Traditional marketing theory has for years been based on a fundamental principle known as the 4P’s. It was all something to do with Product, Place, and the Price of fish if I remember correctly.
We’re in a different world from the one when they emerged. It’s now the ‘age of abundance’, massive customer choice, overcapacity, 24/7 connectivity, multi-media, global competition, rapid change, information overload, and significantly greater market transparency – the customer now has much more control.
I honestly think that it’s time to forget those 4 P’s – In my humble opinion, the original 4 P’s are Passe, Past it, ‘kaPut’ and Pointless.
So I offer you a new set of P’s for the ‘age of customer control’, and conveniently, I’ve come up with 4 (pity this isn’t a podcast, because you’d have 4P’s in an iPod!).
Anyway, here they are:
Today’s successful marketeers recognise that it means getting ‘permission’ from prospects and customers. This means making stuff relevant and interesting, it means targeting and building relationships with people who WANT to do business with you. Forget unwanted intrusive, mass marketing to huge databases or frantically giving out and collecting as many business cards as possible at your next networking meeting to build a huge mailing list. Remember, size isn’t everything!
Today’s customers want dialogue, not diatribes. 76% of people don’t believe companies tell the truth in advertisements. Forward thinking businesses are having ‘conversations’ with their customers and prospects.
Winning businesses think in 3D – they are Dramatically and Demonstrably Different. In this world of endless choice, being the ‘same as’ gets you nowhere. Consistency in ‘Performance’ develops ‘trust’ and ‘trust’ creates a bond. This not only means improved customer retention and loyalty, it also produces greater referrals and recommendations.
Good news (and bad) spreads quickly. Remember, word of mouth only works if there’s something worth talking about. Today’s successful marketeers have a strategy for maximising ‘proliferation’ – not by overt ‘marketing hype’ but by energising their market place, becoming part of the community, by standing out from the crowd, and creating that buzz – a lot of it comes back to that ‘Demonstrable Dramatic Difference’!
If you want a bit more than this, feel free to read my latest article on the Management Issues website.
In the meantime, may P‘s be with you.