Back in college, I learned the four P’s of marketing – product, place, promotion, and price. It was engrained in our brains that every good marketing campaign must consider these four elements for any chance of success. Through the ages, these concepts have stayed intact and students are still looking to these four P’s to learn the marketing basics.
When these four terms were created as the foundation to marketing, no one anticipated that the digital age of marketing and advertising would affect the concepts so greatly that they would actually evolve into something else. While it is still important to know the four P’s, it is even more important to know the evolution of the terms and how they still apply, but in new ways.
In Don Tapscott’s video (he’s CEO of the Tapscott Group), The Digital Consumer and the Rise of a New Paradigm for Marketing, he speaks about the new generation of digital consumers and how they want to collaborate in a new way – not just purchase and be “sold to” through traditional marketing efforts.
According to Tapscott, the four P’s are now shifting and consumers are no longer just focused on the product, but on the experience. The new generation doesn’t need products to be in the “right place,” because they already know what they want to buy (intersection of place and space). Through buyer-to-buyer selling and more transparency, consumers are able to establish the price instead of the seller just dictating what consumers should pay; the new price is a compromise. As for promotion, there is still a need, but the opportunity isn’t about promoting – it’s about engaging.
What Tapscott is referring to is the prosumer – producing consumers who have been challenged to create content and information as companies realize that talent exists in the customer base. Consumers aren’t just on the outside looking in and buying, consumers are inside the business to co-create and co-produce. As Tapscott puts it, “It’s a new partnership of the consumer and business working together to make, sell, and move products and ideas.”
Tapscott provides a new set of concepts that stem from the 4 P’s, but are more focused on the digital age and the change in consumer attitudes and habits.
This is the ABCDE of marketing:
- [Any] Place – This is the evolution of place, meaning that consumers don’t need something to be “in the right place” as they know where they want it to be and how to find it.
- [New] Brand – This is the new brand that is created by the seller who is adapting to meet the needs and collaborate with the prosumer.
- Discovery of new prices – This is where the consumers are taking back some of their power and helping to dictate prices by expressing what they want to pay, and sellers must remain competitive.
- Collaboration and communication – This is a double whammy, which is key in the collaborative economy age where consumers are doing more than just being involved – they want to be engaged, be a part of something, and the deeper a brand can engage their consumers, the more likely the consumers will be to purchase and become brand loyal.
- Experience – This is the entire sales cycle, which encompasses online and offline interactions. This is every single interaction and exchange between the seller and the consumer and this will ultimately produce consumer feedback and sentiment, which companies need to hear and know, and ensure it’s positive.
These concepts aren’t new, but this is a new context for the four P’s and a new, and essential, way of thinking about the basics of marketing and how they will apply to future campaigns that are integrating digital strategies and focusing on the digital consumer.
Watch Don Tapscott discuss this topic further in this clip: