4P framework alternative

Case Interview
New answer on Mar 14, 2021
5 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Mar 12, 2021

Hi everyone, do you have an alternative for 4P framework (price, promotion, product, place) when the interviewer asks how to increase volume of sales please? Thank you so much.

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updated an answer on Mar 12, 2021
Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

Quite generic and old-school framework (comparable to Porters 5 Forces, which were already updated to 6 forces in the early 90s). Embedd your thinking along the way of asking yourself questions "What has to be true in order to sell more?"

... key points to touch upon of course are: what clients expect / need / are willing to pay for, what competitors already offer, and how we fit in (eternal love triangle btw clients, us, and the competition).

The 4P framework are just mere tools, at least in my opinion, potentially to be raised when talking about implementation. You d sell yourself short using that. By the way, there are expanded frameworks on this particularly (6Ps, 8Ps) etc, but this misses the point. Identify what needs to be true, what key questions you need to ask, then back up each question with a framework.

What does the clients need? HOW exactly does our product provide VALUE to them?

HOW important is the product to them? What would they be willing to pay for it? Are there any substitutes?

How would they like to structure the payments? I.e. dop they prefer fixed prices, contracts, spot prices, etc.?

What does the competition offer? Do they fullfil the clients needs?

Do we have what it takes to fullfil the clients' needs?

etc. etc.

Then you can back up every Question with specific contents... separately or merged.


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Content Creator
replied on Mar 12, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

It's completely case dependent but here is one option:

Improve Product Itself

How can we make our product better, compared to our competitor's products, in the areas our customers care about?

Drive Demand (Q)

What can we do to promote awareness and desirability in our product? How can we leverage sales channels, customer knowledge, etc. to drive sales.


Are we not getting to potential customers properly?


Can we adjust our price to better target customers?


Some major ways companies boost sales include:

  • SAAS (software as a service)
  • (Relatedly) Subscription revenue
    • Get people onot subscription plans (i.e. Netflix)
  • Behavior-changing "memberships" - i.e. Amazon Prime
    • When people enter Prime membership, they actually actively spend more than they did before
  • Bundling
    • I.e. sell a few things together
  • Radiation
    • Sell products similar to the current one
  • Low-price entry
    • Get someone in with a super cheap/good deal, then, now that you have them as a customer, sell additional, higher-margin products (insurance companies do this, for example)

^lots of depth/complexity to add to the above but this should cover the major causes/buckets

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Content Creator
replied on Mar 12, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

4P is outdated although still relevant if you looking for a very simplistic approach.

Any company that operates in any industry will have following layers:

  • Customers they sell to (B2B or B2C)
  • Channels to sell to those customer (e.g. retail, online etc)
  • Product & Service to sell through those channels to the customer
  • All underlying processes
  • Data to enable the processes
  • Technology/Tools to execute the processes
  • People & Organisation
  • Physical assets (offices, warehouse, stock etc)

To increase sales, work through the layers, pick the relevant ones and provide ideas on what can be done to increase it. Think big & out of the box e.g. A company can create its own licensed training programmes and offer it to the market for a fee (Google, AWS do this today). This can lead to indirect sales of their products/services.

From an outside perspective, Competition is a key layer i.e a company can acquire or merge with competition to grab more sales.

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replied on Mar 13, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

The one you mentioned works and it covers all the generic levers. In a real case situation you want to tailor this to the case context as much as possible. And with that, the question can't really be answered in a generic way.

I feel your 4P framework is bit focused on Consumer Goods. In a real case you should take this and make it specific to the industry the case is about. For example: If you're selling primarily through a sales force that is selling highly complex products or services (think consulting cases), the place is not a relevant discussion - what's more relevant is the regular pipeline review and holding partners accountable for building client relationships.

Other example: If you're selling in an industry where it's common to give massive discounts and prices are basically negotiated on case by case base, the price is not really an issue, but promotions and guidelines for sales negotiations become much more important.

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Content Creator
replied on Mar 14, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hey there!

As it was already mentioned, 4Ps might seem outdated nowadays. In order to create a more accurate picture of the whole situation and include as many factors as possible, you would probably like to use the 7Ps framework. This Marketing mix includes original 4Ps (Price, Placement, Product Promotion) + 3 extra.

People: workers, consumers, producers - how they influence the product

Process: how the client interacts with the company

Physical evidence: what surrounds the consumer at the time of purchasing the service. The physical environment allows you to form the correct image of the company and highlight the distinctive characteristics of the product.

This model could be considered more complete.

If you have any other questions - feel free to reach out,


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Denis gave the best answer


Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews
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