How Do the 4Ps Apply in Today’s Digital Marketing
The growth of digital media has seen more and more people choosing to go online for their interactions with businesses and their products. This represents a dramatic shift from a traditional media dominated world when the concept of the 4Ps was first introduced in the marketing world.
A lot has changed since this framework has seen the light of day six decades ago. People have switched their buying patterns and the 4Ps of marketing have suffered changes as well. So, what are the 4Ps and how do they apply to digital marketing? This is what we are here to find out.
What Are the 4Ps of Marketing?
The starting point of the 4Ps can be traced back to 1964 with an article published by Neil. In this article, the concept of a marketing mix was first introduced by Borden to highlight the ingredients of a successful marketing strategy. Borden included a lot of aspects in his argument, from branding, distribution, and display all the way to price, product, promotion, and place.
The initial response from marketers was that the proposed framework is too cluttered and is difficult to follow. E. Jerome McCarthy proposed A streamlined version. His version focuses only on four aspects:
Let’s now turn our focus and see exactly how each of the 4Ps apply in today’s context of digital marketing.
Adapting ‘Product’ to the Online World
It all starts with your product. You can’t have marketing without one. In today’s world, this can mean anything from physical products to services and software. The key lesson here is that you need to have a product that serves a purpose. It needs to solve a problem for your customers.
Herein lies the challenge posed by digital marketing. With so many resources at their disposal, customers have many options to choose from. Therefore, your product really needs to have a unique selling proposition to convince customers that your product solves their problem.
In the old days, if you were the only blacksmith in town, then you had no competition, you were the only option. Nowadays, the sheer variety of products to choose from has brought with it a shift in terms of how businesses approach marketing. In order to be successful, you need to put the end-user first. It is easier to identify a problem and provide a solution rather than developing a product and just hoping for the best.
Some questions you should ask yourself about your product should include:
- Are you aware of the demands of your potential customers?
- How does your product differentiate itself from your competitors?
- What advantages does your product bring to solve your customers’ problems?
- Are there features a competitor’s product has, and yours doesn’t?
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The Third P — Place
You’ve sorted out your product and your pricing. It is time now to think about how your customers will access your product or services. Traditionally, this meant relying on newspapers or retail stores in order to get your product in front of customers.
Digital marketing has added more complexities to placing your products. Customers have an array of channels to choose from. Each is dedicated to their particular needs. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly which distribution channel has the highest chance of leading to a sale.
In order to get this right, you need to make use of two important opportunities digital marketing has made available to businesses:
Relationship building The plethora of online mediums at your disposal such as social media platforms, online forms, emails make it easy for you as a business to stay in touch with your customer and harness the power of relationship-building exactly where your clientele is most active
Accessibility Smartphones and a stable internet connection mean customers now have access to a 24/7 marketplace. This implies that you need to make sure you are always online as a business and easily accessible by the right audience
Promoting Your Business in the Era of Digital Marketing
Promotion is the P most businesses focus on. It is no wonder this is the case, considering that promotion covers all the marketing channels and techniques you use to sell your products and raise awareness.
We believe that today marketers have more options in terms of promotion than ever before. On top of the conventional marketing channels (billboards, TV, direct mail, radio) that are still effective, you now have plenty of online channels to choose from. To name but a few:
- Paid search
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
As a general practice, ask yourself the following questions for devising your promotion strategy:
- Which channel is most relevant to the product and customer?
- Where are your competitors promoting their products?
- How should you time your promotion?
- What channels are available in the first place for promoting your product?
Ready to Put the 4Ps Into Practice?
There is a reason the 4Ps concept stood the test of time for devising a marketing strategy. Nowadays, with the aid of digitalisation, these 4Ps are even easier to implement. Rather than being a problem, digital marketing is an unhoped-for solution to getting your products in front of your target audience as quickly and hassle-free as possible.
However, the opportunities provided by the 4Ps and digital marketing mean nothing if you are not asking the right questions or taking the right steps to make them work for your business. Luckily, digital marketing is our bread and butter. Let’s talk today and see how we can help you bring your 4Ps strategy in tune with the right online marketing approach.