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Co. 1., corrected reprint of the 5th, updated edition from 2018. Rheinwerk, Bonn 2019, ISBN 978-3-8362-6231-6 . (With index)
  7. See Andreas Eggert, Georg Fassot: eCRM. Electronic customer relationship management. Schäffer Poeschel Verlag, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-7910-1831-0 ; Online Marketing Whitepaper. P. 24. (2013; PDF; 1 MB).
  8. ^ Christian Homburg et al: Sales Excellence. 4th edition. Wiesbaden 2006, p. 27 ff.
  9. ^ Koichi Shimizu: Advertising Theory and Strategies. 1st edition. Souseisha Book Company, Tokyo 1989, ISBN 4-7944-2030-7 , pp. 63-102. (Japanese)
  10. ^ Koichi Shimizu: Advertising Theory and Strategies. 18th edition. Souseisha Book Company, 2014, ISBN 978-4-7944-2132-6 , pp. 63-102. (Japanese)
  11. ^ Koichi Shimizu: Symbiotic Marketing Strategy. 4th edition. Souseisha Book Company, 2003, ISBN 4-7944-2158-3 , pp. 25-62. (Japanese)
  12. ^ Brian Solis: Engage !: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web. John Wiley & Sons, 2011, pp. 201-202. (English)
  13. ^ B. Lauterborn: New Marketing Litany: Four Ps Passé: C-Words Take Over. In: Advertising Age. 61 (41), 1990, p. 26.
  14. ^ P. Kotler, K. Keller: Marketing and Management. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA 2006.
  15. ^ R. McLean: The 4 C's versus the 4 P's of marketing. October 19, 2002.
  16. Custom Fit Online. Retrieved from
  17. ^ Don E Schultz, Stanley I Tannenbaum, Robert F Lauterborn: Integrated marketing communications. NTC Business Books, 1993, ISBN 0-8442-3363-3 .
  18. Service Marketing Mix (Eng.)