HOW MANY « Ps » CAN BE FOUND IN THE MARKETING MIX?

It is well known that some marketing experts do their self-promotion through new expressions or ways of doing things that are supposed to reinvent marketing.

While the Internet has a very strong influence on current marketing practices, should the traditional marketing model be revised?

Initially, the marketing mix consisted of 4-Ps:

  • Product;
  • Price;
  • Place; and
  • Promotion.

But now some gurus see up to 10-Ps in the marketing mix definition. Here are the most popular “Ps” and their definitions:

  • People: the role of people in defining and carrying out the marketing effort;
  • Process: the customer’s value chain;
  • Physical environment: the place where the product/service is acquired (brick-and-mortar or online selling point);
  • Prelude: refers to all pre-action planning efforts;
  • Postlude: refers to measuring the results of the marketing effort that were deployed;
  • Positioning: how our offer differs from what is out there in the marketplace;
  • Packaging: the physical appearance of the product;
  • Predictions: the importance of quantifying and defining objectives and results.

What about these new additions to the traditional model? Personally, I think the « P» for people is an important addition. It reflects a change in the way today’s companies do business. Previously companies « pushed » products or services to consumers after careful analysis and evaluation. Now this model is much less unidirectional. Through the Internet the consumer is much more involved in the developmental and promotional aspects of the product/service. The same goes for employees who are now seen as brand ambassadors by several companies. Therefore you will find 5-Ps in my marketing plans.

As for the other « Ps », they are already within the original « Ps ». However it is interesting to get to know them because their emphasis is an important part of your marketing strategy.

Another model that was proposed by US marketer Robert Lauterborn in the 90’s is that of the 4-Cs. It can be summarized as follows:

  • Convenience would replace Place;
  • Cost would replace Price;
  • Communication would replace Promotion;
  • Customer needs would replace Product.

In this new model one can feel that the customer is the central focus of the business, and developing a customer-centric approach rather than doing promotion is important. I think that by considering the « P » of people, we manage to do that.

In conclusion, regardless of the number of « Ps » that you use, or the model you choose in your marketing plan or strategy, it is important to consider all the variables that affect your business and market. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Stéphane Elmaleh-Riel, B.Ed., MBA
Marketing consultant