I am sure we all have learnt the 4P’s of Marketing Mix way back in our colleges courtesy Edmund Jerome McCarthy, who gave birth to it. It is one of the finest and most trusted business tool used for marketing various brands and products. But as I have always believed and said it enormous time that Digital medium is much different from traditional Marketing practices.
This was yesterday when I was sitting with one of my fellow Digital Marketer and we were just discussing the way forward for Indian Digital landscape, we touch-based topics like How Facebook is becoming almost synonymous to Social Media in India, How Twitter still holds a large user base and too way matured than other social networking platforms and so on. And somehow this 4P’s jumped in and he told me a revolutionary change in the fundamentals of Traditional Marketing referring the research published in Harvard Business Review that is like nut-and-bolt for Digital Marketing.
Over almost half a century we know the framework of 4P’s of Marketing Mix (product, place, price and promotion) but with the Globalization and new channels of marketing and technology, the approach of 4P’s yields a narrowed market. From more than last 5 years, brands have started thinking beyond these 4P’s to satisfy their strategic needs from various countries and B2B connections.
It’s not that we don’t need to consider 4P’s anymore or they irrelevant, its just that we need to level it up to meet the requirements of Digital Marketing. We need to think more real-time, more customer centric, more scalable in our overall approach to promote. And here are the alterations – Product becomes Solution, Place becomes Access, Price changed to Value, and Education replaced Promotion. So from 4P’s it has changed to “SAVE“.
Let me tell me you each one of them with a simple example of “Apple” as a brand and how Steve Jobs almost addressed all of these elements.
Solution, not Product
Those days are gone when people used to buy products based on functions and technicalities of the product. The generation today looks forward to solution to their problems from a product. Today consumer cares more about solving their problems and not features. Digital platforms like YouTube, Slideshare, Vimeo etc have a great potential where a brand can showcase how there products going to solve customers problems.
Now relate this to iPod launch, carrying music was always a pain before iPod launched in 2001. It actually changed the way people listen to music, it was a revolutionary product and one of the major reason was it helped people to listen to their music on the go.
Access, not Place
Second and one of the most important thing is Access. Its not about the availability or the store locations anymore, people buy online, they trust the channels, they can dig into almost any information required about the product and the place right with their smartphones. Its about their accessibility to reach a brand, to reach customer support, they want to know how attentive a brand is with respect to any customer feedback, they want your business accessible.
There is an old saying that ‘market’ in marketing refers to the customer, and if you as a brand is not accessible to your market they won’t trust you for a longer time. Just look around, see how brands are using digital platforms these days. See how companies like Dell, Amazon, Flipkart are efficiently accessible on Twitter, there are several other examples.
Value, not Price
Do you still think your customers compare the price with production costs, profit margins and competitor’s prices? Okay, a part of it Yes! they do think about the price; but they compare it with the value that they get from the product. The value or experience comes before price in customer’s mind while they take a buying decision.
Now again relate this to the value an iPhone featured when it was launched first in 2007. It was much expensive than the phones available that time in the market, but the value and the experience that iPhone gives is spectacular. Its such an awesome product that I have never in my life so far convinced anybody using an iPhone to shift to any other phone.
Education, not Promotion
Today, providing current and potential customers with information relevant to their interests to create a sense of familiarity and trust long before a purchase is even made. And that can be easily done by educating the customer about their needs related to your industry. This element specially can become a huge component of your content mix for various digital platforms be it Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, advertisements, banners etc. Educating the customer about the product and industry is of utmost importance.
Going back to Apple example, remember any of the Steve Jobs’ keynote on Youtube? here are few of the examples (iPhone keynote, iPhone 3G keynote, iPhone 4 keynote). Look the way he educates the customers the need of the product while launching it. He will talk about problems, solutions, details, a glimpse of technicalities, ease, smartness.
I am sure this will get registered somewhere in your mind, like I got it in. Would love to know how you feel about it?