Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The 4Ps of marketing are dead. Today, it’s all about the 4Es.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Skype, Amazon, Cloud, mobile, tablets and many other platforms and technologies have not only changed the way people can communicate and interact with each other, but have also challenged Marketers to think differently about how they go to market and engage with prospects and customers.

It used to be relatively simple to focus on the 4Ps. Create a great product with a unique selling proposition, price it at a feasible level, set-up or tap into an existing distribution channel, and create impactful promotional communications material (i.e. a TV Ad).

Today we have music artists releasing songs in social media first and cutting out the studios and stations, products being released in pop-up stores, crowd sourced stunts and branded events creating massive reverberation, citizen journalists, and people simply updating us on their every move.

Get into the 4Es or fail
  • Product changes to Experience. Today it’s about an end-to-end, engaging journey of discovery about a product throughout the natural product lifecycle but more importantly throughout a customer’s lifecycle as well. Marketers must create positive product experiences that people can connect with at different stages. Zappos, the online shoe retailer, has produced over 200,000 videos to help improve the online customer experience. A mix of product, how to, behind the scenes, style and trends. Who said shoe shopping was boring?
  • Place changes to Everyplace. It’s no longer good enough to put an Ad on TV and hope they will come. Nor is it appropriate to have a retail bricks and mortar presence only. Remember how Subaru launched the BRZ sports coupe online only from mid July this year? Marketers must define the role of 1-way, 2-way and many-to many media. And product content needs to be tailored and relevant at many channels for a multitude of customer needs.
  • Promotion changes to Evangelism. Brand experiences need to inspire today’s consumers to engage and share their passion & product experiences with friends and colleagues. Expect good and bad sentiment in today’s globally connected social world. However both can be carefully monitored and managed.
  • And Price changes to Exchange value. Products are no longer a function of the cost of inputs. In today’s digitally open world, marketers need to understand consumer permission, need state and rich engagement as a function of exchanging value. In short, what are you offering people beyond the price to differentiate a product? As Coco Chanel says, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
Great Success

So as a famous actor once said, if you follow the 4Es you’ll have great success. Hopefully it also ensures that you’re always focusing your marketing from a customer perspective rather than a business perspective.

Have you come across any innovative marketing strategies and experiences that have delivered on the 4Es?

Anton Buchner
TrinityP3 – Marketing Management Consultant

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