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October 5, 2007

Are the 4 P's still relevant in today's world?

(Posted by francois to: marketing | marketing death valley )

marketing%202.jpgAs 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:

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:

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.


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The 4 Ps are fundamental; you can call them different names, repackage them as you see fit, but ultimately we will always need to consider the core constructs behind these four dimensions.

I've read about countless "Fifth Ps" but the one I think has most relevance is: People.

People, after all, form the bonds and channels between the other four distinctions and should factor into any successful marketing plan.

ps. Francois, I'm sure I don't need to remind you there's no such thing as free. :-)

Posted by: David Blanar at October 6, 2007 5:39 AM

Francois - I agree with David on all accounts .. a rose by any other name and so on. The 5th P - People is a critical concept and for me is the umbrella P that synergizes all of the elements. I've seen models where 'social media Ps' e.g., peer-to-peer, participation, personalization were included. My vote is not to make P soup out of this but keep it simple with one more P - People. Wonder why that People P (now that does sound bad) was not included in the original model.

Posted by: Toby at October 7, 2007 2:30 PM

I guess we could broaden the definition of the P's so that they still make sense, but by themselves they no longer make sense.

In the old days "Place" was important - nowadays it is a matter of being available when people need you - so being "findable" is the key, and that is clearly not "place," nor "promotion."

In the old days pricing was important for an individual item (i.e., "product"). What is more important these days is the lifetime value of a customer, and in some cases that may mean giving stuff away for free to gain more revenue streams later...but "Pricing" for a "Product" can lead to very short-sighted decisions.

The point I am trying to make is that if you apply the 4 P's to develop your marketing plan, chances are very high that your product will join the 80% of new products that fail...

Posted by: Francois Gossieaux at October 7, 2007 6:24 PM

The 4P's can remain fundamental, but for sure we have to give to the 4P's new meanings, more complete meanings. And the 4C's are also useful. I think that we have to integrate the 4P's and the 4C's, continuing to look around us to see changes and to understand these changes.


Posted by: Luca Taddei at October 8, 2007 12:54 PM

Interesting thoughts Francois -- do you have a link to that piece on insurance and 80%?

Posted by: Julian at November 21, 2007 1:33 PM

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