If you’ve taken a basic marketing or business class you are probably familiar with the “Four Ps” of marketing – Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. They’ve been taught for many years in colleges and universities around the world.
With the advent of internet marketing and social business tools there has been the occasional call for a new marketing mantra. I recently came across a blog post in Fast Company from Lisa Nirell titled, “The Four Ps of Marketing Need a Facelift.” She suggested changing the four Ps to four Ms – Market, Message, Method, and Mindset.
Definitely a facelift, keeping the number at four and saving the alliteration, but does it go far enough?
Reading her article reminded me of a presentation given by John Jantsch at our recent Gathering of Duct Tape Marketing Consultants on this topic. John urged us to consider a change in the Four Ps which retained both the number four and the “P” alliteration, but was a more profound change.
The 4 Ps of a Real-Life Marketing Strategy
Passion – The Why of the Owner
“A ship in port is safe but that’s not what ships are built for.” Grace Murray Hopper
Ask yourself three soul-searching questions: What do you want in your life? What don’t you want in your life? What are you willing to give up in order to have what you want?
Don’t just blow by those questions. Spend some time, maybe with pen and paper, and think these through.
Purpose – The Why of the Business
“Purpose builds trust because it allow people to see their own values in action in support of something they strongly beleieve.” John Jantsch
Do work you’re proud to finish. Serve customers you respect. Give wins to everyone. Go beyond trustworthy. Hire your blindspots.
Ask yourself these three questions: What do you love most about your work? Who do want to see you as a hero? How can (or does) your business serve your passion?
After you answer those three questions, consider this. If we were having this discussion three years from today, and you were looking back over those three years, what has to happen in your life, personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress?
Positioning – The What of the Business
“Lead with why and let those attracted to that why create their own definition of what.” John Jantsch
Here’s where the process gets more practical. Ask yourself and your employees, how could we serve our higher purpose?
Can we do something no one else in our industry is doing? Can we solve the greatest frustration of our ideal customers? Can we create an obvious innovation in our industry? Can we develop unique ways to package, price, or deliver our products and services? Can we create a totally unique customer experience?
In the movie City Slickers, the grizzled old cowboy Curly told Billy Crystal’s character that he needed to find that special “one thing”. Billy desperately wanted to know the secret to the “one thing”. But, Curly told him he would have to figure it out. Find your “one thing” for your business and you will set yourself apart from all of your competitors.
Personality – Purpose in Action
“Live by a tangible set of daily habits and processes that offer proof of purpose.” John Jantsch
This is where you take that purpose, or vision, statement plaque on the wall and decide to how your company is going to make it a tangible and real set of daily habits and processes that offer your customers proof that you really mean it.
Everyone is naturally drawn to people and experiences that are simple, playful, inspirational, innovative, convenient, community oriented, and filled with surprise. Think of your favorite places to go for vacation, and favorite places you do business. How of those traits do they exhibit?
These are the personality traits that a vibrant, fully alive, business uses to communicate their Passion, Purpose, and Positioning.
What do you think? Imagine what might happen if your business began to use these filters. What changes need to occur today and tomorrow? What if you aren’t the owner or manager? Can this be done from the bottom up? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.