Suggested Modifications to the classic 4 P’s of Marketing

As most of you know back in the 60’s four (some still use just three) Marketing P’s were suggested.  I would propose that we might consider modifying some of the four P’s and actually adding one more.   But first let’s review the original four P’s.

Product:   the “thing” manufactured by a company and sold to the buyer.  Note: service and software are now products and secondly, differentiation and value propositions (not the only criteria) are required to keep your specific product or service selling.  Suggested modification here is to incorporate for B2B solutions not just products, because buyers are looking for solutions that address their “pain points” or applications and this requires a combination of products and services.

Price:   the amount proposed for the product or service, not necessarily the actual sold price.   I would suggest that value might be a better criterion here than price but that is for another discussion.

Place:  where the buyer can actually purchase the product or service.  Historically this was a store or a distribution channel but mainly someplace that one went to pick up or the process by which the product was delivered.   With the introduction of the Internet, today buyers do not even have to leave their home to buy almost anything!

Promotion:  the methods used by marketing to promote their product or services.  Like anything else there are numerous methods to pick from in promoting a product, the real challenge is defining the appropriate mix.  And again with the introduction of the Internet, there are more possible selections and thus more considerations.

Wikipedia suggests that there are three (3) additional P’s to consider.  People – those who consume the product, and thus the topics like market segmentation and data gathering should be added to the marketing activities.  Process- the flow of activities by marketing, or as I like to think about it,  the overall campaign and how to make it a completely integrated process in order to obtain maximum impact. Physical evidence– part of the marketing strategy that addresses some form of customer satisfaction.

I would suggest adding the fifth category called Public and here is why.   First of all, Bob and I have stated that the selling process has changed, the buyer is now in control and the potential buyer is doing research long before the selected vendor even knows about it.   Again the Internet and now social media are providing massive amounts of information (granted not all of it is factually correct) about companies and their product and services.   Therefore Marketing must, as a minimum, monitor what is being said about their company and its products and services.  Even though the comments may not be from potential buyers, they will have an impact on the image and opinions of others, thus companies need to be aware of the public and their perceptions (perceptions are real) and integrate this into their overall marketing activities.

Are you adequately monitoring everything that is being said about your company and your products and services?

RHL 12/14/10

1 comment to Suggested Modifications to the classic 4 P’s of Marketing

  • Jim Matorin


    Another solid post. Challenging. A good way to start the day since I make it a point to walk through my social media touch points.

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