Today every business student learns about the Four Ps of marketing. What few students realize, however, is that the “Four Ps” were originally 15. The concept of the Four Ps first emerged in conjunction with the term “Marketing Mix” when Neil Borden spoke before the American Marketing Association in 1953. Product, placement, promotion and price were among several of the ingredients a marketing manager should “mix” in order to control the process in marketing and service. It was only in 1960, when Edmund Jerome McCarthy – a prominent American professor – advocated for a specific, limited palette of marketing considerations did the four Ps become the “Four Ps” as we know them today.
At Beyond Philosophy, we seek to remain true to the original idea of a genuine “marketing mix,” or one that offers customers a holistic experience (as opposed to piecemeal price reductions and promotions). The Four Ps are merely a subset of customer experience, and the issue we confront today is that marketing departments have lost touch with what it means to offer customers products through a meaningful experience.
By offering experiences in tandem with products or services, a truly customer-centric company culture moves beyond the Four Ps. Our research has shown time and time again that how customers receive and use products matters more than price-sensitivity; hence overall customer experience trumps price-sensitivity. Yet marketing departments still maintain a pure pricing-strategy approach to the customer.
The move to become a customer-centric organization means embedding a cross-siloed view of marketing as service and appreciation of customer emotions from the inside out.