How Social Media Has Changed Marketing’s 4Ps

Actionable Marketing 101

When the Mad Men roamed boardrooms of major brands, marketing focused on the 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.  To stand out, Trout and Ries introduced the notion of positioning which they called the battle for your mind. Fast forward to 2010 where digital marketers still incorporate the 4Ps into their plans. The difference is that social media has altered the nature of the 4Ps in ways that the Mad Men would never have envisioned.

Here are four ways that social media has caused the 4Ps to evolve:

  1. Product. Providing functionality that meets consumers’ needs is no longer sufficient. Products must be talk-worthy. They need to have value relative to their cost; this may occur intrinsically and/or through an enhanced brand experience and/or with the addition of supplemental features such as training. Since consumers and the general public, using via tools like Facebook, Twitter and ratings & review sites, often have knowledge sooner than companies, products have to deliver on their promises and work.
  2. Price. Companies must price their offering fairly and competitively across distribution channels since expanded digital connectedness provide price transparency. The most obvious example is travel, especial airfares. Research has shown that price is one of the major reasons that consumers join companies’ social media sites. Further, The Internet and mobile web allow customers to check prices and they will call your firm out publicly if they spot inconsistencies. As a result, new competitors may enter the market closer to the point of purchase. This translates to thinner margins for established companies.
  3. Place. In addition to a retail establishment, direct sales, print catalog and/or websites, a business must have a presence across a broad array of social media offerings. This include company run pages, third party social media sites such as reviews and social shopping, and/or in conversations among consumers. Companies must consider whether their prospects, customers and the public want to socialize around their products and/or brand?
  4. Promotion. While marketers create special deals around their offering, it’s consumers who spread the word about products’ performance and value. Today, promotion is about more than just the offer, it’s about what makes the brand special so that consumers and the public want to associate with it. Marketing is driven by conversation, not product push, and needs to be integrated into every step of the purchase and post-purchase process. It requires content and support that helps and engages consumers.

While the Mad Men might not have been able to foresee the way that marketing has changed with the evolution of digital communications and the introduction of social media platforms, what’s certain is that they’d adapt to the current market conditions. They’d be today’s brand ambassadors engaging with customers, fans and the public by leveraging the strengths of the social media platforms to build their brands and drive profits.

What other ways do you think that the 4Ps have changed with the evolution of social media?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here’s the link to the Mad Men Facebook Page. Click here.

Photo credit: Mad Men’s Official Website

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