The ultimate guide to marketing mix: 4Ps, 7Ps, 8Ps, 4Cs, 7Cs

What are the variables a company must control béo successfully implement a seo website tổng thể
strategy for each target market ? What does “ marketing phối ” mean, what are its different models và how can it help organizations ?

In this article, you will learn how to use and master a marketing mix to improve your business’ bottom line. This is an evergreen concept in the #MarketingPlan and determines the right company orientation toward a marketplace.

Let’s get started !

Table of contents


The marketing mix is the pillar of a marketing strategy and consists of a series of tools to guide a company through the ups and downs of its industry.

It drives decision making during the whole process of bringing a sản phẩm or service Khủng the market .

There are many models of marketing phối that have followed end phút giây .

Let’s see what they are & how they have evolved .

The first Model was presented in Basic marketing : a managerial approach by American marketing professor và author, Edmund Jerome McCarthy, in 1960 .

McCarthy classified various marketing activities and grouped them under four dimensions:

  1. Product ;
  2. Price ;
  3. Place ;
  4. Promotion .

That’s why it is called the 4Ps of marketing mix.

The image below depicts the 4P s of marketing set according phệ the earliest formulation of McCarthy .

4Ps of marketing mixThis scheme breaks lao dốc the 4P s of marketing set according phệ Edmund Jerome McCarthy earliest formulation in Basic marketing : a managerial approach .


Product is what satisfies consumers’ needs and wants. It can be tangible (an actual product) or intangible (a service, ideas or experiences): what is being sold?

As you can see from the elements listed in the image above, it groups all the marketing decisions connected Khủng the aspect, kiến thiết và characteristics of a sản phẩm / service .

What are the main components of a hàng hóa ?

Marketing and management of Kotler and Keller has identified five components that characterize a product.

The five product levels modelAccording phệ Marketing & management of Kotler và Keller, a hàng hóa is composed by five elements : potential sản phẩm, augmented hàng hóa, expected hàng hóa, actual sản phẩm và core .

The five product levels model gives an idea of how much a company can improve a product:

  1. The potential product is what the product can become in the future. It includes all the upgrades and modifications that a business can make to increase its life;

  2. The augmented product represents all the additional services and goods like installation, complementary products, after-sales or customer service, warranty, shipping, credits…;

  3. The expected product represents the benefits and features the consumer expects. It changes according to each individual’s perception;

  4. The actual (or generic) product is the basic item with essential features. This element is fundamental for startups, because in their early stages they must generate profit as soon as possible and might not have time or resources to develop a full and accessorized product. In this case, it’s called minimum viable product (MVP): a simple version with just enough features to satisfy early consumers and provide feedback for future improvements. Examples of variables can be the product’s quality, brand, design, packaging, characteristics…;

  5. The core need and benefit is the main reason why a consumer should buy the product and represents the fundamental need or want to satisfy.

Let’s consider a khách sạn : the core is represented by a place lớn rest or sleep ; the actual hàng hóa can be towels, a bed, a bathroom và a closet ; the expected hàng hóa means taking for granted the presence of clean sheets và bathroom, a soft mattress & so sánh on ; the augmented sản phẩm can be the Wi-fi, a không tính tiền bản đồ of the town or room service ; finally, the potential sản phẩm can be made by placing mới ra treats for guests in the rooms, including a spa chăm sóc sức khỏe và làm đẹp or a thể hình và so sánh on .

The same scheme may be shrunk in three parts và adapted for services :

  1. Delivery process: customer role, time, staff… ;

  2. Supplementary services: invoicing, order taking, exceptions, information, consultancy, safekeeping…;

  3. Core service: it is the principal, problem-solving benefit customers seek.

In 1999, Christopher Lovelock and Jochen Wirtz grouped the best facilitating and enhancing elements to service delivery in the Flower of Service model which is described in their book Services marketing.

The Flower of ServiceThe Flower of Service according Khủng Jochen Wirtz : a core sản phẩm surrounded by cluster of supplementary services .

Facilitating elements :

  • Information guides consumers in the purchase process and educates them on sales conditions, terms of use, pricing and other useful details needed for a mindful purchase.

  • Order taking is a critical contact phase between company and consumers, because it represents how the company fulfills transactions (quality of the experience during the transaction process). It includes constant feedback on transaction progress, questions or other problems. If a customer is left without feedback, they will soon become frustrated;

  • Payment is the transaction itself and determines when a prospect becomes a client;

  • Billing must be clear, precise and sent on-time. People want to know how, when and what they are paying for.

Enhancing elements :

  • Consultation includes all the distinguishing characteristics of a proper tailored consultancy: consumers want to buy expertise, knowledge and a quality experience;

  • Hospitality stands for the refreshments and comfortable waiting area, and all those attentions necessary to make customers feel welcomed;

  • Safekeeping represents a business capability to keep customers’ records safe and private. A safekeeping failure can compromise the trust between seller and buyer;

  • Exceptions are also critical in services, because they make clients feel special and increase their loyalty/bond to the brand.

What’s one of the most critical aspects bự consider in the hàng hóa dimension of a marketing set ?

A fundamental factor that marketers should consider is managing their product/service through its life-cycle.

The product life-cycle theory was formulated in 1966 by American economist, Raymond Vernon, who addressed US exports in an article called International investment and international trade in the product cycle.

According to this theory, a product/service has a limited life and its sales go through different stages of ups and downs. For this reason, offerings require distinct marketing, production, HR and financial strategies based on their specific life-cycle phase.

The product life-cycle curveThis graph represents the life-cycle of a sản phẩm. It is divided in 5 stages : development, introduction, growth, maturity và decline .

This theory breaks xuống dốc a sản phẩm / service life-cycle in five stages according phệ the revenue generated kết thúc thời gian :

  1. Development: companies develop new products and services all the time, but only a small percentage reaches the market after the validation stage;

  2. Introduction: the offering is promoted and consumers become aware of its existence. Revenues are still low, but they are going to grow exponentially in the next phase;

  3. Growth: the demand and awareness grow. Sales increase on par with profits and production costs decrease. Competitors enter the market with their version of the product/service;

  4. Maturity: the offering is now well known, the demand tends to stabilize and sales slow down. The industry is characterized by a thick competition which pushes the company to decrease prices in order to maintain the leadership. The market saturates and the company must activate some differentiating strategies to acquire new consumers. According to Marketing and management of Kotler and Keller, it can expand the market (market modification), change or improve the quality, features or style of the product/service (product modification), and edit non-product-related elements such as communication, price and distribution;

  5. Decline: as soon as the offering becomes obsolete, sales and revenues drop till it’s not convenient to continue making the product/service anymore.

This theory should make marketers recognize that people have different readiness to try new products/services. In 1962, the American communication theorist and sociologist Everett M. Rogers described the timing for innovation adoption in his work Diffusion of innovations.

Product adoption curveThis graph represents the adoption curve as Everett M. Rogers described. The diffusion of innovation is composed by innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority & laggards .

The graph above is the product adoption curve which divides adopters in five groups:

  1. Innovators are pioneers who love new ideas and test new products for a cheaper price. They allow companies to discover offering’s weaknesses;

  2. Early adopters are visionaries or opinion leaders who seek new technology to acquire a drastic competitive advantage. They are usually less price-sensitive and appreciate personalized solutions and superior customer support;

  3. Early majority is composed by pragmatists who buy a product/service only when its benefits are proven. They represent the mainstream market;

  4. Late majority is made up by conservatives who avoid risk and prefer buying for a cheaper price;

  5. Laggards are skeptics who resist the innovation and prefer convenience rather than novelty.

Companies must design a specific marketing strategy for each group of consumers, if they want to move their innovation through the product/service life-cycle.

Diffusion of innovations implies another method lớn tailor a marketing strategy for the purchasing process. It is called AIDA & works for both products & services .

The AIDA modelThe AIDA acronym according Khủng Elias St. Elmo Lewis : Attention, Interest, Desire & Attention .

In this article, I present an overview of this model, because in my digital marketing strategies I use the inbound methodology which is more complete and appropriate. The AIDA model is a brief version of the inbound methodology.

The AIDA acronym was first presented in 1898 by the American advertiser Elias St. Elmo Lewis who worked Khủng improve advertising strategy và, in one of his writings, stated ( source : The development of the hierarchy of effects : an historical perspective by Thomas E. Barry, 1987 ) :

The mission of an advertisement is phệ attract a reader, so sánh that he will look at the advertisement và start bự read it ; then phệ interest him, so sánh that he will continue mập read it ; then béo convince him, so sánh that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement .

The AIDA Model is often used as a framework for landing pages, sales pitch và other strategic assets, và it follows these rules :

  1. Attract attention ;
  2. Maintain interest ;
  3. Create desire ;
  4. Take action .


Price is the cost to buy a product/service. For a consumer, it represents the money to spend for attaining certain benefits; for the company, it is the money asked for the offering.

Price also refers Khủng consumers ’ perceived value và includes the sacrifice that they are willing phệ make in terms of thời gian or effort .

Price is critical for a marketing mix, because it is the only element that generates profit. All the other marketing mix dimensions produce costs.

There are many factors that affect price, some of the internal ones are:

  • Fixed costs ( they don’t vary based on the production output, e. g. : lease payments, insurance, property taxes, interest expenses, depreciation … ) ;
  • Variable costs ( they vary based on the production output, e. g. : employees, raw material, packaging … ) ;
  • Companies objectives ;
  • Production capacity ;
  • Product life-cycle ;
  • Brand .

Instead, external influencing factors can be:

  • Market coverage ( percentage of the market covered with a marketing strategy ) ;
  • Market chia sẻ ( resulting percentage from the difference between a company’s sales và the total amount of hàng hóa / service sold in the segment ) ;
  • Competition ;
  • Target segment ;
  • Economic context ;
  • Demand ;
  • Laws, regulations và taxes ;
  • Substitutes ;
  • Distribution channels ( presence or absence of intermediaries ) ;
  • Culture .

At this point, the most important question should be what a company wants bự achieve with its pricing policy .

Some of the pricing strategies could be:

  • Maximizing profits ( revenues – costs ) ;
  • Short-term survival : a company tolerates losses for a short period in order béo chiến thắng the competition or resist from an attack of competitors ;
  • Maximizing lợi nhuận ( profit ÷ costs ) ;
  • Status quo : keeping the market stable ;
  • Preventing mới nhất entrants : avoiding competitors bự enter the market ;
  • Cash flow ;
  • Keeping a high unique of the sản phẩm / service .

There are two variables that allow marketers béo phối a price : value & costs. A traditional approach considers the production costs as a starting point lớn make the price .

Cost-based pricingA cost-based pricing starts from evaluating the production costs .

The cost-based pricing is good for commodities, but it can be counterproductive for different types of offerings. Let’s say that a company calculates the overall costs from making to selling a product/service and then adds a markup to make a profit. How can it know if the consumer would have paid more for that offering? Is the markup enough or could it be raised?

You see, this model generates the risk to underestimate the price.

The value-based pricing is the opposite and starts from the value perceived from consumers.

The value-based pricingA value-based pricing starts from evaluating the value that consumers attribute Khủng a certain sản phẩm / service .

How much is the consumer willing mập pay for the offering ?

This model represents a modern approach to pricing and it is actually very effective for most products and services. Starting from the value attributed by the consumer allows companies to generate the right margins from the demand. Nevertheless, it requires an excellent knowledge of the target audience.

What is a pricing strategy ?

Given a specific audience, a pricing strategy is a marketing action taken to set the best price for a product or service.

There are mainly five pricing strategies :

  1. Price skimming: companies set a premium price to attract high-end consumers who don’t mind dealing with expensive prices;

  2. Penetration pricing: companies set low prices to penetrate a competitive market. It can also be used to attract consumers who seek convenience;

  3. Prestige pricing: it is a psychological strategy based on the principle that people make assumptions on the quality/price ratio and don’t buy if the price is too low. It happens with luxury brands, just think of a $10 Gucci bag: it doesn’t have value at all. People buy expensive and luxury brands to stand out and be recognized as members of a certain exclusive social class/category;

  4. Competition-oriented pricing: companies study and apply competitors’ price;

  5. Psychological pricing: companies set prices slightly lower the rounded number (e.g.: all prices that end with 9).


Promotion includes all kinds of advertising, programs and activities (online and offline) to foster a product/service. It varies according to the segment served and marketing strategy adopted.


Place is a marketplace where people can buy a product/service. It can be physical, like a store, or intangible, like an e-commerce, what matters is that it provides access to the product/service.


7Ps, 8Ps, 4Cs AND 7Cs

About twenty years later, the community of economists và theorists started thinking of a more complete Mã Sản Phẩm bự suit the complexity of services. The 4P s of marketing phối is too simple bự serve this purpose .

How have the 4P s of marketing phối changed kết thúc giây phút ?

The 7Ps of marketing mix

In 1981, the professors Bernard Booms and Mary Jo Bitner published Marketing strategies and organizational structures for service firms where they presented the 7Ps of marketing mix.

This updated phiên bản added tam dimensions béo the original 4P s : people, process & physical evidence .

People are fundamental in delivering any product or service. They represent everyone involved during the buyer’s journey, buyer themselves included: employees, partners, customers and even the relationships established among them.

Mood, character & behavior adopted during a service delivery affect the chất lượng perceived by the customer. If the offering expects phệ satisfy more consumers simultaneously, they can influence their experience with each other. Just think of being at the cinema. If people start talking during a movie, you get upset & can’t follow the story anymore .

Some of the variables that affect this dimension are :

  • Employees recruitment & training ;
  • Uniforms ;
  • Scripting ;
  • Queuing systems & wait management ;
  • Handling complaints & understanding service failures ;
  • Managing mạng xã hội interactions .

Processes are all the mechanism, planning and decision making that ensure a smooth delivery of a product or service. Some of the variables included are:

  • Designing processes ;
  • Blueprinting ( or flowcharting ) : it enables marketers mập identify bottlenecks & liên hệ point with customers ;
  • Deciding between standardization versus personalization ;
  • Locating fail-points, critical incidents & system failures ;
  • Monitoring và tracking service performance ;
  • Analyzing resources requirements & allocation ;
  • Creating & measuring key performance indicators ( KPIs ) ;
  • Aligning with guidelines ;
  • Preparing operational manuals .

Finally, physical evidence represents all the environmental elements that surround consumers during a service/product delivery. They are characterizing factors that can positively or negatively impact the delivery experience. For example: interior design, colors, layout, equipment, furniture or facilities.

This dimension also comprehends the experience before & after a transaction. For instance, invoices và souvenirs are physical evidence underlying the fact that the sản phẩm or service was delivered .

Booms & Bitner stated that :

The physical evidence is the service delivered & any tangible goods that facilitate the performance và communication of the service .

It is the proof that a seller has provided ( or not ) what a customer was expecting. A physical evidence of an actual hàng hóa is the good itself .

According phệ this framework, here are some variables :

  • Facilities ( furniture, equipment, access … ) ;
  • Spatial layout ( functionality, efficiency … ) ;
  • Signs ( directional signage, symbols, other signs ) ;
  • Interior kiến thiết ( furniture, màu schemes, layout … ) ;
  • Ambient conditions ( noise, air, temperature … ) ;
  • Design of material ( stationery, brochures, menus … ) ;
  • Artifacts ( souvenirs, mementos … ) .

The 8Ps of marketing mix

According phệ Marketing và management of Kotler và Keller, marketing set needs 8P s lớn represent the modern panorama .

This Mã Sản Phẩm is based on the concept of holistic marketing ( if you visit this links, you’ll find the detailed mô tả tìm kiếm at the kết thúc of the article ) : an interdisciplinary và interconnected subject founded on four pillars :

  • Relationship marketing ;
  • Integrated marketing ;
  • Internal marketing ;
  • Performance marketing .

The 8Ps of marketing mix starts from the 4Ps model and adds people, processes, programs and performance.

The 8Ps of marketing mixThis scheme breaks xuống dốc the 8P s of marketing set và represents an updated & enhanced phiên bản of the traditional 4P s Model .

I have already explained what people & processes are, but what about programs & performance ?

Programs represents the integrated marketing aspects. Specifically, it enables marketers to consider a company’s overall portfolio of marketing activities before starting a new one. In this way, all marketing strategies and systems are integrated and supported by each other. This whole of marketing activities, offline and online, can successfully pursue multiple goals of the company.

If you want bự further this point, you can find an in-depth documentation by following the links on “ holistic marketing ” that I’ve inserted before & read under the paragraph titled Integrated marketing .

Use the same links Khủng discover more details about the performance dimension of marketing phối và read under the tiêu đề Performance marketing .

In brief, performance represents all the financial and non-financial outcomes of a company. It represents implications that go beyond the classic revenue or profit concepts, in fact it includes elements such as:

  • Profitability ;
  • Brand equity ( monetary value of the brand itself ) ;
  • Customer equity ( total monetary life-time value of a company’s customers ) ;
  • Social responsibility ;
  • Legal responsibility ;
  • Ethical responsibility .

The 4Cs of marketing mix

In 1990, the professor of advertising Robert Lauterborn shared a different approach to the 4Ps of marketing mix. In his work New marketing litany: four Ps passé: C-words take over published by the broadsheet newspaper Advertising Age (now become Ad Age), he presented the 4Cs of marketing mix: consumer, cost, convenience and communication.

Comparison of 4Ps and 4Cs of marketing mixComparison of 4P s & 4C s of marketing set .

Consumer means that companies should sell what prospects need and want. The starting point is the target audience and a preliminary in-depth study is necessary to make the best offering.

Cost represents the total cost of ownership for a product or service. The price is only a part of the costs borne by consumers. Lauterborn explains how other factors like time for accessing the offering (cost of time), effort for changing or implementing the new product/service or the choice for not selecting competitors’ products/services affect the purchasing cost.

The cost of conscience và guilt are also interesting .

The cost of conscience comes into play when consumers buy something that has social, ethical or other broader implications.

For example, a lot of consumers love IKEA’s fast-furniture : lượt thích fast-fashion in the clothing industry, it offers cheap furniture that can be easily changed as soon as another trend pops up. The fast-furniture culture has a huge negative impact phệ the environment. Jennifer Nini, activist & founding editor of Eco Warrior Princess has raised a legit question :

Can a company that relies on a low-cost, high-volume business Mã Sản Phẩm that encourages mass-consumption ever be sustainable ?

In fact, IKEA is contributing mập mass-deforestation & other mạng xã hội và environmental problems. As Ellen Rupell Shell wrote in her book Cheap : the high cost of discount culture :

IKEA designs béo price, challenging its talented European đội phệ create ever-cheaper objects, & its suppliers, most of them in low-wage countries in Asia và eastern Europe, Khủng squeeze out the lowest possible price .

This is the cost of conscience .

The cost of guilt strikes every time a brand evokes guilt feelings in consumers’ minds. It’s not always a negative message, indeed marketers can present their offering as a solution for people’s guilt. An example is when parents feel guilty for not treating their children when they ask for candies at the supermarket.

Convenience considers all the factors affecting the ease of buying and finding a product/service, and retrieving information about it. With Internet and other hybrid purchasing models, place is almost irrelevant.

Communication underlines a two-way nature of dialogue between a business and consumers. While promotion starts from a company with an outbound approach, communication is cooperative and represents a much broader range of interactions between seller and buyer.

The 4Cs of marketing mixThe 4C s of marketing phối according lớn Robert F. Lauterborn ( 1990 ) .

An additional adaptation of this model to digital marketing is the 6Cs of marketing mix consisting of the 4Cs plus content and community.

Content and community stand for the great importance of feeding a strong and passionate community with relevant content.

The 7Cs Compass Model

In 1973, the professor Koichi Shimizu presented an alternative Mã Sản Phẩm mập the 4C s of marketing phối & finally depicted it in his first edition of Advertising theory & strategies published in 1989 .

Shimizu’s 7Cs Compass Model is a framework tailored to master co-marketing variables.

What is co-marketing ?

Co-marketing is a collaborative model of marketing where multiple companies can work together on a project and pursue a common goal. They unite to market, promote and communicate a shared offer in different channels (it can be a piece of content, a co-branded product/service or something else).

It differentiates from co-branding, because the latter is when companies combine their expertise or product/service characteristics to make a superior offering.

Shimizu co-marketing refers lớn a much broader range of activities và they include co-creative & commensal marketing .

Co-creative is a marketing strategy that involves consumers in the creative process. For example, companies can give away beta versions of their product/service and improve it with customers’ feedback. In the entertainment industry, co-creative is the marketing strategy adopted by all UGC (User Generated Content) platforms.

Commensal marketing or symbiotic marketing is when companies are able to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with other organizations or consumers. This concept was first explored in 1966, in Symbiotic Marketing published by Harvard Business School and written by Lee Adler who stated:

Symbiotic marketing is an alliance of resources or programs between two or more independent organizations designed Khủng increase the market potential of each .

For example, in 2001 the cereal giant Kellogg và Müller joined forces & launched a mới ra dairy hàng hóa : a yogurt with additional cereals. Customers could open the yogurt, reverse the cereals inside & eat a mới ra delicious set .

This joint venture represented a great chance for both brands mập expand their market. In fact, according lớn Marketing Week, Ken Wood ( the then managing director of Müller ) released :

We are delighted bự have formed this partnership with Kellogg. This is a major opportunity for both companies mập significantly increase their markets .

In 1986, Journal of Marketing issued Symbiotic marketing revisited by P ” Rajan ” Varadarajan & Daniel Rajaratnam where they listed the different modes of symbiosis :

  • Equity position ;
  • Licensing ;
  • Technology exchange ;
  • Joint venture ;
  • Consortium ;
  • Joint sản phẩm development ;
  • Joint công nghệ development ;
  • Marketing agreements ;
  • Manufacturing agreements ;
  • Joint hàng hóa / service marketing ;
  • Shared distribution facilities ;
  • Joint sales organization ;
  • Joint service ;
  • Tie-in advertising và / or sales promotion ;
  • Franchising .

The 7Cs Compass ModelThe 7C s Compass Model of Koichi Shimizu .

Based on Koichi Shimizu, the 7C s of Compass Model are :

  1. Corporation: intended as a whole of competitors, organizations and stakeholders (C-O-S);

  2. Commodity: co-created goods and services as I have already mentioned above (co-marketing);

  3. Cost: as Robert Lauterborn defined it in his 4Cs of marketing mix;

  4. Channel: marketing channels needed to transfer a product/service from the point of production to the point of consumption. They can consist of people, organizations and activities;

  5. Communication: as Robert Lauterborn defined it in his 4Cs of marketing mix;

  6. Consumer: like the cardinal directions N, S, E, W, they are needs, security, education and wants;

  7. Circumstances: external uncontrollable environmental elements surrounding a company. The first is national (or international) environment which refers to political, legal and ethical factors. Then, there are social and cultural, economic and weather.

This marketing phối was criticized for including consumers, because they represent the purpose of marketing while all the other dimensions are tactics .


A marketing set highlights the key dimensions lớn control in order bự make a successful marketing strategy .

But what actually is a marketing strategy và how can it be built ?

The image below represents the main four marketing strategies.

Examples of marketing strategiesMarketing strategies examples based on the competitive advantage of the demand và supply : cost leadership, differentiation, focus on costs, focus on differentiation .

The first row of the image above represents the competitive advantage ( C.A. ) from the supply point of view : low costs và consumers ’ perceived differentiation. The first column depicts the competitive advantage from the demand : industry & segment. In this scheme, industry is intended as a wider portion of the market compared bự a segment .

Cost leadership

When a company targets the whole industry and keeps low costs (for both sides: seller and buyer, as described in the 4Cs of marketing mix), the resulting marketing strategy aims at cost leadership.

A cost leader is very efficient in manufacturing và logistics, it works with high volumes & standardized products. Usually, it has a preferential access mập raw material & keeps strong relationships with suppliers. It gives incentives according lớn quantity-based objectives & focuses on low prices .

In a few words, a cost leader only uses one marketing mix.

Its targets are :

  • Taking control of the whole market ( mass marketing ) ;
  • Limiting the differentiation ;
  • Producing high quantities ;
  • Having low margins ( besides, there is no other choice ) .

How can a cost leader minimize the 5 Porter’s forces ?

A cost leader is not influenced by suppliers thanks mập its high quantities of raw material purchased. It is not affected by substitutes thanks mập its great sales volume & preferential access Khủng raw material. It continuously tries mập decrease costs và offer its products for a cheaper price .

Examples of cost leaders are Walmart, Auchan and IKEA.

Recapping the key elements of a cost leadership strategy :

  • Logistic và production efficiency ;
  • High volume of standard products ;
  • Preferential access Khủng raw material ;
  • Bonuses on quantity target achievements ;
  • Focus on low cost & prices ;
  • Aiming at mass market ;
  • Poor differentiation & markup .


A differentiating marketing strategy aims at increasing brand’s esteem and making unique products/services. Companies which embrace this approach usually invest a lot of money in R&D (research and development) and marketing communication. They must be creative, keep innovating and focus on low quantities, but higher margins.

Differentiators must have multiple marketing mix according to the specific target audience and offering.

How can a differentiator minimize the 5 Porter’s forces ?

A differentiator offers unicity & doesn’t copycat competitors. It sells a distinct & excellent experience for which consumers are willing Khủng spend more. Finally, it generates high brand loyalty .

Examples of differentiators are Starbucks or Apple .

Recapping the distinguishing factors of a differentiation strategy :

  • Product unicity ;
  • Prestige perceived ;
  • Excellent communication ;
  • Consistent innovation ;
  • Low quantity, but high markups .

Focus on costs and focus on differentiation

The last row of the image represents two marketing strategies based on additional focus on the competitive advantage .

If a cost leader aims at a specific segment, it must be a master in lowering its costs in order to succeed (e.g. organic food, energy drinks and the like). That’s why “focus on costs”.

Instead, a “focus on differentiation” strategy aims at conquering a niche, so the offering must be special and its marketing mix totally tailored.

Ansoff’s growth marketing strategies

The mathematician và business manager Igor Ansoff published his book Corporate strategy in 1965 where he explained basic growth marketing strategies .

Igor Ansoff's corporate marketing strategiesIgor Ansoff’s corporate marketing strategies : market penetration, market development, hàng hóa development, diversification .

Market penetration is the strategy to adopt when a company wants to acquire more customers in the same market by using the same product/service.

It can lower the prices và generously invest in advertising, quảng cáo và communication. For these reasons, a market penetration strategy requires a huge amount of money .

A market development strategy is when a company wants to attack new markets with the same product/service.

The most common tactics are :

  • Partnering with companies which operate in a different industry, but target the same or similar audience ;
  • Extending the use of the sản phẩm / service phệ broaden the target audience .

A company can grow in the same market by making new products with a product development strategy. It has to invest in R&D and continuous field tests to validate new products.

Usually, the mới ra creations are strictly connected with each other, because they have lớn target the same nhóm of people. They can be either brand mới ra or upgrades of existing products .

An example of hàng hóa development can be a đầy đủ line of supplements for running. You can have solutions for energy recovery, endurance, training & so sánh on. Plus, you can let consumers choose between capsules or powder .

A differentiation strategy is when a company wants to expand in different markets with new products. Besides the R&D investments, it has to study a new target audience, acquire additional expertise and make personalized offerings.

This strategy is risky và expensive, that’s why companies can create joint ventures or merges mập compensate the lack of skills, knowledge & equipment .

An example can be Dollar Shave Club which started by selling only razors & now, it covers the whole range of male beauty care : razors, shaving accessories, creams và butters, deodorants & wipes, & shower soaps .


Personalization & differentiation always lead lớn multiple marketing set. Instead, approaching the market without considering consumers ’ preferences requires just one .

What marketing strategy bởi you consider more appropriate for our modern times ? A startup should have one or multiple marketing set ? Tell me yours in the comments below, I’m curious Khủng hear you out !

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