Jerome McCarthy’s 4Ps are out of date. In the digital era we need to revisit Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
Consumers nowadays have many ways to satisfy their needs, and these ways are very linked and influenced by digital channels. We can access other customers reviews very easily; the place is not one only place anymore. We can also compare prices within a click. We demand useful information and help to do the things we want to do.
Taking these changes into account, Bob Lauterborn spoke about the 4Cs: Consumer, Costs, Convenience, Communication. An essential change in the marketing mix, now orientated to the customer rather than to the brand. We are no longer selling a product; we are fulfilling needs. We have to satisfy these needs, basing the cost on the level of satisfaction, making the purchase convenient (easy) and communicate with our public target on a give and take basis.
Though I like Lauterborn’s approach, I must say that I’m more driven by S.A.V.E.: Solution, Access, Value and Education. Our product is a solution. Digital channels blur the idea of a place, what is worth now is the access. Can our customer access our solutions easily? Are we considering their habits when “placing” our solution? Regarding revenue, Value should substitute the idea of price and clearly articulate the benefits our solution is offering. Finally, Education should replace promotion. Free and useful information creates a bigger bond than a promotion.
It’s time to replace these 4Ps with a more interactive approach that considers all the new channels available to us. The consumer is always right, so we should focus on being useful to them and understand their needs rather than on our brand idea.