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  • Writer's pictureRandy Soulier

The Five P’s of Marketing

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

As any marketing professional knows, there are traditionally four elements to the marketing recipe: price, place, product, and promotion. Before I share why I believe the four P’s concept is increasingly inaccurate at the present, let us quickly recap what they are. And before that recap, quick refresher on what is marketing.

Marketing- (My understanding) The identification of problems, needs, or wants and the process and production of bringing solutions to the marketplace through various communication methods and research.

(2017 New York Times article understanding) The art of telling stories so enthralling that people lose track of their wallets.

(American Marketing Association understanding) Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

And that is what makes marketing so broad, so much fun and limitless creativity to marry the consumer to products and services. Now, the four P’s-

Product- What are we wishing to bring to the marketplace? Whether it is a new widget, or a different version of one or are we wishing to sell a service to help with a need in the marketplace? Whatever we visualize as fulfilling that want or need, this is where branding becomes important. A marketer wants the buyer, and prospective buyers, to feel encouraged when their product is seen or talked about.

Price- Fairly a literal “P” of the mix. However, as consumers become more educated through maturing as purchasers online and the expanse of price research that exists, marketers have more dynamics in play now than historically when it comes to supply, demand, and saturation.

Place- Where is your product or service accessible to the buyer? Since the latter part of the 20th century, ecommerce has continued to change the “Place” items are available. At the present, if your item has the opportunity to be sold as ecommerce, getting listed on a site such as Amazon can truly open up your market exposure and at the same, have a heightened credibility by doing so.

Promotion- This is the visual of showing the marketplace what you have, sharing the features and benefits to fulfill that “need” or “want.” Whatever function to cross with a consumer is Promotion. And as the growth into ecommerce is still clear, newspapers and radio advertising are not as powerful or as high impact as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Additionally, some of the marketing world is potentially thinking of seeing “promotion” in the marketing mix as more of a “process” to get your item into buyers’ hands.

What I believe to be a solid addition to the traditional marketing mix is adding “People” as a 5th ‘P”.

People- I am a strong believer that people buy from people. And when I say “buy,” I mean the experience leading up to the price payment decision, during the transaction, and the affirmation of the purchase being worth it. Now albeit that buying something online does not include much in terms of interacting with people. But, if we stop and think for a minute, someone told us about the item and where they bought it, or we read the customer reviews and hear about the service beyond the rated item features. Have you ever had the experience of going out for a meal and the food was okay but the waitstaff, host and busser were top notch and that was the memory of the purchase? And as marketers, the people we employ can truly make or break success on a transaction or the experience through receiving or enjoying a service. I also believe the saying, “hire for attitude and train for skill.” People, just as important now more than ever when it comes to planning your marketing strategy; Is one of the best of the Five P’s of Marketing.


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