After 50 Years, The 4Ps of Marketing Still Work

4 Ps - Jan 2013I’m writing this today after I attended a networking event last night. You know how networking events go, you have your business cards, you go in with the objective of meeting three new people and after that you can leave! (or perhaps that’s just me)

I got talking to a business coach and a heath and safety consultant joined us. But then an accountant joined the three of us. It’s always hard to enter in a conversation when there are three people already in a group. I’m chatty but even I find it difficult so I admire this accountants’ networking ability.

But I wanted to talk to you today about this particular accountant. He was friendly, laughed at the H&S consultant jokes and nodded at the times when you’re supposed to nod at networking events.


He insisted on giving me his business card even though I didn’t ask for it…and went onto hand out his card to everyone, willy nilly.

So here’s the deal and incase you’re wondering, there is a point to this story.

I think accountants should be professional as they are dealing with someone’s money. And typically speaking, they are doing accounts for people who don’t know accountancy or the ins and outs of accounting. So it is an incredibly trust-worthy business – we all have to trust our accountants…perhaps more so than our sales, marketing or production managers.

This guy had the experience – made redundant from a big name practice so that’s a tick. But he had an ill-fitting suit on, had business cards that were printed on really light paper and had a typo on them.

Would I use him?

Not in a New York minute. I had doubts and when you have doubts, it’s harder for the seller to overcome those doubts to get the sale. This is where the 4Ps come in.

The 4Ps in marketing – Product, Place, Price and Promotion – all have to be in alignment for them to work for a business or service.

So dissecting this accountant and the service he offers:

Product – Accountancy service – trust-worthy business as you’re dealing with small businesses who typically don’t know accountancy.

Price – Usually priced highly. If you encounter a low priced accountant, first thought is why? (Remember in the absence of any other attributes, price is always the determining factor in the buying decision process).

Promotion – Inexpensive and misspelt business card, ill-fitting suit.

Place – This is also distribution so at this stage, can’t say one way or the other.

And I can tell you another story about a client who thought they were high end service providers but when we dissected it down, they weren’t in high end in promotion or distribution (they were a retail outlet so easier to assess).

Take a minute now to look at your service, your pricing, your promotion and how you distribute your product or service. Is it all on brand? Are you pricing too high for the marketing that you’re doing? Or too low?

Are you saving on distribution but to the detriment of your business?

Does your literature and text on your marketing material really show the benefits of your product? Are you showing value?

If you’re not, then it’s time to address them…and usually it’s by making small changes. But the 4Ps – designed in the 60s are as applicable now as they ever were, despite the growth in social media and how we communicate. The basics of success are still there.

And finally, you don’t have to be high-end to have all your 4Ps in alignment. Look at Ryanair, their 4Ps are in alignment. You just need to be able to show there is no doubt with the complete product you offer.

Image courtesy of Next Billion. 

If you like this article, please share it with friends and fans. What do you think about the 4Ps? I’d love to hear your comments.

About the Author

Denise FayI'm Denise Fay, an international marketing communications advisor. For over 16 years, I've been helping corporations and business owners to promote themselves by communicating the right message with the right audience. They achieve clarity, leads and sales. I'm also an award-winning author, engaging speaker, entrepreneur, business owner and mum of two, I have written copy that has won awards, won clients and most importantly, built relationships. Because at the end of the day, it all comes down to how we relate to others. And writing great copy that engages with your reader is well worth its weight in gold. You too can find wealth in your relationships. I can guide and help you find your words, create an engaging message and build a relationship that results in repeat sales with your customers & leads. Contact me today to get started. Come find me on Google+View all posts by Denise Fay →

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