The 5Ps of Marketing - everything you need to know to achieve success

    #1 product adoption platform. Quick setup, lasting engagement.
    Start for free >
    See how UserGuiding can help you level up your product experience.
    Talk to an expert >
    #1 product adoption platform. Quick setup, lasting engagement.
    Join 20k+ product people >
    Ready to Boost
    Product Adoption?
    Meet With Our
    Onboarding Experts

    Home / Growth / The 5Ps of Marketing - everything you need to know to achieve success

    You have a business plan in mind, but something doesn't feel quite right.

    Or you might have the business live already, but you still feel like it needs a bit more improvement.

    And you don't know where to look...

    Let me help you.

    Let's start with a quick history lesson.

    In the 1960s, a marketing professor at Michigan State University and author named Edmund Jerome McCarthy popularized this idea, and separated all marketing activity into four main categories - which was not easy to do in his time, and called it The Marketing Mix Strategy.

    The first 4Ps of marketing he suggested were Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. With the advancements in technology, and simultaneously rising customers' demands, there has been a new addition to the list: People (or personalization).

    If you ask,”What do those Ps of marketing even mean?” I got you covered.

    Let's begin with the essentials:

    What Are The 5Ps of Marketing?

    The 5P's of marketing is a concept that divides a marketing plan into key marketing elements: product, price, promotion, place, and people. These factors help businesses to make spot-on decisions about their product, and have a successful marketing strategy in hand. 

    what are the 5ps of marketing

    Let's dive into each P separately, see how they could help you grow your business, and earn yourself a respectable position in the marketplace.


    The first factor, Product, refers to all of your services, products, and all features of it. In other words, everything that you are putting out on the market comes together under this category.

    A product does not necessarily have to be sold in a store. This product can be a tangible item, or any kind of digital service. As long as your product creates value in exchange for a price, you have to pay great attention to its details so that it can find itself a place in the market.

    The key features of a Product are being demanded, or creating a demand.

    And these are the factors of a product that creates this demand:

    • Functionality
    • Quality
    • Appearance
    • Warranty
    • Packaging

    If you have a digital product, the packaging would be the landing pages and onboarding process.

    So, after you have decided on the key factors of your product, next comes:


    The Price of a product can be a tricky thing to set. That's because there are lots of factors that you need to take into account while reaching a final decision about a pricing strategy, some of which being:

    • The manufacturing (or supply) costs
    • Target market average
    • Your advertising costs
    • Seasonal discounts
    • Credit terms

    For digital marketing and digital services, you should take competitor research and demand range into account as well while deciding on a pricing model.

    While entering a market for the first time, companies tend to start with a lower price level to create a particular demand and let potential customers try their product. While this is mainly considered a good practice, you shouldn't forget that you would have to compensate for the unreceived profit in order to keep the supply (or developing) chain working.

    Lowering prices temporarily is one thing, but what will actually create a solid customer base is:


    The Promotion factor is basically how you create marketing campaigns, ads, and any other promotional strategy.

    Filtering and narrowing down your target audience for promotions is beneficial in many ways, the primary being lower costs. Also, targeting an uninterested audience might even backfire, and end up in getting you bad reviews from unqualified people.

    The median you are going to use for promotions is also of utmost importance. You can use:

    • Sponsorships
    • Banners/Catalogs
    • Digital advertising
    • Public Relations activities
    • Promotion messaging/emailing

    Also, along with choosing the correct median, you have to make sure that your product is accessible to the target market. The accessibility, along with the customer service you provide, will turn into your social proof - which is basically how much people like and recommend you.

    This last part of promotion is in correlation with:


    The name says it all. Place is where, to whom, how, and when you will sell the product.

    In other words, take everything that we talked about promotion, and apply it to the product rather than the advertising.

    If you have a B2C business, do you have an office, a shop, or are you only available online? If you are online, what platforms are you going to use? Will you have your website? How will the distribution and logistics work?

    If you have a B2B business, will you travel door-by-door or have a website? How will you find leads, and when will you reach out to people? Are you going to be sales-based, or customer-based?

    To correctly pinpoint the perfect place for you and your product, you could pinpoint the competitors' methods and places. However, if you are creating a new market, you should probably focus more on the promotion rather than the place, and have a budget separated for place testing.


    And the newest member of the marketing mix family: the people.

    How are people different from promotion and place?

    Well, the people do not only consist of your customers. Your team makes up this ”people” part as well.

    Remember what I said about customer service and social proof in the promotion part? Here we can go into detail about that part.

    Customer expectations go higher than product features. They expect to be treated well, they expect you to be available 24/7, and they expect you to be flexible about your product/service.

    And last but not least, the synergy within your team. You must take into account that your staff's psychological and emotional environment directly affects your business. Incompatible team members and unqualified managers could bring you down - even if your product/service is irreplaceable.

    How To Effectively Use the 5P's

    I hear you saying, "So what does all this mean?"

    Don't worry; I never understood anything without an example in school. I can relate. And I came prepared.

    So now, let's see how the 5Ps help in real-life examples.

    Let's say that you have an app idea in mind, an online marketplace for unique sneakers. Then, let's put this idea in life, and into the online shopping market together, with the help of the 5Ps.

    • Product: The reason you chose an app that brings sneakerheads together is that you know a sneakerhead, and they do their buying and selling via eBay and in-store trading. Online marketing is developing, and each unique product has its own marketplace nowadays. However, there is an opening for rare sneakers. So basically, you're filling a space in an existing market with high demand potential.
    • Price: Your app won't sell the sneakers; the users will. So your job with pricing concerns the commission that you'll get.
      What could be a fair rate that will keep you in business, pay the developers' salaries, compensate for your advertising expenses, and still seem fair for sellers and buyers? Will you take a commission from the buyers, or sellers?
    • Promotion: You've decided on a price. And you are almost ready to launch the app. But you will have to create a demand prior to going live to be able to set expectations. Where will you announce that you have the perfect app for sneakerheads?
      You could use Facebook ads, and target those who do related searches. You can contact Amazon sellers, eBay profiles that focus on this job. You could even put banners near stores that buy and sell unique sneakers or do sneaker trading.
      But, wasting banners on unrelated neighborhoods, hoping that ”someone might be interested” will only leave you in tears. 
    • Place: Just like your promotion strategy, where will you place your app? Google Play Store and App Store are two guaranteed places, but will you have a desktop app as well? Sneaker people tend to use their phones more than desktop, so do you think investing in a desktop app will be worth it?
    • People: The people. You already have a customer base in mind. And you know what sneaker people want. It would help if you now built a team that can connect with them. Keeping the team too formal won't be necessary, and making sure that you have people with solid nerves on your side will be beneficial.


    After writing this article, I wonder if I really should get into building this idea of a sneaker platform.

    Because thanks to the marketing mix system, or the 5ps system, now I have a clearer idea in mind as opposed to ”yeah, let's build a sneaker app, it'll work out somehow.”

    And you are free to steal the idea as well. Just please let me know if it works out.,

    And also, let me know about your experiences with the 5Ps of the marketing system. Did it work out for you as well?

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Who invented 5Ps of marketing?

    Neil Borden, a professor at Harward University, first introduced the Marketing mix in his article ”The Concept Of The Marketing Mix.” This idea was later adopted and popularized by a marketing professor at Michigan State University and author named E. Jerome McCarthy, which called it ”the 4Ps of marketing.”

    Why are the 5Ps of marketing management important?

    The 5Ps, Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People, are a business strategy to help marketing efforts become more efficient by correctly determining target customers and creating a solid base to convert them into loyal customers.

    Join 1000+ teams
    driving product success at speed

    14-day free trial, no coding needed, 30-day