As the study of marketing became more prevalent throughout the 20th century, large companies—particularly mass consumer manufacturers—began to recognize the importance of market research, better product design, effective distribution, and sustained communication with consumers in the success of their brands. Marketing concepts and techniques later moved into the industrial-goods sector and subsequently into the services sector. It soon became apparent that organizations and individuals market not only goods and services but also ideas (social marketing), places (location marketing), personalities (celebrity marketing), events (event marketing), and even the organizations themselves (public relations).
Marketing is not confined to any particular type of economy, because goods must be exchanged and therefore marketed in all economies and societies except perhaps in the most primitive. Furthermore, marketing is not a function that is limited to profit-oriented business; even such institutions as hospitals, schools, and museums engage in some forms of marketing. Within the broad scope of marketing, merchandising is concerned more specifically with promoting the sale of goods and services to consumers (i.e., retailing) and hence is more characteristic of free-market economies.

This refers to how the product gets to the customer; the distribution channels and intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers who enable customers to access products or services in a convenient manner. This third P has also sometimes been called Place or Placement, referring to the channel by which a product or service is sold (e.g. online vs. retail), which geographic region or industry, to which segment (young adults, families, business people), etc. also referring to how the environment in which the product is sold in can affect sales. [44] 5 Digital Marketing Skills to Master for 2020 & Beyond