Say hello to the 7Ps of marketing

6 November 2014

LONDON: The 4Ps of marketing are an outmoded concept in today's digital world, but a radical revision by an industry figure argues that marketers should instead be thinking of the 7Ps.

Writing in the latest issue of Admap, Toni Keskinen, a consultant and part of the of Future CMO movement, revisits the fundamentals of marketing and updates them for an omnichannel, real-time environment in which everything is available and traceable.

His new 7Ps include Position, Performance, Proximity, Price, Presence, Perceived product and Promotion.

Position refers to where brands feature in customer thinking. "Brand can be defined as a position in the customers' minds," he writes, noting that the number of category searches online is falling while brand searches are increasing. Being top-of-mind is more important than ever.

Performance is about the user experience over time. Too many businesses measure single engagements, but Keskinen points out that the reasons for buying a product or service may not be the same ones that will keep a customer happy, post-purchase, in the longer term.

If brands are to create a meaningful longer-term relationship, that will require proximity, or getting up close and personal with customers. Apple is held up as a good example of a brand that has created a strong human interface and online customer relationship with its Apple Stores. It helps that these stores are primarily a place for brand experience and are not assessed on the usual retail efficiency measures.

Price is no longer the fixed figure it used to be, thanks to comparison sites which consumers love but which also tend to push the brand further away from the customer. "The likes of Expedia … are creating direct relationships with customers and effectively driving prices down," Keskinen said.

Presence replaces Place in the new marketing mix, being a more flexible concept in an online, social networking age than the need to be physically there for buyers.

Companies like to define a product but they need to understand it is actually only what they can get the consumer to perceive it to be. Keskinen links Perceived Product closely to Performance, noting that "customer experience … is firmly embedded in expectations" and branding has a lot to do with that.

Finally, Promotion is divided into four categories: owned media, earned media, partner media and paid media. The role of paid media has diminished as the "customer service and customer relationship processes have become promotional activities in the age of open online dialogue."

Data sourced from Admap