The New 4 P's of Marketing

Did you learn about the 4 P’s of Marketing when you started in business?  Usually taught during the first week or two of every general marketing class out there–in business school, a technical college, and even in the occasional seminar, speakers will refer to the 4 P’s.  Used as a marketing term since the 1960’s, the 4 P’s are: Place, Product, Price and Promotion.

While these P’s are important, I think a new set of P’s should be considered as a joint cornerstone of marketing, especially with the advent of social media.  The new 4 P’s of Marketing include: Plan, Perspective, Perseverance and Passionate People.


It is essential to have a marketing strategy before you go to market with any product or service.  A marketing plan is your roadmap explaining how you will implement that strategy.  You need to be able to demonstrate that you can mix traditional marketing and digital marketing together in a cohesive message.  The US Small Business Administration has great information on marketing plans for new or small businesses.  I don’t like to differentiate “traditional marketing” with “social media” because it should all be together in a plan.  How you publish your message (this could be a 5th P) to the various channels is key.


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Look at your product/service from a customer/consumer perspective.  How does this product change them?  What do they see as a benefit?  If your product doesn’t change their life or provide a benefit, the marketing message for the product can be lost and it can be flash in the pan sales with little longevity.  I learned this rule when advertising health and beauty products for the promotional industry.  It wasn’t about the products or even the pricing, but the customers’ product experience to create a favorable impression and increase sales.


If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.  This is one that marketers don’t always go remember.  You see, marketers are enamored with the word “new” (and all of its synonyms).  Most marketers have Bright Shiny Object Syndrome (BSOS).  The problem with BSOS is that marketers don’t learn the value of marketing perseverance.  It takes a while, in fact several times before a valued customer sees your new product, no matter how great the advertising campaign.  Even though digital advertising can be more targeted, it still may take several views before a sale is completed.  So marketers need to have faith and give their campaigns time to work. And hold your campaigns to a high standard, no one wants to perceive your organization’s marketing as spammy.

Passionate People

This is the ultimate component of marketing strategy; it’s all about the people.  Keeping people top of mind in all your marketing efforts will be instrumental to success.  From product development, customer service, accounting and senior management, the people involved in the making the product/service need to know that you are on board with them.  The value of the right people in the right roles should not be underestimated if you want to grow.  From phone calls, to tradeshows, to sales calls, the passion that workers bring to the table can make your business sales limitless.  People are what make business tick, people are what make campaigns work and they will be your biggest advocates to success.

Passionate people are thorough and go the extra mile, without thinking of it as extra.

All of these P’s–the original 4 and my additional 4 funnel into a comprehensive marketing strategy.  If you neglect to address all of these areas, a plan will work, but there will be weakness which can decrease your potential marketing impact.

What do you think about these new P’s? Comment, especially if you use them in your organization. If you are missing one or two, address the needs accordingly.  Don’t be afraid to use these terms as a measuring tool when hiring marketing personnel or creating programs.  If you don’t have a plan, contact Vivid Image and we can start working with you to create a successful marketing program for your organization.  Take time this week to see if your marketing programs are encompassing all of these concepts.  If they are, your organization is on the right track to success.

Creative Commons License photo credit: matryosha


  1. Wouldn’t that be 5 P’s? ;)

    I think Perspective is the most important. If you’re not seeing your product/service from your customer’s point of view (and yes, this is VERY common), then you’ll never be able to get your customers on board with your brand story.

    • Sarah Manley says:

      Yes, 5 P’s–you are the first one to catch that :) You are so right–“Get Customer’s on Board with Your Brand Story by Changing Your Marketing Perspective”! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Interesting thoughts, although not new.

    But the Marketing Mix has never been a strategic model, but a way to compose an offer for the customers chosen. As such it’s still used a lot, although a lot of retailmarketeers prefer the diamond model of Tigert. Therefore pure theoretically this model can never be a replacement of the ‘old’ Marketing Mix model as the picture shows. The arrow should point the other way. These four elements as the basis for the composition of an offer to the customer.

    My problem, teaching marketing at a business school, with these 4P’s is that you create a lot of confusion in a professional environment where everybody associates 4P’s with something complete different. It will take many years to change!

    • Sarah Manley says:

      I think using this set of P’s in the marketing mix is important in today’s business environment. I don’t want to knock the old P’s–they are still critical, but I think this new set needs to be considered as another set of things to consider when formulating a marketing strategy. Thank you so much for your comments!

      • I agree with the fact that marketing today needs another basis to start from. Your 4-P model provides such a basis, as does the “Product Leadership”, “Operational Excellence” and “Customer Intimacy” from Treacy & Wiersema (2007), or the “Customer orientation”, “Coordinated Effort”, “Value-driven” and “Goal Orientation” of Berman & Evans (2010). But I will discuss your 4P’s with my students.

        Nevertheless I’m not happy with the suggestion that there is an Old 4 P-model describing the Marketing Mix, and a new 4 P-model establishing a strategic startingpoint for marketing.

        I´m still missing (in the other sets as well) subjects as environmental awareness and societal marketing, as described in Marketing 3.0 of Kotler c.s.

        • Sarah Manley says:

          Thank you for your discussion; I meant this to be a complimentary cornerstone to the original 4 P’s. I do think the original 4 P’s have a valid place in today’s business environment, but I think that if they are used in conjunction with the set in my post, a more robust strategy will develop.

          Have a great day!

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