The marketing mix is a business tool used in marketing and by marketers. The marketing mix is often crucial when determining a product or brand's offer, and is often associated with the four P's: price, product, promotion, and place. In service marketing, however, the four Ps are expanded to the seven P's or eight P's to address the different nature of services.
In the 1990's, the concept of four C's was introduced as a more customer-driven replacement of four P's. There are two theories based on four Cs: Lauterborn's four Cs (consumer, cost, communication, convenience), and Shimizu's four Cs (commodity, cost, communication, channel).
In 2012, a new four P's theory was proposed with people, processes, programs, and performance.
A product is seen as an item that satisfies what a consumer demands. It is a tangible good or an intangible service. Tangible products are those that have an independent physical existence. Typical examples of mass-produced, tangible objects are the motor car and the disposable razor. A less obvious but ubiquitous mass-produced service is a computer operating system.
Every product is subject to a life-cycle including a growth phase followed by a maturity phase and finally an eventual period of decline as sales falls. Marketers must do careful research on how long the life cycle of the product they are marketing is likely to be and focus their attention on different challenges that arise as the product move.
The marketer must also consider the product mix. Marketers can expand the current product mix by increasing a certain product line's depth or by increasing the number of product lines. Marketers should consider how to position the product, how to exploit the brand, how to exploit the company's resources and how to configure the product mix so that each product complements the other. The marketer must also consider product development strategies.