How are the "4 P's" of marketing applied to gas station outlets?
The “4 P’s” of marketing include product, price, place, and promotion.
A gas station has very little control over its main product. The station has the blends of gasoline that its supplier provides. Stations will try at least a little bit (through signs on the gas pumps, for example) to convince customers that their blend of gasoline is in some way superior, but that is not a big part of a gas station’s marketing. For the most part, a gas station has a product that is like every other gas station. Everyone needs the product so this is not a big part of marketing.
Similarly, price is not something gas stations have much control over. They make very low profit margins and their product is homogeneous enough that a station cannot really set its prices higher than those of its competition.
Place is perhaps the most important factor for a gas station. Gas stations near to freeways have an advantage over those that are far from big roads. Gas stations generally try to situate themselves in places where there is a lot of traffic since people will not want to drive far out of their way to find a gas station.
Promotion is probably the second most important part of the marketing mix for gas stations. These promotions will largely take the form of advertisements on reader boards. The gas stations will try to lure people to their station by advertising things that are for sale inside at their convenience store. They will hope that this will get people to come in to their station rather than to some other station nearby.
Place and promotion, then, are the most important of the 4 P’s for a gas station.