Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Are 4Ps still relevant?

They form the very basis of modern day marketing. I think life of a marketer starts with these 4 little words. Ask any marketing professional and they would agree the importance of these 4 words all through their life. Ever since Jerome McCarthy proposed the marketing mix, Product, Price, Promotion and Place have become the essence of every marketer.

How relevant is the 4Ps still? Are we leaving to chance if we are not updating as per the market requirements? As a marketing professional, I would definitely vouch that we need to change with changing times. Will that principle also apply to the seemingly untouchable marketing mix?

Whatever I'm writing below is from consolidation of readings across various marketing fora. I found it compelling to post because it is so true to the marketing mix. Here it goes!

The 4Ps should be modified slightly to be in tune with changing times and what we get is 4Es


People are now looking beyond a product. They are looking for experience. When you buy a TV now, you are looking for that wholesome experience. When you are buying a razor, you are looking for that defining experience. When you buy a movie ticket you are not looking at movie as a product but to give you that experience which encompasses various things. Bottom line, people have moved from looking at products as products and are looking at experiencing products. So, is it time to modify the marketing mix to reflect this?


What is it that I get of experiencing this product? Has this been at the top of your mind behind every purchase? I wouldn't blame you. On the contrary, you are on the track that most of us are. We have moved beyond the concept of price. What we look now when we experience a product is the outcome of it..what's in it for me...or to put it more precisely...what am I getting in Exchange. The consumers have moved out of the comfort zone of price into the zone of exchange. They are willing to pay a higher price if in exchange they experience and get more benefits. Will I pay more to buy an Apple phone? What am I getting in exchange - operationally, socially and financially? Time for a change to kick out Price from the marketing mix?

Every Place

Where are products being sold these days? What are the channels for sales? The Place of Marketing Mix has become Every Place because that's where we practically see the products - every place! Someone having a physical shop and not having an online shop? He's missing on web visitors. Someone not present on facebook and/or twitter? They are missing out on social presence. You are expected to be physically present, use all the older channels (direct selling, B2B selling, indirect selling - all those still hold true) and yet use the modern channels - online, social. This makes you to be in every place


You saw a Bollywood hero bulging his muscles, removing his shirt and picking up a ended up buying it. This was the story till yesterday.

You now see a man-next-door endorsing a car that he uses; you see a girl-next-door endorsing a soap that she uses. You think strongly of using these products. This is how it is today.

Gone are the days when a specific promotional campaign is targeted at enticing your senses and appealing to you. Now, it's more about adoption...more about Evangelism. We don't just get swayed by a promotional campaign - it may get eye balls but not conversions. We are looking at adopters now...someone who can 'walk the talk'. We are not just looking at hearing from someone who's not even using that product. May be we are moving towards Evangelism

Is it really the time to modify the 1970's 'Marketing Mix' to sync with modern times? May be yes....may be not....but one thing's for sure - marketers are always the trend catchers and the trend setters.