Do the 4 P’s of Marketing Still Matter?

Examining the Relevance of Traditional Ideas in Digital Marketing 

In the 1950’s, a Harvard professor named Neil Borden first coined the concept that a successful marketing campaign was made up of four aspects: product, price, place, and promotion. He called this theory the 4 P’s of Marketing. For the next fifty years, these words would be taken as gospel by legions of marketers, from junior associates all the way up to creative directors.

Now, the world around us is constantly evolving. Almost everyone carries around a supercomputer in their pocket and the sum of human knowledge is available at the tap of a few buttons. How much of an idea that was relevant fifty, twenty or even ten years ago is still worth remembering today? Can traditional marketing concepts still be applicable in a field that is unrecognizable to the way it operated previously? Are the 4 P’s of Marketing still an effective way to cut through the clutter and noise to reach your audience?


The product is the foundation of any marketing campaign. In digital marketing, businesses must ensure that their product is relevant and meets the needs of their target audience. They must also ensure that their product is differentiated from their competitor’s products. This is one “P” that will never change. Marketing exists because of products; no matter if they are goods, services, experiences or something else entirely.

In the digital space, high-quality photography is just one way to showcase your product. Your business can use product demos, explainer videos, and customer reviews to showcase your product’s features and benefits.


Pricing is another essential aspect of marketing, both traditional and digital. It is important to price products and services competitively to ensure that they are accessible to the target audience. Pricing strategies like discounts, coupons, and promotions can help to increase sales and customer loyalty. 

With the help of e-commerce analytics, you can set up your website to use dynamic pricing, which allows you to change prices based on demand, competition, and other factors. This is an advantage digital has over traditional, because the price—and promotion of that price—can be adjusted at the click of a button.


Of the 4 P’s of Marketing, “place” is the aspect that has changed the most dramatically since Borden first wrote them down. At that time, “place” referred to brick and mortar stores and mail order catalogs. It was imperative that if you wanted people to buy your product it had to be close by.

“Place” still refers to where businesses sell their products or services, but they are no longer bound by the limits of physical space. It is important to choose the right digital platforms to reach your target audience. Businesses can use social media platforms, online marketplaces, and e-commerce websites to sell their products. It is imperative to ensure that your online presence is consistent across all channels. Equally important for e-commerce businesses hoping to be successful in this competitive market is to make sure you have a strong supply chain and shipping options. Otherwise, you might find potential customers opting for different companies like Amazon.


Last, but not least, comes promotion. Just as with traditional marketing, promotion is the most visible aspect of digital marketing. It involves creating awareness of the product or service through various channels such as social media, email marketing, search engine optimization, and online advertising. 

Businesses must create compelling content that resonates with their target audience. Fortunately, there are many tools available that can show if your content is connecting. Previously, marketers would have to place large ad buys in print or on radio and television. Now, with the help of social media and e-commerce platforms, marketers can get real-time feedback on the success of their campaigns and discover what tweaks can be made to make them even better.

Still Need Help with the 4 P’s of Marketing?

If you’re looking to expand your digital marketing knowledge, Meerkat Media Group has you covered. With experience in e-commerce, hospitality, food, and more, our team is here to help you reach the audience you want in the way you want. Contact us today to take your business to the next level.