ON THE 7 PS OF MARKETING
by Skadi Sturm
I am writing this text because the other day, after I have realized that my supervisor had a point in feedbacking me on my inconsistent and superficial business economics knowledge, all strategist in a team meeting ha-ha-had their asses of as one of them said: “Yeah, but just remember: everything goes back to the seven Ps!”.
You must know, there have been four Ps of Marketing, then seven, and now some people say that it’s not about the P’s anymore, its more about E’s.
Okay, businessmen, I am happy that you try to find the one letter, that turns your boring idea into something memorable, but you see that this changing amount of Ps or Es does make it a little bit ridiculous – or is it just me? Maybe you give Ernie from Sesame Street a call and ask him, which letter and how many of them are still for sale. When I first heard about this topic, I thought it was a joke. Or a mnemonic of tired economics students. But no, it’s really a thing. And it is for a reason. Name stupid, content important.
Follow me down the trail. The concept of the four Ps has been around since the 1950s.The four Ps were or are about the four essential factors involved in marketing a product or service to the public.
The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion.
Neil Borden, an advertising professor at Harvard (of course, where else) popularized the idea of the marketing mix and the concepts that would later be known primarily as the four P’s.
So, the 4 Ps. Here we go:
Product: How does your product meet your customer's needs?
Price: What is the value of your product?
Place: Where are customers looking for your product?
Promotion: How can you differentiate your product from competitors?
(Most interesting for designers is the fourth, promotion, because that have been our main job for the past 40 years)
Adding 3 more, because as the marketing industry has evolved, other Ps have been identified: people, process, and physical evidence. And I think these are the way more interesting and also explorable Ps.
People: Lets be honest, they are in the end more important than any product. And we are not only talking salesman here, but customer service is of course crucial. Excellent customer service not only converts to sales, but can increase your customer base by referrals. Acquiring these referrals by people who love your brand can also be a great example of how your marketing efforts can support your sales process.
Strategists and designers: create brands, that are so great, people can believe in them and are proud of them. They become the best brand ambassadors you can have.
Process: With the rise in online shopping, digital partnerships and logistics have become an essential part of the marketing mix. The process of delivering your product to the consumer should be designed for maximum efficiency and reliability, but may also include features that are in line with your brand, such as being environmentally or sustainably focused. But think even further, getting something you waited for, should not get lost in the mail, nor should it have a shitty packaging or returning policy. Make things smooth. People love to be appreciated. Make them feel that way through your processes.
And last but not least, physical evidence: Physical evidence incorporates aspects that proves your brand exists and that a purchase took place. Sounds weird? Is not that weird. It gives us insurance that thinks had happened and real. A feedback for our actions. Examples of proof of purchases can include physical or digital receipts, invoices, or follow-up email newsletters that you send to customers as a retention exercise.
But also create touchpoints that can be the house to come back to, when I want to feel the feelings again, or have a problem with my purchase. No matter if digital or offline. Examples of proof that your brand exists can include things like a store or office for your business, a website if your business operates solely online, or locations to present the brand in context, as in fairs.