Borden’s Original Marketing Mix


The 12 Component Marketing Mix

Neil Borden, of the Harvard Business School, was the first to document the concept of a marketing mix, way back in the 1950s. At that stage, the marketing profession was still considered to be art, not science, and in his paper, it compared a marketer to a chef in a restaurant that had to work with the various ingredients of marketing to produce the perfect “recipe” for the organization.

Borden’s marketing mix was developed in a period of manufacturer-based marketing – therefore it takes a very “physical goods-centric” approach to marketing.

Over time, his list of marketing ingredients would be refined into the marketing mix of the 4P’s (for marketing physical goods) and of the 7P’s (for marketing services), and in more recent years a modern marketing mix view as proposed by Philip Kotler.

Borden’s original marketing mix

The 12 components/elements of the original marketing mix are:

  1. Product planning
  2. Pricing
  3. Branding
  4. Channels of Distribution
  5. Personal Selling
  6. Advertising
  7. Promotions
  8. Packaging
  9. Displays
  10. Servicing
  11. Physical Handling
  12. Fact Finding and Analysis

borden's marketing mix

Comparing the original marketing mix to the current structure

Product planning

This forms part of the product in both the 4P’s and 7P’s structure. Under this element, Borden also considered the definition and selection of target market – which is now separate to the modern day marketing mix.


This forms part of price in both the 4P’s and 7P’s structure.


Branding is part of the product element in today’s marketing mix.

Channels of distribution

Channels are part of place in modern day marketing.

Personal selling

Selling is part of promotion in the 4P’s and the 7P’s AND would also be part of the people mix in the 7P’s.


Advertising is a key part of promotion in both the 4P’s and the 7P’s.


In Borden’s marketing mix, he primarily referred to trade and sales promotions that this marketing mix element, and therefore forms part of the promotion mix


Although packaging has a promotional role in a store, it forms part of the product mix.


This particular element crosses over two aspects of the marketing mix. Getting the right in-store position is both part of the place mix and would form part of the firm’s trade promotion tactics.


In Borden’s view, servicing would relate to retail and trade support, and therefore both the form of promotion and would need to be executed through the people element of the 7P’s.

Physical handling

Physical handling is part of logistics, which is part of place mix in today’s marketing mix.

Fact finding and analysis

In today’s marketing, fact-finding and analysis are part of market research, marketing metrics and analysis. It is seen as a support and control mechanisms are marketing, BUT is not considered to be a marketing mix component.

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