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Great marketing takes goods and services from original idea to the end-user. Whatever the life changing widget is that you have decided the world needs, you will need to understand there are four basic elements to your marketing strategy.

The 4 P’s

According to, there are four basic elements to successful marketing:

  1. Product – This is the item that you believe the world needs. You have spent the time identifying a need, developing a strategy to produce or start to fulfill the need, and you are putting the production or operation into motion.
  2. Price – You have determined a price of the item or service based on a cost including the costs of marketing, producing, managing, and selling said item or service.
  3. Place – How this product will be be delivered or made available to the end-user.
  4. Promotion – How the end-user will know about the product or service.


We all use computers; you’re reading this on one, I’m writing this one. The technologies and education to build these devices are incredible and involve the research and experimentation of some of our greatest minds. Yet, they are basically a box of wires, plastic, and metal. How does the product transcend its physical nature?

Apple provides us with an example of a product that while ground breaking to some extent, is still a box of the above. Originally, though, there was a need to be filled, and computation of large amounts of numbers and translation of those computations into a language we could understand. Sexy. Yet, an understanding of need and want led to marketing that transcended the nature of the product.


Establishing your price is based on the whole of the cost of your product plus the intangible factors influenced by the want of the consumer. Great marketing can deliver a higher return for your product than the cost-plus profit would normally draw. Fashion gives us an example in Timberland boots. Originally intended as a boot for the worker or outdoors enthusiast, fashion trends took the pedestrian boot from the woods to the streets. The same trends brought new prices and profits to the company.


Putting your product into the hands of your consumer or your service into action involves a strategy for delivery and display. Storefront or warehouse, box store or boutique, directly or by contract, the product has to be displayed for purchase or worked on in front of your potential buyer. Making the most of that place or connection is vital. Nike used their Nike stores as a place for inspiration and to display their innovation. The stores are more than retail outlets, they are designed for high-touch attention and personal purchasing experiences, utilizing effective store fixtures. They are what the outer limits of a place can be like.


To some, this is the heart of marketing. The ability to take the mundane and have future end users believe that a most basic product is something they don’t just want, but need, at any cost. Diamonds are a fantastic example. By creating a market plan based on emotion and tying it to an intimate ceremony, the diamond was lifted from being an insignificant and abundant mineral to being one of married couple’s greatest assets.

Through the work of N.W. Ayers for De Beers, we see how powerful great marketing can be. Is your idea the next diamond in the rough?

Andy McGowan
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