The Traditional “Four P’s” of Marketing: How Consumers & Technology Are Shifting Priorities

We were all schooled in the traditional drivers of marketing – the pillars we all know as the “Four P’s”:

Product, Price, Place and Promotion

Consumer expectations and advancements in technology are pushing the limits and demanding a redefinition of these fundamentals. If we stop and take an in-depth look into the critical intersection of brand value, customer experience (CX), value proposition, convenience and loyalty, we quickly observe that the traditional “P’s” have become exceptionally outdated when considered in isolation. Product, price, place and promotion certainly aren’t irrelevant, but they also (clearly) aren’t the only primary considerations when it comes to marketing strategy and execution in today’s global ecosystem.

I would argue that our organizations will best achieve growth, scaling and long-term sustainability if we adjust our approach to also consider the following marketing pillars moving forward:

Predictability, Personalization, Productivity, People, Process and Privacy

A theme I always emphasize with my clients and audiences is that strategy can never be irrelevant because it is by definition, it is never-ending. The more successful our product or service, the more likely that our ideas, innovations and offerings will be replicated by competitors. Startups may have the luxury of offering a unique product for some initial timeframe, but eventually, great ideas are recognized and copied.  Our competitors try to do it better….faster…cheaper, so we have to keep pushing the limits with respect to our own quality, communication, and value.

Technology is making the complexities of the marketing pillars more prevalent and rapidly changing. Every aspect of marketing, business development, advertising and sales have had to adjust in terms of both meeting expectations and leveraging opportunities.  Consumers know what they want…when they want it (NOW!)…and other resources that can be tapped if those demands aren’t met…and met quickly. Accordingly, organizations must have the people, processes (including automated and augmented technologies) and productivity in place to respond quickly to the predictability and personalized expectations of the consumer base (i.e., think utilization of AI-based solutions to apply better targeted, emotional advertising).

Privacy is one of the most interesting facets of this discussion because so many aspects of it inherently have to be sacrificed if all of the other pillars are to be achieved. Consumers have extreme expectations regarding personalization, convenience, pricing and more…and are only now beginning to realize that catering that beneficial also comes at a cost in terms of their information. Big data, AI, machine learning and other tools are allowing us to more effectively target and market, but privacy seems to be the one, non-negotiable expense that consumers and end-users are being forced to pay.

The concept of privacy in the Digital Age is an important one that we will continue to revisit in the future.

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