RIP The Four Ps of Marketing
I went to a funeral for a group of friends this year.
Their names were Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. They are survived by Marketing.
It is a rather sad story actually. The four P’s didn’t die as a result of old age. They died because marketing seems to have just gone on without them.
It isn’t that marketing doesn’t require the four P’s to be a part of things today. It is just, well, the four P’s are a bit out of date.
A 2013 article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that the Four P’s be should instead be thought of as the acronym SAVE.
The authors of the article suggest. “It’s not that the 4 P’s are irrelevant, just that they need to be reinterpreted to serve B2B marketers. Our model shifts the emphasis from products to solutions, place to access, price to value, and promotion to education—SAVE, for short.” I am going to go out on a limb and say it is in B2C as well.
My fear is that acronyms for marketing must be buried side by side. While SAVE does seem to address present day marketing better than the Four P’s, marketers have so much more on their plate that ever before.
The New Marketing
Marketing requires a systemic approach. Marketing is no longer living in just the marketing department of any company. Every email is marketing. Tweets sent by companies and even their employees is marketing. Content is marketing. Answering the phone is marketing. Sales has become marketing. Marketing has become sales.
Yes, your marketing better have solutions and access and value and education; SAVE.
Yes, you need a product to sell, a place to sell it, a price at which to sell it and a way to promote it; the 4 P’s.
The biggest difference is that you can accomplish this all without leaving your home. The solutions the web provides to accomplish these things is enormous.
The scary part is you can find yourself competing against someone that has figured out how to reach your customers while you and your customers were sleeping. Even scarier is that they were waiting for your customer to find THEM before your customer knew they needed them. They accomplish this with something called SEO, using relevant content, and having an offer ready to go when your former customer arrives.
Reboot of Marketing
Your marketing professor has let you down. He or she didn’t mean to. They were just following the text book and not looking out the window. Worse yet, your professor didn’t go for a walk and stop at a coffee shop and observed.
The 4 P’s may be dead. SAVE might help us cling to an acronym if that is what we need. The reality is, marketing is evolving rapidly.
Reboot your marketing knowledge. Grab a few of the latest books on marketing. Read a few blogs by marketing thought leaders. See the list below and even subscribe to one.
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
Marketing is still alive and kicking. It is just different.
The marketing shift is overwhelming and requires almost daily study to keep ahead. It is real work; hard work. The good news is that there are lots of ways to do the work without saving your MBA textbooks.
Sorry you couldn’t make the funeral for the 4 P’s. It was lovely. They did such a nice job on them. It looked just like them. I will miss them. But, I can’t dwell in the past and neither can you.
John Jantsch – Duct Tape Marketing (Affiliated)