Monday, November 21, 2011

There are Four ‘P’s in Marketing – Not One

I attended a great social media convention in Philadelphia recently. The speakers were fantastic. I left feeling well educated but a bit odd about the continuing direction of the marketing profession. In all the exciting discussions regarding social media and digital communication, I sense the practice of marketing is moving from a strategic company driver to a more narrow role at a lower level in the organization. I realize that statement might not sit well with everyone. clip_image002

Marketing is generally defined as the process of providing goods and services to consumers that are designed to solve needs in a profitable way. Certainly, communication is a big part of marketing. There are an accepted mix of core elements in marketing called - the “4-P”s. These are the Products that meet a need, Pricing at which consumers are willing to pay, Placement of these products and services, and Promotion which is the communication of the product or service to the consumer.

The tactical exercise of moving communication from traditional one-way media to social conversations (which is necessary, by the way) has overshadowed the many other skills needed to be an effective marketer -- strategy, product development, pricing, channel expansions, etc. which are all needed to drive profitability and growth.

Marketers sometimes get angered at how senior managers don’t “get it” regarding social media and just want to measure ROI, etc. But the real issue is one of perspective and a bigger picture - a picture that the total discipline of marketing brings to the table. Let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture. Marketing needs a full picture to maintain its place at the executive table, where profit decisions get made.


Jim said...


You know I am in your corner with this post. Too much emphasis these days re: social media. All along I have been an advocate of hybrid marketing:

Larry Clark said...

I agree w Jim, and I see this happening in other functions as well, like learning and training. Social media is the shiny object high on the hype cycle, but we need to remember it's a tool, not the Answer To Everything. It'll be a while before we all sort this out.