CPR for Marketers? Marketing principles expand well beyond the 4 Ps.

4PsIn the world of business, we do like our checklists and bullet points.

It’s part of an impulse to distill ideas and principles down to their essence … and to promote efficiency in whatever we do.

It’s no different in the MarComm discipline.  Nearly everyone knows about the “4 Ps” of marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion.  The principle has been with us for nearly a century.

5CsThese days, however, the 4Ps of marketing seem inadequate. Stepping in to fill the void are additional attributes and angles that have been put out there by marketing specialists.

Several of these newer paradigms — one coined by Robert Lauterborn, a professor of advertising at the University of North Carolina, and another from technology marketing specialist Paul Dunay — consist of a group of marketing “Cs” ranging from five to seven in number: Consumer, Cost, Convenience, Content, Connection, Communication and Conversion.

Űber-marketing specialist Jennifer Howard has taken a different approach; she’s added to the original “4 Ps” by tacking on five new “Ps” covering the sphere of digital marketing.

Those new digital marketing attributes are Pulse, Pace, Precision, Performance and Participation.  They go a long way toward filling in the yawning gaps in the original list of attributes.

Beyond the notion that anyone who can manage to come up with five additional attributes that begin with the letter “P” deserves a medal of sorts, Howard’s new terms happen to be worthwhile additions that help bring the principles into the interactive era:

  • Pulse – active listening and attention to customer, brand and competitor insights.
  • Pace – the speed at which marketing campaigns are carried out.
  • Precision – assuring that marketing messages are delivered correctly.
  • Participation – creating conversations with customers that enable them to “join the conversation.”
  • Performance – meeting expectations for results via measurable and accountable MarComm tactics.

If you’re thinking now that we can’t go much further than the “Ps” or “Cs” of marketing … not so fast!

In fact, we now have yet another set of marketing attributes being brought to the table – this time by database marketing specialist Nick Necsulescu.

4 RsNecsulescu focuses his approach on customer segmentation – namely, interpreting data and converting insights into customer-centric solutions.  Recently, he’s been talking up the “4 Rs” of Marketing at various marketing trade events.  For the record, the “4 Rs” of are these:

  • Right Customer
  • Right Message
  • Right Channel
  • Right Time

More broadly, Necsulescu sees the “4 Rs” as “personalization redefined.”  He contends, “Of all the potential, new-age replacements for the four Ps of marketing, this set of ‘rights,’ in my opinion, is the most accurate.”

Necsulescu is particularly keen on three major customer expectations:

  • Customers expect instant gratification
  • Customers want to feel empowered
  • Customers are interested in self-service

In order to meet these new kinds of expectations, Necsulescu figures that marketers need to learn as many insights as possible on individual needs – the kind of information that determines what type of an offer should be presented and the message surrounding that offer. Also, to make sure the timing of the offer is well-targeted and that the offer is being presented through the most preferred channel.

That’s where robust CRM systems and databases come into play, with true 1-to-1 marketing tactics employed.  The challenge is daunting … but in Necsulescu’s view, he doesn’t think companies have much choice in the matter.

So there we have it:  We’re now dealing with Marketing Cs, Ps and Rs.  A veritable alphabet soup of attributes — and all the implementation challenges that come along for the ride.

We may need a little CPR for marketing professionals, too!

Updating the Marketing “4 Ps”

The Four Ps of MarketingIn business, we like our checklists and concise bullet points. It’s all part of our impulse to distill ideas and principles down to their essence … and to promote economy and efficiency in whatever we do.

In marketing and communications, it’s no different. Most everyone who’s studied business in school knows about the “4 Ps” of marketing: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion.

Today, that listing seems woefully incomplete and inadequate – even quaint. Stepping in to fill the void are additional attributes that have been proffered by marketing specialists. Several of these newer lists — one coined by Robert Lauterborn, a professor of advertising at the University of North Carolina, and another from technology marketing specialist Paul Dunay — consist of a group of marketing “Cs”: Consumer, Cost, Convenience, Content, Connection, Communication, and Conversion.

But I like a new group of “Ps” as popularized by Jennifer Howard of Google’s B-to-B market group. She offers up five new “Ps” of digital marketing, and they go a long way toward filling the yawning gaps in the original list.

These new digital marketing attributes are Pulse, Pace, Precision, Performance, and Participation.

Beyond the fact that fair dues should be given to anyone who manages to come up with an additional set of five new attributes that likewise begin with the letter “P,” they happen to be worthwhile additions to the original list, and they help bring it into the interactive era.

The new set of marketing “Ps” can be further described like this:

Pulse – active listening and attention to customer, brand and competitor insights.

Pace – the speed at which marketing campaigns are carried out is critical. “Slow and steady” usually doesn’t cut it.

Precision – assuring that marketing messages are delivered to the right customers … at the right time … and place (e.g., PC or mobile device).

Participation – creating conversations with customers via rich media ad formats and social media platforms to enable them to “join the conversation.”

Performance – meeting expectations for results that notch ever higher, via measurable and accountable marketing and media tactics.

In the world of digital marketing and e-commerce, marketers like to borrow a term from the realm of traditional retailing. It’s the “moment of truth,” and it was first coined by Procter & Gamble executives to describe those critical 10 to 20 seconds when someone is standing in a store aisle and making decisions on what to purchase and what to pass by.

In the online world, Google refers to this phenomenon as the “zero moment of truth” (ZMOT) – when a potential buyer interfaces with a brand or a product on a computer, smartphone or other digital device. Why zero? Because instead of 10 or 20 seconds, many people take only a split second to decide whether they’ll stay and engage … or whether to ditch and switch.