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The 4A’s of Marketing

The 4A's of Marketing

The 4 A’s of Marketing: Creating Value for Customers, Companies and Society

by Jagdish N. Sheth and Raj Sisodia
Routledge; 1 edition (December 21, 2011)

Read the introduction and Chapter 1


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About the book

The authors present a powerful and tested approach that helps managers see a business’s every action through the eyes of its customers. This approach is organized around the values that matter most to customers: Acceptability, Affordability, Accessibility and Awareness. Taken together, these attributes are called the “4A’s.” The 4A framework derives from a customer-value perspective based on the four distinct roles that customers play in the market: seekers, selectors, payers and users. For a marketing campaign to succeed, it must achieve high marks on all four A’s, using a blend of marketing and non-marketing resources.

The 4A framework helps companies create value for customers by identifying exactly what they want and need, as well as by uncovering new wants and needs. (For example, none of us knew we “needed” an iPad until Apple created it.) That means not only ensuring that customers are aware of the product, but also ensuring that the product is affordable, accessible and acceptable to them.

Throughout this book, the authors demonstrate how looking at the world through the 4A lens helps companies avoid marketing myopia (an excessive focus on the product) as well as managerial myopia (an excessive focus on process). In fact, it is a powerful way to operationalize the marketing concept; it enables managers to look at the world through the customer’s eyes. This ability has become an absolute necessity for success in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.

David A. Aaker says

The 4P’s can thankfully be retired as the 4A’s provide a much superior roadmap to delivering great offerings and marketing programs and a framework that will help screen out both strategic and tactical disasters.

David A. Aaker

E.T. Grether Professor Emeritus of Marketing and Public Policy, UC Berkeley. Vice-Chairman, Prophet

More Endorsements

The 4A framework wins on every dimension that matters.
It is dynamic rather than static, active rather than passive, and puts the customer value proposition at the center of the strategy dialogue. Best of all, it engages the entire organization in key marketing decisions.

George Day, University of Pennsylvania


A splendid book for the neophyte and accomplished manager alike.
Meticulously argued and illustrated, this book will make the reader better able to succeed in the knowledge economy and beyond. Two thumbs up!

Richard P. Bagozzi, University of Michigan


A “must-read” for any business that wants to be customer-oriented!
It offers a simple and powerful way for businesses to keep from falling prey to navel gazing.

Ajay Kohli, Gary T. and Elizabeth R. Jones Professor of Marketing, Georgia Tech. Editor, Journal of Marketing


The 4A’s of Marketing represents a long overdue, truly novel framework for thinking about marketing decision-making.
Despite decades of exhortations that companies adopt a more customer-centric stance, the decidedly company-centric 4P’s paradigm has endured. In The 4A’s of Marketing, Professors Sheth and Sisodia creatively convert the 4P’s to the desired customer perspective. Think benefits rather than features: Price becomes Affordability; Place becomes Accessibility; and so forth. The shift in perspective is deceptively simple but profound in its implications for how marketers anticipate the impact of their decisions on the consumer. The 4A’s of Marketing offers a game-changing perspective for the any manager or organization striving to become market-driven and customer-centric.

Richard J. Lutz, JC Penney Professor of Marketing, University of Florida


The 4A’s will rank as an important contribution to marketing theory and practice.
As a long time practitioner of the 4P’s seller-oriented toolbox of marketing, I welcome the more customer-oriented 4A’s toolbox to be employed before undertaking to set the 4Ps. Sheth and Sisodia are to be complimented for their insightful development, application and illustration of 4A thinking. I believe that the 4A’s will rank as an important contribution to marketing theory and practice.

Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University


“Must” reading for every marketer
Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia have teamed up to develop a powerful treatment of customer-centric marketing. Built around the notion that the customer is the dominant actor in most markets, The 4A’s of Marketing identifies four roles of customers to which marketers must respond if they are to be successful. Written in an engaging and highly accessible style, this book is filled with real world examples that illustrate the concepts and ideas it offers. It is “must” reading for every marketer and contains especially sage advice for marketers who want to return the marketing function to a central role in the strategic planning of firms.

David W. Stewart, Professor of Marketing and former Dean, University of California, Riverside. Past Editor, Journal of Marketing and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

Copyright Raj Sisodia. All Rights Reserved.