The 4Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) were first proposed in 1960 by marketer and academic E. Jerome McCarthy and later popularised by Phillip Kotler. Despite a number of variations over the years (5Ps, 7Ps and even 4Cs) this model has been widely accepted for over 50 years.
Fifty years on however, the internet and everything that now constitutes omni-channel-customer driven marketing, has made these classic principles look redundant.
It’s time we gave the 4Ps a re-think.
PRODUCT – SOLUTIONS INSTEAD OF PRODUCTS
Customers don’t really care about product features or usability if a product fails to solve their problem. It’s not about the features you want your product to have, it’s about the problems that customers need to solve.
Determine the problem and then add the solution.
PRICE – FROM PRICE TO VALUE
A brand is defined as ‘what your customers say you are’ and is now based on multiple touch-points and not just by products. ‘Good enough’ is now no longer good enough, because consumers have more infinitely more transparent choice than ever before and will simply go elsewhere. Only truly exceptional brands (as defined by consumers) can charge a price premium.
Companies need to deliver value, irrespective of the price.
PROMOTION – FROM PUSH TO PULL
Traditionally, promotion consisted of brand-created-broadcast messages (or push-marketing), with everyone claiming their products were the best. Today, a brand is what consumers determine it to be, and the most successful brands have their own consumers promote their brands for them - by first delivering great experiences, then encouraging and enabling consumers to talk about them.
Generating content, interest, awareness, need and eventually conversions (pull-marketing).
PLACE – IT’S NOW ANY PLACE
The information consumers need before buying must now be available everywhere, be accessible at all times and be consistent in message.
It’s not about place any longer. Now, it’s about access.
Firstly, there are people who spread the word about the business; people who love your brand and will introduce new customers because they had a good experience. Building strong and engaging relationships with customers is key to successful brand communication. .
And secondly, there are also employees. Engaged and happy employees help make happy customers. There are now many studies that show there is a direct correlation between a healthy, productive culture and a company’s bottom line.
So don’t forget about the people, people.