For decades, business colleges and universities across the country drilled the 4 P’s of marketing into their students: product, place, price, and promotion. These were the basis of a good marketing mix. But now all of that has changed, and so has the current definition of marketing.
Introducing the 4 E’s of Marketing
First described in 1960 by Jerome McCarthy, the 4 P’s were the pillars of the marketing world. They described a direct relationship between the company and the consumer. This was also a transactional relationship, based on the exchange of money and information between them. If you think about it, the 4 P’s were a two-dimensional description of how marketing works.
Marketing today involves a more three-dimensional model that brings value propositions and digital media into the equation. These changes are best described by the 4 E’s of marketing: experience, everyplace, exchange, and evangelism. Let’s take a quick look at each one and see how they relate to marketing success and your company’s goals.
In today’s global economy, simply having the product your customers want doesn’t cut it. Consumers are looking for an experience—something that captures their attention and holds it. They want products and services that make them feel good enough to share with their friends.
Customers also need a story about your company to engage with them on a more personal level. The goal here is to create that experience and share it with them on every media platform you use. It takes time to build those “Likes” on social media, so don’t give up, just keep telling your story and eventually it will succeed.
Place used to be a storefront and some advertising. Now, you need to know where your customers hang out online and engage with them frequently. Everyplace describes how your company needs to be available and seen at any time of the day.
Devoting all of your time to your website will gain little attention because your audience spends more time on social media than anywhere else. Try to split your time between your website and developing your profiles on social media. News from your website can be easily spread on social media, which brings customers back to your website.
The price of your products and services still matter, but it’s more about what they get in exchange. This is where value becomes important. Consider what your value proposition is and capitalize upon it. What is their engagement worth to you? Rewards programs and in-store deals are a great way to bring more value to each purchase and engage directly with them. Taking customer feedback is also an important part of this process. Customers like to contribute ideas to businesses they care about.
Promoting what you sell is not enough. You need to educate your customers about the value and experience you provide. This includes letting your customers know why you are doing it. In turn, your customers will become brand evangelists and spread the word about your store to others. Promoting your products is not as strong as your customers evangelizing about them. For companies big and small, word-of-mouth marketing is ranked as the most important and least costly marketing activity there is.
Marketing’s New Definition
In 2014, the American Marketing Association updated their definition of marketing in order to reflect the radical changes that have occurred in the past 10 years. Marketing is no longer an internal process, like it once was. It’s a much more complex activity incorporating media and institutions that create value and potentially deliver to larger audiences.