With the all spanners that the Internet and electronic tools and methodologies have thrown into the business landscape, what has happened to the four Ps of marketing? They used to refer to Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Are these redundant now?
Yes and no. We just have a broader variety of things to think about now.
Products can include information, or a service, anything we can provide in exchange for something of value to us (money, information, an audience).
Pricing is now far more flexible and complicated than in years past. Products and services may be free (Dropbox, Gmail), or scaled in some way(personal, professional, enterprise), or even time-based (variable pricing for booking of tickets due to demand).
Placement / Distribution – considerations for E-Business are much broader now. Do we have one central fulfillment centre or a network of regional centres?
Promotion – it is far less acceptable to consumers to be bombarded with email marketing than it is to deluge them with television commercials. This is in part because the media are different. Television is a passive medium, the Internet is an active one. The emphasis is on ‘inbound marketing’ rather than outbound.
Authors Kalyanam and McIntyre believe that a better formula consists of 11 factors to consider.
- Product – in all of their guises mentioned above including information, music, audio, eBooks, services, and so on.
- Placement- consider affiliates, other supply chain partners
- Pricing – free, tiered, subscriber model, micro-payments
- Promotion – online ads, sponsor links, email, public relations
- Personalisation – customization, individualization, collaborative filtering
- Privacy – e.g. state your policy and conformity to the relevant SPAM Act.
- Customer Service – FAQ, help desks, Email, Chat rooms.
- Community – chat rooms, user ratings, reviews
- Website – navigation, ease of use and usefulness, user experience (UX), user interface (UI).
- Security – SET, SSL
- Sales Promotion – e-coupons, offers, bundling.
Remember, marketing is not a function. It is not ‘promotion’ or selling or advertising. It is the “creation, communication and delivering of value.”
We can run up and down our supply chain to find and add value at multiple points.
Do you find the 11 new elements of the Marketing Mix for online businesses helpful?
Kalyanam, K & McIntyre, S. (2002) “The e-marketing mix: A contribution to the e-tailing wars”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 487-499.