The ascend of Digital marketing has not gone unnoticed.
From businesses hiring a digital marketing specialist to run their campaigns to startups using influencers to promote their brands, Digital marketing is everywhere.
While the businesses have moved with time, our good old books of marketing have struggled to adapt to the changing world of marketing.
One of the popular marketing jargon (at times overly used) is 4 Ps of Marketing.
With the world going digital, don’t you think the time has come for us to look at Digital Marketing from the same prism of 4Ps?
Let’s discuss = 4Ps of Digital marketing.
What led me to look for this trend?
It’s a long story (yawn!) which I am going to tell you (godspeed) quickly.
The other day I came across a group of marketing professionals who wanted to learn Digital Marketing.
Any discussion related to digital marketing gets my ears standing. I am at times snooping or eavesdropping such talks.
During my conversation with the guys, I realised how wrongly did they perceive digital marketing.
These guys were from the Marketing background, and all they spoke was the technical stuff inserted into their mind by one of the digital marketing training institutes they had visited.
Their digital marketing career (definitely) wasn’t starting on a promising note.
The exciting bit was that one of them was an entrepreneur who was learning digital marketing to promote his business.
In my mind, I knew he had misunderstood digital marketing, and with such wrong notions, his business would never be able to use the power of digital marketing.
I could empathise with him because I had been through the drill, and it had taken me years of learning/practice to understand the right use of digital marketing.
Such has been the enlightenment (i can already see myself sitting on top of Himalayas with a beer in my hand in a state of nirvana) that I tell every entrepreneur I meet – Mate! If you are bootstrapping your startup – learn digital marketing. It will save you tons of money”.
Coming back to the story which I promised to be short.
I tried to share my enlightenment with the lost souls with simple words – Digital Marketing comprises of the words “Digital” and “Marketing”.
I said the last word (Marketing) aloud to make them understand the relevance of “marketing” in digital marketing.
So that’s where our discussion got interesting. We started discussing what we had learned in marketing and started applying the same to Digital marketing.
Soon our discussion shifted to 4Ps of Marketing and in today’s digital era – can there be 4Ps of Digital marketing?
This conversation kept getting interesting!
Now before I create a relation in between the 4Ps of Marketing and the new 4P’s of Digital Marketing, Let’s go back to 1950s.
The term “marketing mix” was created by Neil Borden, American Marketing Association president in 1953, and this has been using since then in different forms.
In 1960 E. Jerome McCarthy came up with the idea of 4 Ps in Marketing and since then, 4Ps and Marketing Mix are the twins of the world of Marketing.
The marketing mix (read 4Ps) explains the cluster of activities, or strategies, which is applied by the various organisations to promote its product or service in the market.
As a matter of fact, the 4Ps help to build a perfect marketing mix – Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.
Definition of 4P’s of Marketing:
4P’s of marketing define the activities or strategies that any organisation uses to promote its brand or product in the market. The 4Ps are – Price, Product, Promotion, and Place (wait – this article is not one of the jargon-filled articles written to bore you with “marketing talks”.
Digital marketing is fun, and I promise to keep it that way.
I am just covering basics to make the mapping to 4Ps of Digital Marketing a little easier for you).
In ordinary language, 4P’s of marketing means, manufacturing the product as per the requirement of the users or people, which fulfils customer’s demand, place rightly (means readily available or visible to customer) at right price (cost of the product should justify the usage of the product) while doing some promotion (promotional activities which are to be done by manufacturers to motivate buyers to buy the same).
Elaborating these 4P’s further:
Product: Product defines the service or item which is sold by sellers to buyers. A product can be in any shape like physical item or services etc.
Price: Price defines the value of the product, which is paid by buyers to sellers in return for product and services. Usually, the price is the value of the product specified in product and services. Pricing of the product depends on a variety of internal and external factors.
Place: Place denotes a distribution channel of sales for the product. Place means – to make the product available readily to buyers or potential buyers of the product. Right placement of product matters a lot for the success of the product.
Promotion: Generally, promotion means any activity or action taken to sell or promote the product. Whatever promotional activity we do to improve the product like advertising, events, customer incentive schemes, marketing activities is called promotion.
Now you know the basics, and I am ready to cut to the chase.
Here is our new “4 P’s of Digital Marketing”…
For years, four P’s of marketing have been part and parcel of every marketer to enhance the competency of their marketing strategy.
The same success can be achieved by marketing professionals who want to learn Digital marketing by applying the learning to Digital Marketing.
Here is my mapping of 4Ps of Marketing to 4Ps of Digital Marketing:
Product or Service or Solution:
The product is the most crucial aspect of 4P’s.
Be it digital world marketing or traditional marketing, the attributes of the product remain the same.
In the digital world, the way a product is presented has changed.
Since the customer is erudite with their knowledge of their requirements, Businesses are more articulate in describing their products.
They have the power to define the product in the form of a short blog or a video.
As they say – more power to businesses and a more significant say for customers.
Place or Access:
In the digital world, the product is quickly and globally available or accessible with complete information on the Internet.
You don’t have to visit a store physically to check the price of product/service. You may get complete information while clicking on your laptop, desktop and mobile phone.
Like traditional methods of marketing, the product information are set with only a difference of platform to promote the product.
The only change we have from the traditional marketing era is the change of platform to educate customers about the product.
Today, everything is available on the Internet.
People prefer to compare and buy products online rather than going with the traditional purchase.
With Digital Marketing, you promote your product online in an easy to understand manner by creating interactive content which has to power to reach a wider audience.
In short, your product is globally accessible to everyone rather placement.
Price or Value:
Since the beginning, pricing has been an essential aspect of every customer during shopping.
Usually, people prefer to compare different features of products before buying them and pricing comes last, but pricing changes consumer behaviour within a fraction of seconds.
Today’s customer does not have to visit five stores to get a better deal. Everything is on the Internet.
And – it is all flexible.
Businesses can change their pricing on the go based on competition, real-time feedback to sales, deals or promotional activities around the product.
Digital marketing enables them to make changes on the go.
Consider this, you know the customer has bought health-related products in the past. That means there is more possibility to pitch health-related products to the client by viewing history.
Also, you have real-time information about the past up-selling, cross-selling, discount range, type of products etc. to make a price matrix which complements your marketing campaign online.
I am not saying traditional methods could not achieve this. They could, but a fortune was spent gathering such data and keeping track of customers real-time.
Digital marketing allows you to set price and update campaigns around buying or purchase habits of clients.
The above exercise helps you in identifying the right price for the right customer.
Since B.C – meant the early days 🙂 – Promotion has been the biggest headache for marketers.
Due to budget limitation and expected results, marketers can be seen fighting over promotional activity’s budget.
However, in the digital era, companies have started educating or informing people by providing content, blogs or article in the form of promotion.
The scenario has completely changed. Digital marketing has created a platform where information sharing leads to sales.
The better the information, the more educated the customer and higher are the chances of making sales to the customer.
Similarly, digital marketing campaigns give you the flexibility to set up campaigns based on age, gender, interest, location and a variety of other parameters.
You get to select the right platform based on the availability of clients on the platform.
The significance of 4P’s of Digital Marketing:
The mentioned elements of the “marketing mix” are interrelated to each other.
Usually, based on these elements, business strategy and plans are created to achieve success.
However, set them in an incorrect order, and the results can be catastrophic.
Digital Marketing expects you to apply the good old fundamentals of Marketing.
My verdict is – The method of marketing might change with Digital Marketing, but fundamentals remain the same.