The Four P’s of Marketing Adds a 5th P

by Scott Bishop on December 30, 2009

The 5th P of Marketing

The four P’s of marketing have been a pillar of marketing education since I can remember.  They’re taught by every marketing professor and written about in every marketing text book…but are they outdated?  Do they address the business needs of today’s social environment?

If you’re unfamiliar with the four P’s of marketing here they are:

  • Product
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion

While I agree that the  four P’s of marketing are vital…I mean its tough to make sales without a Product.  You need to determine a fair Price.  Figuring out the appropriate Place to sell your Product might be a good idea.  And Promotion of it seems like common sense.  They still don’t seem to offer that extra push that businesses need to succeed in today’s social business environment.

While studying the four P’s of marketing in college, and constantly hearing about them in presentations since…I always felt like something was missing.  Even if each of these were executed well, it still leaves room for marketing failure.

Because of technology and the Internet, we live in an abundant  time where just about any product is available to us.  Because of these same technologies, in many aspects the playing field for competition  has been leveled.

So when all things are equal…why do people buy?

This is of course the million dollar question…and one that does not have one specific answer.  But I do know one effective way to get customers to buy your product…so I thought I’d introduce a new vital “P” that is more appropriate in the time of real-time marketing and social media.

Personality

No longer can you have the luxury of business as usual.  The economy is in the tank and getting by with the old formula doesn’t work.  You must differentiate.  You must stand out.  So why not use one of the least expensive ways to differentiate, utilizing social media tools…specifically to add a personality into your business.

Here’s why personality works:

Because people tend to buy from those the like, know, and trust.  And yet…none of the old four P’s of marketing seem to cover any of these factors.

Unless you’re selling a product you have a monopoly on, you’re going to have competition.  So when I have a need, and a friend who sells a quality product that fills that need…I buy from my friend or contact.

  • Personality gives you a brand to root for because you like the person behind the profile.
  • Personality creates loyalty by establishing a sense of common ground and unity between customer and brand.
  • Personality differentiates between competition because customers feel some connection to a brand.
  • Personality creates and attracts a dialogue, offering information customers can value.
  • Personality gets targets to look at a product they might not normally be interested in.
  • Personality boosts referral sales because people like helping other people, and when they feel like they know you…they’re happy to refer leads your way.

Creating a personality for your brand cannot be achieved overnight.  It takes genuine strategy, hard work, and time.  But when done right, you’ll have an endless potential for new and repeat customers in your targeted demographic.

So next time you’re diving into a marketing book, lecture, or discussion and the four P’s of marketing come up…think about Personality and you’ll have an instant leg up.

This post has been graciously sponsored by The List. Find contact information for media buyers and corporate decision makers.

  • pattichurch

    I really think you have hit the nail on the head. I have been teaching first year marketing for a few years and I have often felt that the 4P's were lacking a little depth. By adding the 5th you've given them the dimension they need a traditional model needs. It really comes down to building a brand and personality is everything.

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  • sbishop

    Wow, that's rewarding to hear this from an actual marketing teacher. I always felt the 4 P's were a good start for an introduction to marketing, but they didn't allow enough to go take it to the next level. With the constant innovation and dynamic business environment, I felt something needed to be added. I really appreciate your thoughts on this subject Patti. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Damion

    Scott,
    Fair enough. Your take on the 5th “P” is an intriguing one. My only concern is this. Is the personality component less or more relevant now that we are in a new era of media. We are no longer in the era door to door to do sales nor are we cold calling peoples house and cell phones to to sell them things like we use to do. More and more sales and marketing are being done through direct mail and the internet. Even in situations where you encounter a real person it is usually in the form of a up-sell or a tack on product. As we move more toward technology, social media and internet and robo-calls, is there really room for personality? If so where do you see it coming from and what is one example of a company that is leading the personality charge?

    By the way…I like the blog and your style. Do it big.

  • tamcdonald

    Scott, excellent post! Personality is present in almost all the up and coming businesses and even the established ones that are still prospering. Some of the others that aren't doing so well should read this.

  • tamcdonald

    Scott, excellent post! Personality is present in almost all the up and coming businesses and even the established ones that are still prospering. Some of the others that aren't doing so well should read this.

  • http://www.ProductLaunchManager-MarcEvans Marc Evans

    Personality is all about the conversation with your market, you need to find out what they want. Scott I mentioned your post on my blog, thanks for sharing the great info.

  • tamcdonald

    I think Chris Brogan must have read your post! http://budurl.com/h87y

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  • sbishop

    Thanks a lot for the mention on your blog! I really appreciate it.

  • sbishop

    Thanks for the comments Tim, I really appreciate it! Clearly my blog is a huge influence on Chris Brogan. haha Relationships are a large portion of sales as we all know. They help with new clients, but even more importantly help keep current customers coming back for more. Thanks for passing along this link and leaving a few comments!

  • http://www.girlsaroundchitown.blogspot.com jenstuart27

    Personality is definitely where social media has the most potential. I think a lot of brands are missing this. Any brand can make a twitter or facebook page and pump out information, but it's the person/people behind the information that can really make the connection with their consumers and create a level of brand loyalty that goes far beyond price and convenience. The only problem with this is when the person running the social media strategies changes. I've had experiences where one day you were communicating with a person, and the next day, there was an automated feed running the show, slow to respond. This is a clear sign that there wasn't a social media strategy communicated internally, and I think that internal communication with employees and clear brand personality are going to separate brands considerably in the future.

  • sbishop

    Thanks for the comment Jen. I think the problem you are speaking of is common, but I think it's a lack of strategy. Or at least a lack of commitment to the strategy. Too often businesses treat social media as a separate function from marketing…they're not. Nothing happens overnight and a true commitment to the overall strategy would solve many of the problems you speak of. Great comment, thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    Good stuff Stu – You and I are in the exact same line of thinking here – I just wrote a guest post for The Ocean Agency here in the city (to be published in the next week or so) about the value of throwing personality into your marketing mix. It is the single most important factor that can really set yourself and your business apart from the rest. And it's how so many small to medium sized businesses are really capitalizing and competing with their larger competitive counterparts who don't take time to build those relationships.

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    Also let it be known that I'm not sure where “Stu” came from – haha. Chalk it up to temporary brain lapse.

  • sbishop

    Stu?? Who the hell is Stu! haha I've been called many things…Stu however is a first.

  • sbishop

    Thanks for the comment Matt. We are def in agreement that personality will be how brands differentiate in the future. Looking forward to your post…thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    Haha I honestly don't have an answer for you. Hope all is well buddy! Haven't heard from you in a while!

  • sbishop

    Haha, no prob…it's pretty funny. Things are going well. Just trying to move projects forward. They are piling up but good things coming.

  • sbishop

    Damion, thanks so much for the comment. I think because we live in an era of new media, personality is more relevant than ever. No longer can brands just differentitate from TV commercials, or mail coupons…brands need to create a true connection.

    By personality, I mean strictly an online relationship. Smaller companies may be able to create a face to face presence, but with the nature of my blog…I was purely speaking online. There are several techniques to achieve this, and that would prob make for a good future post.

    I see this most directly with small businesses…but there are a few big brands that are excelling in this space. For a direct example, look at my post titled “Ford's Missed Social Media Opportunity.” http://bit.ly/5rui5C The same day I published the post, Scott Monty, Ford's Global Digital Communications Director left a comment on my blog explaining where Ford was coming and why they added the features I mentioned.

    This is an amazing effort for brand monitoring and conversation is def a piece of the Personality Puzzle.

    Thanks for stopping by Damion.

  • sbishop

    Damion, thanks so much for the comment. I think because we live in an era of new media, personality is more relevant than ever. No longer can brands just differentitate from TV commercials, or mail coupons…brands need to create a true connection.

    By personality, I mean strictly an online relationship. Smaller companies may be able to create a face to face presence, but with the nature of my blog…I was purely speaking online. There are several techniques to achieve this, and that would prob make for a good future post.

    I see this most directly with small businesses…but there are a few big brands that are excelling in this space. For a direct example, look at my post titled “Ford's Missed Social Media Opportunity.” http://bit.ly/5rui5C The same day I published the post, Scott Monty, Ford's Global Digital Communications Director left a comment on my blog explaining where Ford was coming and why they added the features I mentioned.

    This is an amazing effort for brand monitoring and conversation is def a piece of the Personality Puzzle.

    Thanks for stopping by Damion.

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  • Bscess

    If you look around, your personality in a way can be created by the old 4 P’s?

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