The Four P’s of Marketing and Why They Are No Longer Relevant

April 26, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

The traditional way of considering a field marketing strategy was by thinking in terms of the Four P’s. Although this might sound like the sort of technique used to teach primary school children, it was used as a valid model for field marketing for many years only to be supplanted by the newer and cooler Six Cs.

What are the Four P’s then? They are the Product: considering what you are selling, how it should be designed and what are its limitations, the Place: finding where is should be sold, how a product should fit into that environment, the Price: calculating the balance of overheads against what you can convincingly get away with charging for maximum profit, and finally Promotion: blending all these concepts and mixing them together and thinking of the best way to tell customers about them. Product, Place, Price, Promotion; the process from beginning to end of a field marketing project.

In modern business however this idea is considered archaic and of little value. This is because each of these categories is extremely introverted towards the functions and needs of the company itself, if field marketing is the process of getting products to customers then surely the process should be more angled towards their needs.

The Six C’s take this point of view more towards what the customer is looking for, it considers Cost: how much customers will spend, Convenience: for the customer, Concept: what appeals to the customer, Communication: how the product appeals to the customer’s interests, Customer Relationships: not taking advantage of customers, and Consistency: proving to customers that your company is trustworthy.

The noticeable difference between the P’s and C’s is that every category considered in the Six C plan needs to be described in reference to a customer, as opposed to the P considerations that barely mention what customers might actually like. This shift in perspective, although seemingly simple, means a huge change to field marketing practice; companies who are tailoring products by thinking about customers are more likely to make marketing strategies that will genuinely appeal to customers.

This is the fundamental function of field marketing, the simplest model will express that the more suited a product is to a customer’s needs then the more likely the customer is to buy it. As the Four P’s barely stop to consider what might be relevant to the life of a customer then they are likely to fail to understand what the customers will want, unlike the consumer orientated Six C’s. This is why the Four P’s have been supplanted and lost relevance.

For more information about current issues in field marketing and FM jobs, Cosine UK are one of the most up to date of British field marketing agencies who understand and utilise modern field marketing concepts to great effect.

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