The Page Group believes that the traditional values of Product, Placement, Price and Promotion are as relevant today as they ever were, but the fast pace of change in the marketing environment just demands that we must pay far closer attention to how these change, and how our customers are changing with them. Today, analytics, and strategy are dynamic and can be useful tools to drive effective marketing change. Check out this article by McKinsey partner David Edelman.
The New “Four Ps”: Everything You Need to Know About Your Customers
Every marketer at some point early on in his/her career learns about the four Ps: Product, Placement, Price, and Promotion.
While these attributes are universal and timeless truths, there is also something rote about them that I worry keeps marketers thinking in terms of old paradigms. With the radical changes in customer behavior, we need a new set of Ps to help us focus our marketing.
Three of my colleagues (Nora Aufreiter,Kelly Ungerman, and Phillip Dalzell-Payne) have done just that. They’ve laid out four new Ps that capture the ever greater expectations customers have of their brands:
- Pervasive. “Let me shop wherever I am.” The consummate “channel-surfer,” consumers move effortlessly across channels and technologies along their decision journey. Today, 56 percent of all customer interactions involve more than one channel or brand touchpoint. Connectivity is expanding, with 21 percent of tablet usage, for example, now happening in bed.
- Participatory. “I have a voice and I’m going to use it.” Digital tools and social media have given consumers a powerful voice. From “Haul” videos to amateur bloggers to crowdsourcing programs, today’s consumer demands to be heard. For online shoppers, online ratings and reviews are the most influential source of information. Brands must understand how to listen to their customers, empower them, and turn them into shopper-advocates.
- Personalized. “Make it relevant to me.” Thomas Romieu, the group digital director for LVMH, said that brands “need to make it easy to find what customers know they want, guide those who want to browse, and inspire others.” He was speaking about luxury shoppers, but expectations for relevance carry over to all of retail. Seventy-two percent of US consumers want to receive promotional offers that reflect their wants and needs. Personalized experiences are the new standard.
- Prescriptive. “I’m in control of the shopping process.” Consumers are now armed with tools and information that allow them to dictate not just what they buy, but where and how as well. Half of shoppers now use their smartphones to check prices while on the go, and 65 percent of them put off the purchase or shop elsewhere based on what they learn. Retailers who enable consumers to shop how they want are the ones who will keep their customers.
I’d recommend every marketer to print these out and tack them to the wall above their desk. In fact, every C-suite executive and board member should do the same because without a clear-eyed focus on the customer, growth is going to be hard to come by.
These Four Ps come from a piece that is out in Retail Leader: “How to Thrive in the Age of Me-Commerce.” The piece also lays out 5 questions for retail leaders should be asking themselves.
What other customer traits are critical to your business, and how do those insights inform your marketing efforts?