For the Best Marketing Results – Go Beyond the Four P’s
Get More From Your Marketing
Everyone who’s taken a college marketing class in the last 40 years was introduced to the longtime, classic marketing mix defined as The 4P’s: Product, Pricing, Placement and Promotion. While it may be useful to consider where each ‘P’ fits in marketing today, it’s also helpful to know that the 4P’s are somewhat dated. In today’s world of marketing there are many new perspectives to consider.
Beyond the 4 P’s
Let’s look at the 4 P’s — what they originally represented, and interpret their use in today’s marketing to determine how valuable they are and if they are still relevant.
Fifty years ago products were sold based on features. People and businesses don’t buy products or features today. They buy solutions based on perceived benefits and the likelihood of satisfying a need. Does your product or service solve a problem that customers have? It had better.
Today’s equivalent of Product is a Solution
In addition to asking “Is what you sell what your customer wants?” You must constantly examine your products and, based on feedback from your customers (and potential customers) update and improve your offerings.
When companies think about their products and services, they often race to features when attempting to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. This is a marketing mistake that is overcome by better understanding your customers’ ongoing issues and pain and seeing the world through their eyes.
In the Old World of Marketing, prices were a means of product comparison. Price used to be a negotiating game. The Internet has flattened the pricing curve because everyone has the opportunity to compare vendors from around the world.
Today’s Price is Value
Today, you must identify and show value worthy of the price you charge. Why is your company worth doing business with? What do you offer that your competition does not? Does spending money on your solution save your customer time or money in the long run? What is the return on investment?
If you are not prepared to answer these questions for your prospects, then you might as well be comparing prices in the old world.
There’s always someone willing to offer what you provide
for less money.
The question is what additional value do you add that makes it worth spending (more) on what you offer?
Sure, we’re all concerned about price and nobody wants to overpay. But, the value of what is received in return is always a higher consideration. Could Tesla have sold 350,000 Model 3 cars for a base price of $35,000 instead of $30,000? In hindsight, probably! The value to those that have purchased a vehicle that won’t be available for 18 months or longer is that they’ll never have to fill it with gasoline.
This P has undergone dramatic change. Traditionally, placement represented where a customer actually saw your product. In a retail store, that translates to: Is your product at eye level? Is your shelf space (exposure) wider than your competitors’? Placement was the Tiffany advertisement on Page A3 of the New York Times (for more than 30 years). While these measurements are still valid for retailers, online access to information makes these methods less meaningful for others.
Today’s Placement is based on Search
Key marketing metrics such as Where, When and How prospects find you, click-through rates and online conversions are the norm. How accessible is your information when your prospect wants it? Placement is an introduction to your company (and to you). It exemplifies the experience customers will have with you — through the buying cycle and as a customer. Representing your company well during the marketing and sales process gives prospects a taste of how they’ll be treated as customers.
Promotion can be another outdated traditional P. If you spent money on advertising 10 years ago, the discussion centered mostly on whether you advertised in print, TV, radio, direct mail or even billboards. This type of promotion is disruptive — it interrupts both prospects and non-prospects in a way that can be entertaining, but often is annoying.
Today, selection and choices for promotion are vastly expanded due to the Internet — and the method of reaching customers has forever changed. Today, potential customers shop for you. They compare your expertise and quality, and read reviews about how well you serve your customers.
Today’s Promotion equivalent is Education
Providing timely, relevant and meaningful information builds trust with prospects and positions you as a Subject Matter Expert. Content marketing is all about producing content (blogs, whitepapers, testimonials, Infographics, checklists, How To guides, etc.) that your customers are interested in.
When you fill your customers’ needs this way, you add value. They, in turn, will return the favor and fill your pockets with cash as long as you continue to educate them and provide them with information that makes their lives easier.
Marketing Today is Interactive
Marketing today engages prospects on their terms — when they are ready to consume your information. You have vastly more than four P’s at your disposal as a marketer today. Companies that continue to rely only on the traditional 4 P’s of marketing face an uphill battle against companies that embrace a new interpretation of today’s marketing.
Are you taking advantage of the many ways to reach and interact with your potential customers? Let us know in the Comments section below. A real person reads and responds to all comments…
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At Crest, we help companies
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists