Marketing is really about all those P’s. Or perhaps C’s. Or E’s…….

In my first formal marketing role office discussions were regularly around the “4 P’s of marketing”, being Product, Price, Place, Promotion. These days there seem to be any number of marketing P’s.  A quick web search shows that 7 is now commonly accepted but scanning down the results page amongst the varying versions I spotted one heading, “The 44 P’s of marketing”; suffice to say I didn’t open the link to discover where the additional 40 have come from.

Any number of market dynamics have obviously had significant impact on marketing tactics and certainly the jargon and therefore presumably the proliferation of P’s. It’s a brave business that elects to ignore the power of social media and rejects the concept of digital marketing; and it’s foolhardy for almost any entity wanting to sell something to someone to deny the existence of those elements. I’m therefore amused/bemused by the number of times I hear self-confessed non-marketers make apparently factual statements about the effectiveness or more to the point, the ineffectiveness, of various marketing channels.  I call them the P-Atheists.

I will however agree that the original P’s may have moved on and morphed into perhaps the 4 C’s, the 4 E’s, and no doubt several other letters of the alphabet. Nomenclature aside, I’m not sure the core principles are vastly different. There just needs to be recognition that the “market-place moves at pace”.

An excellent example is to ask a group of business folk, especially those not formally in a marketing role, their views on the use of Facebook for business marketing. In my experience, the strength of view that Facebook is no place for business activity is astounding especially when those views are based on little or no objective data or facts. To be clear, I’m not advocating or otherwise the merits of Facebook or any other social platform for marketing and other business activity. What I do know is that there are plenty of businesses who do use such social media channels and I have no reason to assume that none of them do so successfully. It’s a safe bet, which I base on absolutely no robust research and analysis whatsoever, that at least a reasonable number of such enterprises do very well thank you from bringing their products and services to their customers through Facebook and similar mechanisms.

I therefore find myself somewhat conflicted. The view that in an organisation everyone is responsible for marketing sits very comfortably with me indeed. However there’s also this Jiminy Cricket thing going on chirping “leave the marketing to the marketers”. My solution for this dilemma is to suggest my own P’s when considering your marketing approach:

  • Be clear on the Purpose of your marketing strategy;
  • Have a documented Plan to address that purpose;
  • Base your conclusions on Plausible analysis and consideration;
  • Ensure your action plans are Pragmatic.

Expert or not, getting down to those basics will launch your marketing thinking off to a good start and all those P’s will become second nature. Well, perhaps not 44 of them…..

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