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The 7 P's of Marketing (Services Marketing Component)


Marketing decisions generally fall into the following seven controllable categories:



Physical Evidence



Place (distribution)




The term "marketing mix" became popularized after Neil H. Borden published his 1964 article; The Concept of the Marketing Mix Borden began using the term in his teaching in the late 1940's after James Culliton had described the marketing manager as a "mixer of ingredients". The ingredients in Borden's marketing mix included product planning,  pricing,  branding,  distribution channels, personal selling,  advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing,  physical handling,  and fact-finding and analysis.  E.  Jerome McCarthy later grouped these ingredients into the four categories that today are known as the 4 P's of marketing, depicted below:

Product Decisions

The term "product"  refers to tangible,  physical products as well as services.  Here are some examples of the product decisions to be made:

  • Brand name
  • Functionality
  • Styling
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Packaging
  • Repair s and Support
  • Warranty
  • Accessories and services


Price Decisions

Some examples of pricing decisions to be made include:

  • Pricing strategy (skim, penetration, etc.)
  • Suggested retail price
  • Volume discounts and wholesale pricing
  • Cash and early payment discounts
  • Seasonal pricing
  • Bundling
  • Price flexibility
  • Price discrimination


Distribution (Place) Decisions

Distribution is about getting the products to the customer. Some examples of distribution decisions include:

  • Distribution channels
  • Market coverage (inclusive, selective, or exclusive distribution)
  • Specific channel members
  • Inventory management
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution centres
  • Order processing
  • Transportation
  • Reverse logistics


Promotion Decisions

In the context of the marketing mix,  promotion represents the various aspects of marketing communication,  that is,  the communication of information about the product with the goal of generating a positive customer response. Marketing communication decisions include:

  • Promotional strategy (push, pull, etc.)
  • Advertising
  • Personal selling & sales force
  • Sales promotions
  • Public relations & publicity
  • Marketing communications budget


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