The 5th “P” of Marketing

The 5th P of Marketing

The 4 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  They’re taught by every marketing professor and written about in every marketing textbook…but are they outdated?  Do they address the business needs of today’s social environment?

If you’re unfamiliar with the 4 P’s of marketing here they are:

  • Product
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion

While I agree that these “P’s” are vital for marketing…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 these 4 P’s 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.


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 marketing “P’s” 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 customers and brands.
  • 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 of 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 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 4 P’s come up…think about Personality and you’ll have an instant leg up.

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Scott S Bishop
Scott S. Bishop is editor for Real Time Marketer and a marketing strategist with a specialty in social media. He is an avid blogger and active across the net. He is @thescottbishop on Twitter
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