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Developing a Market Orientation

As a mnemonic for ‘product’, ‘price’, ‘place’ and ‘promotion’, the four Ps are often referred to as the marketing mix or the marketing program,[34] represent the basic tools which marketers can use to bring their products or services to market. They are the foundation of managerial marketing and the marketing plan typically devotes a section to each of these Ps.


During the 1940s, the discipline of marketing was in transition. Interest in the functional school of thought, which was primarily concerned with mapping the functions of marketing was waning while the managerial school of thought, which focussed on the problems and challenges confronting marketers was gaining ground.[35] The concept of marketers as “mixers of ingredients,” was first introduced by James Culliton, a Professor at Harvard Business School.[36] At this time theorists began to develop checklists of the elements that made up the marketing mix, however, there was little agreement as to what should be included in the list. Many scholars and practitioners relied on lengthy classifications of factors that needed to be considered to understand consumer responses.[37] Neil Borden developed a complicated model in the late 1940s, based upon at least twelve different factors.[38]

The original marketing mix or the 4Ps

Inspired by the idea of marketers as mixers of ingredients, Neil Borden one of Culliton’s colleagues at Harvard, coined the phrase the marketing mix and used it wherever possible. According to Borden’s own account, he used the term, ‘marketing mix’ consistently from the late 1940s.[39] For instance, he is on record as having used the term, ‘marketing mix,’ in his presidential address given to the American Marketing Association in 1953.[40] In the mid-1960s, Borden published a retrospective article detailing the early history of the marketing mix in which he claims that he was inspired by Culliton’s idea of ‘mixers’, and credits himself with coining the term, ‘marketing mix’.[41] Borden’s continued and consistent use of the phrase, “marketing mix,” contributed to the process of popularising the concept throughout the 1940s and 50s.