Saturday, 11 April 2009

The Death of the Marketing Mix

At a recent Chartered Institute of Marketing workshop I saw a presentation by Andy Parker of Sandborne Marketing who offered a new interpretation of the Marketing Mix – traditionally known to all us alliteration loving marketers – as the 4 P’s.

The 4P’s really take an inward looking and company-centric view of the world. It is far better (always) to look at things from the point of view of customers and markets.

To this end he proposed replacing the 4P’s with 4C’s, as follows:

Customer value (to replace "product")
We often get carried away with the features of our products and services – it is always far better to look at these through the clients’ eyes and think of the customer value that we offer.

Cost (to replace "price")
Again, particularly in the current economic climate, think of the cost (benefit) to the customer. It IS still possible to sell high value, premium products. But as always it is now even more important to understand and justify the perceived cost to the customer.

Having a real, solid USP (in the customers eyes) will make this easier to justify.

Convenience (to replace "place")
When looking at our routes to market – salesforce, retail outlet or web we should always think about how convenient, easy and usable they are for clients. In my consulting work, even today, I am still often shocked by the lack of thought that has been given to the usability of web-based services and products.

In addition, a company’s routes to market and infrastructure are usually expensive to operate, and there is often room to develop these channels to offer greater customer convenience, and at the same time reduce overheads.

Communication (to replace "promotion")
Marketing communications is, and should have always been, a two way channel. It is no longer a case of who shouts loudest in the market. It is now more necessary that ever to properly segment the market and engage in communication with clients rather than promotion and broadcast of our sales and advertising messages.

Today, there is no longer one market of a million customers – but a million markets of one!

Thank you Andy for your thought provoking presentation!

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