As I was responding to some discussions in the Marketing 2.0 group on Facebook, I started talking about the relevance of the 4 P’s in marketing, which of course is one of the cornerstones in marketing education worldwide.
But are they really relevant anymore?
Let’s look at them one by one:
- Product – I guess this one stays 🙂 – although are you sure that people are always buying your “product”? Or are they buying an experience associated with your product? Or perhaps a “personal identity” that comes with the use of your product?
- Place – is amazon.com a place? Is a search engine placement a place?
- Promotion – people are not taking your corporate BS anymore…And according to the Strategy and Business article I posted in the Facebook “posted items,” 80% of all insurance policies will be bought based on information not provided by the insurance companies! So does promotion in the insurance industry still matter? Maybe – if you think that the company can participate in the creation of the user generated content that people will base their decisions on without hiring corporate “shills.”
- Price – many new business models have funny pricing schemes – as in “free”
In the late 80’s some academics (I cannot remember who they were) came up with a replacement for the 4P’s – the 4C’s. While not perfect, the 4 C’s may sound a little more modern/appropriate for the times:
- Customer instead of product
- Communication instead of promotion
- Cost instead of price
- Convenience instead of place…
Using the 4P’s as a roadmap for success for new products may not be the best roadmap to use anymore… It is a bit like using north, south, east and west as guides to find your way in deep space.