Marketing Mix Evolution

Marketing mix is so popular concept in business community. They often talk about it. So if we don’t agree about this concept, we need to know about it. In spite of its deficiencies, marketing mix still to be starting point to talk about business.

Marketing mix concept is breakthrough in business.  It gives us actionable concept to arrange marketing

Before human found marketing concept, include marketing mix, there are two sector in business. Production and sales/distribution. Production almost didn’t think about market like now. Sales sector think how to sell. They didn’t have access to manage production.

The Birth of Marketing Concept

Then Bartel, sales manager of Protect and Gamble found, it is important to prepare before doing sales jobs. Sales jobs are advertising, personal selling, distribution, shipping and so on. Bartel thinks that to do a sales job, he needs to prepare, include production planning. Then he creates a new concept, marketing that more than selling. To do sales job better, it is important to manage production, accordingly.

Bartel idea about marketing is breakthrough. It is multi sector job and makes production do efficient.

Today, almost all company learn the market first, then they produce solution to market. Without knowing the market, we can make product that market refuse. That is suicide for business, because if market refuse our business, no profit.

So it is important to learn about market, their problem, pain and pleasure that they expect. That is source to define value that matter. How to deliver value? Marketing mix is conceptual framework to deliver value profitably. That is important to create sustainable business or maximize profits.

Marketing mix is mixture of important component to deliver something important for market to relieve pain, or get pleasure, and do their job.

Bartel marketing concept have contribution to marketing mix, because marketing mix also have cross sectorial approach like marketing concept. It is not just art of selling. Marketing mix is subject to change.

Neil Borden’s Marketing Mix

Professor Neil Borden, Harvard Business School claim to first used marketing mix term. It is a list of a important element create marketing program. Borden have 12 elements of the marketing mix.

The elements are:

  • Product planning
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Distribution channel
  • Personal Sales
  • Advertising
  • Promotion
  • Packaging
  • Administration of goods
  • Services
  • Handling physical matters
  • Fact-finding and analysis

Check detail of Borden Marketing here.

The Borden marketing mix is not easy to remember, but it open amazing spectrum in marketing activity. Marketing is not just advertising, it is also include production planning. Borden theory uncovers important activity to deliver value to customer or target market. It also gives detail of marketing program.

In the perspective of marketing mix of Jerome McCarthy, we can categorize Borden version like here.

Product = Product planning, Packaging, services,

Price =  Price

Place = Handling physical matter, distribution channel

Promotion = advertising, sales promotion, brand, Promotion

There is Borden element that Jerome doesn’t include. That is fact-finding, analysis, and administration of goods.  That is part of standard management that important also for marketing.

Marketing Mix Jerome McCarthy

Next step after the birth of marketing concept, and also Borden concept of element of marketing, then Jerome McCarthy create popular acronym for marketing mix. That is 4P : Product Price, Place, and Promotion. The acronym is actionable factor in marketing. He is not include external factor in the marketing mix. So if we want to apply marketing mix, we have to consider another component, like politics, economy, and market. That is tell us about opportunity and threat. Then marketing mix make adjustment to environment.

The 4 P is

– Product

 Product is what about  satisfy the needs to target market or group. Product is services or goods to satisfy demand and expectation of market. To identify what kind of product, we must identify life circle of product. So we know, is product in sunrise phase, peak or sunset phase. It also important to consider, give the target market reason, why they choose your product. Is it better than competitor? in what kind, it is better? Service is our help to solve the customer problem. It is maybe consultation, shipping, and so on.

What is product in eyes of customer perception. Is it worth to have, good looking, different than competitor, functional and they can trust?

Before marketing era, how to sell is problem of sales department. In marketing concept, how to sell is also problem of production department also.


Price is value of money that marketer want customer pay. In microeconomic lesson, seller or marketer want high price for the product. Buyer of custumer want low price and get good quality product.

In marketing concept, that is not always true. Marketing  concept use psychology to explain price. Customer sometimes sees high price is mean high quality. So if same product have low price, customer think that is not good quality.


Place is about accessibility. Customer prefers product or service that easy to access. In restaurant business, the four 4 is place, place, place and place. That is because, place is important than other marketing mix.


Promotion tells the value or benefit that you offer. It is also an important marketing mix. Without promotion, we like smile in the dark. Customer is not interested for good product that they doesn’t know.  So promotion is necessary to make customer interested to the product.

McCarthy’s version of marketing mix is easy to remember and famous until now. In addition, Philip Kotler said “4P marketing mix is still king”. That is mean, McCarthy’s version is still king.

Kotler is one who popularizing McCarthy concept. McCarthy propose the concept in 1960 on book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. According to Kotler,

“(The) Marketing Mix is the set of controllable variables that the firm can use to influence the buyer’s response.” These four variables help a company develop a unique selling point as well as a brand image.

Philip Kotler

Another thinker of marketing mix is Bob Lauternborn. His idea change perspective, from seller perspective to customer perspective.

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