The 4Ps of Marketing – mind your ‘C’s, ‘E’s and ‘Q’s

The 4Ps of Marketing – mind your ‘C’s, ‘E’s and ‘Q’s

The 4 P's by the Four Peas Ltd

When we established The Four Peas a decade ago, we chose the agency name as a reference to E. Jerome McCarthy’s widely referenced 4Ps of marketing. Playful and relevant, we hoped the name would bring a smile of recognition to marketers – and be distinct and memorable to boot.

Whether or not our brand name captures something of value is down to the beholder. But it’s interesting to note some of the variants of the 4Ps that marketing folk sometimes highlight with glee when we mention the agency name.

How many?

McCarthy’s 4‘P’s identified Product (or service), Place, Price and Promotion as the four key pillars of the marketing mix. If only we could have stuck to such a wonderfully straightforward framework. Various marketers have evolved and expanded the idea into the 7 ‘Ps’ – adding to the original 4 with factors such as People, Process and Physical evidence; or People, Positioning and Packaging.

However many ‘Ps’ you subscribe to, you may want to reconsider, as the concept of the 4 ‘Cs’ has gained traction as a more customer-focused take on marketing. Again, there are multiple versions of the 4 ‘Cs’, from Lauterborn’s Consumer, Cost, Communication and Convenience), to Shimizu’s Commodity, Cost, Communication and Channel.

Comparing the 4 P's

The 4 ‘E’s (E = Enough already)

We recently saw a Slideshare presentation from OgilvyPR advocating that marketers venture a little further along the alphabetical continuum. In Ogilvyland, they have the 4 ‘Es’: Experience (formerly Product), Everywhere (Place), Exchange (Price) and Evangelism (Promotion).

The A-Z of marketing?

All of these approaches are valid – if they work for those advocating them, who are we to argue? And it may well all end at the letter ‘Z’, though hopefully not in our lifetimes.

The more important point is that regardless of your perspective, specialism or chosen terminology, creating an effective marketing mix involves understanding a wide range of organisational, physical, emotional and behavioural factors. Label them as you like, just as long as you consider them.

Effective communication based on the full marketing mix

Marketing conversations can be prone to focusing on narrow perspectives or being overly channel-centric. So whether it’s the 4 (or 7) ‘P’s, ‘C’s, ‘E’s or any other letter you care to think of, here at the Four Peas we’re not too bothered. Our commitment is to keep interrogating and understanding the brands and wider marketing challenges of our B2B clients – that’s how we continue to create distinctive, results-led communications programmes that drive businesses forward.




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