Marketing is an essential business function: it creates a bridge between an organization and its customers. In our everyday speech, the word marketing is often associated with advertisements and finding innovative
ways of getting people to buy a product or service. However, unit 4 shows students that marketing is much more than that. Effective marketing requires consideration of everything from product quality to consumer
perceptions and increasingly, engagement with people’s everyday lives to uncover needs that customers may not even be aware of themselves.

Both SL and HL students learn the marketing mix of the four Ps—the essential ingredients of marketing planning: product, price, promotion and place (distribution). At HL, this model is expanded to the seven Ps: students also explore how people, processes and physical evidence can be applied to the marketing of services. HL students also examine international marketing in greater depth. This gives them an appreciation for how marketing strategies and practices are both a reflection of and an influence on the culture in which they are applied.

TopicsSL/HL Content
The role of marketing>> Marketing and its relationship with
other business functions;
>> The differences between marketing
of goods and marketing of services;
>> Market orientation versus product
>> The difference between commercial
marketing and social marketing;
>> Characteristics of the market in which an organization operates;
>> Market share;
>> The importance of market share and
market leadership;
>> The marketing objectives of for-profit organizations and non-profit organizations;
>> How marketing strategies evolve as
a response to changes in customer
>> How innovation, ethical
considerations and cultural
differences may influence marketing
practices and strategies in an
Marketing planning (including introduction to the four Ps)>> The elements of a marketing plan;
>> The role of marketing planning;
>> The four Ps of the marketing mix;
>> An appropriate marketing mix for a
particular product or business;
>> The effectiveness of a marketing mix
in achieving marketing objectives;
>> The difference between target
markets and market segments;
>> Possible target markets and market
segments in a given situation;
>> The difference between niche market
and mass market;
>> How organizations target and
segment their market and create
consumer profiles;
>> A product position map/perception
>> The importance of having a unique
selling point/proposition (USP);
>> How organizations can differentiate
themselves and their products from
Sales forecasting
(HL only)
>> four-part moving average,
sales trends and forecast;
>> The benefits and limitations of sales
Market research>> Why and how organizations carry out
market research;
>> methods/techniques of primary market research;
>> methods/techniques of secondary market research;
>> Ethical considerations of market
>> The difference between qualitative
and quantitative research;
>> methods of sampling;
>> Results from data collection.
The four Ps (product, price, promotion, place)>>Product;
>> Price;
>> Promotion;
>> Place.
The extended marketing mix of seven Ps
(HL only)
>> People;
>> Process;
>> Physical evidence.
International marketing
(HL only)
>> Methods of entry into international
>> The opportunities and threats posed by entry into international markets;
>> The strategic and operational
implications of international marketing;
>> The role of cultural differences in
international marketing;
>> The role of cultural differences in international marketing.
E-commerce>> Features of e-commerce;
>> The effects of changing technology
and e-commerce on the marketing mix;
>> The costs and benefits of
e-commerce to firms and consumers

Theory of knowledge—suggested links
• The four Ps and seven Ps frameworks suggest that marketing has four or seven aspects, all of which can be described with a word that starts with a P. How helpful are such analytical frameworks to you as a knowledge-seeker?
• Many ads use scientific language. What does this tell us about the hierarchy of different areas of knowledge?
• The observer effect is a common problem in the social sciences whereby knowledge of being researched influences how people answer questions and behave. What problems does the observer effect create for market research?
• In market research, how might the language used in polls and questionnaires influence consumers and businesses’ conclusions?
• Is it possible to measure brand loyalty?
• To what extent is consumer behaviour rational?
• Is the decision to develop CSR objectives solely a marketing strategy?
• To what extent are marketing practices a reflection of the values of a given time and culture?