The 4 New P’s of Digital Marketing

1st View



Tailoring a consumer product or service to meet their needs

a) Listen to consumers

b) Give consumers choice

c) Make it all relevant


Involving consumers in the marketing mix

a) Create an environment

b) Build communities

c) Reward participation


Friends and peers are more trusted than adverts

a) Marketing messages are social

b) Messages are more valuable and trusted

c) Make things easier to share


Marketing that is relevant to consumer behaviour

a) Marketing that learns

b) Accept consumer preference

c) Consumer privacy, let them opt-in

“In the online world, businesses have the opportunity to develop very deep relationships with costumers, both through accepting preferences of costumers and then observing their purchase behaviour over time.” Jeff Bezos, Founder of

The old 4 P’s of marketing mix

Did you learn about the 4 P’s of Marketing when you started in business? Usually taught during the first week or two of every general marketing class out there–in business school, a technical college, and even in the occasional seminar, speakers will refer to the 4 P’s. Used as a marketing term since the 1960′s, the 4 P’s are: Place, Product, Price and Promotion.

We all learned these basic marketing principles in college and they still stand up today. But the social web is a true shift in the way we communicate and go to market. For the first time, mankind has access to real-time, free, instantaneous, two-way, global communication — and the good old marketing mantra needs a little updating.

2nd View

Here are my thoughts on the NEW Four P’s of social media marketing — People, Presence, Pervasiveness and Publishing.


The social web is the first true PEOPLE-driven communication channel. Everybody’s a video star, a rock star, a broadcaster, an author. Everybody creates, reviews, publishes, and bitches. Publicly. Permanently. We have the opportunity to listen intimately and often. We can tune in to laugh and cry with our customers, wherever they are in the world. The consumer-driven web is the biggest marketing revolution since radio.


This is different from the old concept of “place.” The old marketing “place” to sell, market or distribute was a tangible location like a grocery store. We knew where our consumers were … and they’ve probably been there for decades. Where are they getting their information today? From a video game? From a link on a tweet? From their phone? From a coupon on their phone automatically sent to them by an RFID/GPS system while they are standing next to your product in the grocery store?

To make it even more complicated, a customer’s source of information may be constantly shifting. Think of the implications if you choose incorrectly or your competitor moves into an emerging platform more rapidly. Kind of makes you want to go back to newspapers, huh? That’s why you need to develop a presence that can adapt and adjust to wherever consumer attention drags you. It will be fascinating to watch the big brands create a unified and compelling presence across so many platforms.


Let’s take a lesson from Twitter to illustrate this key concept. For years, Twitter hasn’t focused on making money. It has focused on DOMINATING and pervading a consumer space. Why? They know that consumers will have the bandwidth for just one micro-blogging site. Once they devote their emotional equity to one platform it will be extremely difficult to get them to switch. Perhaps impossible. And that’s what Twitter is counting on.

So it might be easy to get folks to taste a new brand of cookie or soft drink, but it will be much more difficult to get them to switch to an unfamiliar communication or marketing channel. Brand marketers jockeying for precious consumer online attention will have to develop ideas and entertainment concepts that are pervasive and with high emotional switching costs. Not cheap. Not easy.


Five years ago, would you consider a shoe company to be a significant publisher? Yet Zappos has more than a dozen blogs. I contend the biggest challenge to any marketer may be the publishing of consistently engaging, meaningful content. And increasingly that means cutting through the clutter with entertaining content like puzzles, games, contests and videos. The implications of sustaining an organization’s publishing presence is daunting!

So what’s your take on this? How are you adjusting to the new P’s? How are you integrating them with the old ones?

3rd View

I think a new set of P’s should be considered as a joint cornerstone of marketing, especially with the advent of social media. The new 4 P’s of Marketing include: Plan, Perspective, Perseverance and Passionate People.

It is essential to have a marketing strategy before you go to market with any product or service. A marketing plan is your roadmap explaining how you will implement that strategy. You need to be able to demonstrate that you can mix traditional marketing and digital marketing together in a cohesive message. The US Small Business Administration has great information on marketing plans for new or small businesses. I don’t like to differentiate “traditional marketing” with “social media” because it should all be together in a plan. How you publish your message (this could be a 5th P) to the various channels is key.

sun deck
Look at your product/service from a customer/consumer perspective. How does this product change them? What do they see as a benefit? If your product doesn’t change their life or provide a benefit, the marketing message for the product can be lost and it can be flash in the pan sales with little longevity. I learned this rule when advertising health and beauty products for the promotional industry. It wasn’t about the products or even the pricing, but the customers’ product experience to create a favorable impression and increase sales.

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. This is one that marketers don’t always go remember. You see, marketers are enamored with the word “new” (and all of its synonyms). Most marketers have Bright Shiny Object Syndrome (BSOS). The problem with BSOS is that marketers don’t learn the value of marketing perseverance. It takes a while, in fact several times before a valued customer sees your new product, no matter how great the advertising campaign. Even though digital advertising can be more targeted, it still may take several views before a sale is completed. So marketers need to have faith and give their campaigns time to work. And hold your campaigns to a high standard, no one wants to perceive your organization’s marketing as spammy.
Passionate People

This is the ultimate component of marketing strategy; it’s all about the people. Keeping people top of mind in all your marketing efforts will be instrumental to success. From product development, customer service, accounting and senior management, the people involved in the making the product/service need to know that you are on board with them. The value of the right people in the right roles should not be underestimated if you want to grow. From phone calls, to tradeshows, to sales calls, the passion that workers bring to the table can make your business sales limitless. People are what make business tick, people are what make campaigns work and they will be your biggest advocates to success.

Passionate people are thorough and go the extra mile, without thinking of it as extra.

All of these P’s–the original 4 and my additional 4 funnel into a comprehensive marketing strategy. If you neglect to address all of these areas, a plan will work, but there will be weakness which can decrease your potential marketing impact.

What do you think about these new P’s? Comment or think of it, especially if you use them in your organization. If you are missing one or two, address the needs accordingly. Don’t be afraid to use these terms as a measuring tool when hiring marketing personnel or creating programs. If you don’t have a plan, you must to create a successful marketing program for your organization. Take time this week to see if your marketing programs are encompassing all of these concepts. If they are, your organization is on the right track to success.



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