Whether you’re in a marketing role or not it’s very likely that you’ve heard about  retail marketing mix and the “4 Ps of Marketing.” First proposed in 1960, the 4 Ps are now widely accepted in marketing and business. For years these four elements served as the basis for all marketing plans.


  • Product – the item you’re trying to sell
  • Price – what your customer pays for that product
  • Place – where the customer buys the product
  • Promotion – marketing to create awareness


Of course, just because something works is no reason to leave it alone. The four Ps were developed at a time when marketing and advertising were virtually interchangeable terms. Google “marketing mix” today and you’ll get anywhere from the original four to eight or more Ps. Now at least four new Ps join the original four, with more waiting in the wings.

  • People – those involved in the marketing process
  • Process – how plans are developed
  • Physical evidence – packaging and experience
  • Packaging – how your product is delivered

More Ps

Plans” is not one of the seven, although that would seem to be as important as anything else.


Author and well-known marketer Seth Godin proposed “Purple Cow as another P. A purple cow is a new and remarkable idea, e.g., Starbucks Coffee or the iPhone.

Retail marketing mix isn’t about how many Ps are present.

Now we’re up to 9 or 10 Ps, depending on your perspective. Wait – perspective. Is that number 11? What is the correct number of Ps in your retail marketing mix?


If you’re confused, join the club. But let’s simplify all of this. Retail marketing mix isn’t about how many Ps are present. Retail marketing is the simple act of offering a product or service to someone who wants or needs it.


Really, there are only three Ps that matter: product, people, and problem. But it doesn’t matter how many Ps are in your marketing mix – if your product doesn’t solve a problem for people, then it will perish.