Clearing up office space, I found an copy of Kotler’s Marketing Management book. Skimming through it was kind of depressing, because it was easy to see how many companies don’t even do the basics. We are too focused on data, but don’t know what to do with it. We are too focused on sales instead of marketing. We are too focused on direct selling instead of brand building. It’s not an either/or situation, but finding the right balance. Unfortunately, online tools are designed for sales conversions within 30 days. Our priorities are immediate sales.
All these are at the cost of long-term brand building. You see this in action when googling ‘marketing mix.’ The 4Ps are no longer suffient apparently. You need 4Cs, 7Cs, or 8Ps. The thinking is that the 50+ year old model don’t apply today because of the Internet (newly found?) customer-centricity. That’s bull.
The 4Ps are guidelines for areas that require consideration when marketing. They are not specific tactics for a specific situation. The details and questions that need to be answered have to be customized for marketplace, industry, and customers.
Let’s see how the new fangled marketing mixes differ from the 4Ps.
A breakdown: - Consumer’s needs and wants: before we do any marketing, we need a product. A successful product requires understanding the consumer. - Costs to the consumer: this is more like total cost of ownership. That is more than the dollar amount on the checkout page. There is the cost of searching for the right product and buying the products. Price in 4Ps may not full encompass this meaning, but we can extend the meaning of price. - Convenience: how easy is it to buy. This is a place whether a retail store or app. - Communication: the dialog between brand and customers which could be social media engagement or advertising. Promotion can be opened up to mean 2-way communication.
Booms and Bitner took the 4Ps and added 3 more: - People: all the stakeholders, like customers and employees. This applies across all Ps, why is it special? - Proceses: all the things that have to happen internally and externally to deliver to customers. Again, this applies across all Ps. - Physical Evidence: everything customers see when interacting with the company (store environment, packaging). Am I repeating myself?
Kotler came up with 4 additional Ps as well: - People: same as 7Ps. - Processes same as 7Ps. - Programs: all the 4P activities and any other activities that don’t fit in the 4Ps. - Performance: financial and non-finacial outcomes like profitability and brand equity.
There are more out there but this is good enough for now. It looks like to me the common thread between the 3 marketing mixes is descisions and components that go across 4Ps and should not be highlighted specifically. Like we said, the 4Ps are guidelines for consideration, and each P can stand alone or be serviced by its own team. People and Process cannot stand on their own. People and Process have to work across all Ps. They cannot be looked at separately at all. Similarly, each of the 4Ps have their own performance KPIs. Which channel (place) performed the best? Which promotion drove most sales? Which promotions led to increased brand awareness.