Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lost Art of the 4 Ps

Remember the 4 P's that make up the marketing mix;  Product, Price, Place, Promotion?  The theme of this blog is to look at fundamentals and cut through all the marketing stuff we hear about day in and day out.  Is anyone able to keep up with it all?  Not me.  So, my fellow Modern Marketers, let's look at the fundamental ingredients of the marketing mix.  I propose that marketing strategy and tactics built around the 4 P's is a lost art and should be brought to the surface.

I was attending an Eloqua Experience conference a few years ago and I remember someone up on the stage mocking the 4 P's.  It went something like this, "can you believe that some people are still talking about the 4 P's".  I said to myself, what ignorance is this I'm hearing from a company selling marketing expertise no less?  Sure, marketing automation tools like Eloqua, Marketo, et al are great, but they are not a strategy in themselves, they are only a tool that enables execution.  Every Modern Marketer must understand the fundamentals of their business and how it relates to the marketing mix.  If you don't understand this, stop what you're doing, back up and make sure you have a clearly defined answer for each of these 4 P's.

P1 - Product.  Everyone in business is selling something and at some point you decide on what product you will attempt to sell.  Product could be a physical thing or a service. Why did your firm choose the product or service you are presently marketing?

P2 - Price.  At some other point, you decided how much you would charge for your product.  Price is usually taken much more lightly than it should be.  Price may be just a way to make a profit or it might be part of the strategy to take a position in the market.  How did your firm arrive at it's price structure?

P3 - Place.  Place defines the channel uses to sell your product;  direct, distributors, resellers, agents, mix, etc.  At some point, there is a transaction where your product is exchanged for money, this is the 'Place'.  Why did your firm choose the channel where your products are sold?

P4 - Promotion.  Ah, finally, we arrive at the place where most of us Modern Marketers understand.  What's that, you thought marketing was only about promotion?  Non, non monsieur et madame. (I'm at the Montreal Airport right now, so threw in a little local flavor here).  Promotion is about how we tell the target market about our wonderful product and why they should buy many.  Why are you choosing the promotions you are executing on a daily basis?

The 4 P's are the trunk of the tree.  Everything related to marketing which is really everything about the business, should come back to the 4 P's.  For you, the Modern Marketer, are the "baker of the cake" and the ingredients of the cake are product, price, place, and promotion.

Your formal marketing plan should address each 'P' in detail.  What's that, you don't have a formal marketing plan?  Mon Dieu!  If you don't have a formal marketing plan, you'll be amazed at what you don't know about your business.  Get started today.