Since the 1950s, the Four P’s of Marketing – also known as the Marketing Mix – have been the main building blocks marketers use. It’s true that there have been changes over the years, but for the most part these pillars have stood the test of time. They’re still the keys to the science of marketing, but a new question is relevant: how does social media fit into them – or does it at all?
The relevance of the 4 P’s
Some say that the 4 P’s are no longer relevant, and others say that they don’t apply to social media. Some say a different standard should be used, and you’ll have no trouble finding a social media consultant who has come up with their own list of P’s. The reality is that marketing is a science – it’s not an art. The rules and results don’t change just because new vehicles are now used to create a positioning strategy. Saying the 4 P’s have changed because marketing methods have changed is like saying the internal combustion engine shouldn’t be used as a result of the technological advancement of cars.
Applying the Marketing Mix to digital marketing strategies
The fundamental principle of the Marketing Mix is still as applicable and relevant as ever. No matter how you choose to get your message across, whether via the internet and social media or paper mailers, the science behind marketing methods doesn’t change. In fact, we believe that social media has done nothing but prove the importance of a well-aligned marketing strategy. Your social media consultant can use social media to get your brand further, faster than with traditional marketing methods.
A closer look at the 4 P’s
Understanding where social media fits within the Marketing Mix begins with understanding the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Let’s delve in a little deeper to see exactly where social media comes into play.
- Product. The first of the P’s includes the how functional a product is, as well as its appearance and quality. Essentially, this P refers to the physical attributes of the product. Social media doesn’t have a direct correlation to a product’s physical attributes. This P is not impacted – positively or negatively – by a social media positioning strategy.
- Price. This P includes numerous factors, including the list price of a product, discounts available, allowances, and more. It’s true that the internet has had an impact on the way products are priced, and the way companies compete with one another, but social media in and of itself doesn’t generally affect pricing, so this part of the Marketing Mix doesn’t change with social media strategies.
- Placement: Your social media consultant might call this P ‘Place’ instead of ‘Placement’, but either way, it applies to everything from supply chains to points of distribution to logistics. Once again, social media doesn’t have a huge impact on this P. It’s true that eCommerce can be both effective and efficient as a distribution model, but it’s not a strong component of it.
- Promotion. Essentially, Promotion is 100% about communication via numerous avenues, including public relations, advertising, sales promotion, and personal selling. What is social media really about, at its core? That’s right – communication! Promotion is indeed exactly where social media fits into the classical Marketing Mix.
Modern ways to implement the Marketing Mix
Your position strategy should include an updated, super-powered way to take advantage of the science behind the Marketing Mix. Social promotion is the perfect option. Through it you can reach a larger audience, connect more directly with your core customers, and provide virtually instant responses to customer concerns and complaints. That leads us to what more than one social media consultant considers to be the unofficial Fifth P: People.
The reality is that no position strategy will work, no marketing objectives will be met, if you don’t focus on the number one factor of success: people. You need customers, you need word of mouth, you need reviews: you need social media marketing to establish your brand, promote it, and create legitimacy. Social media makes it easier than ever before to focus on the most important ways to build your business.