Thoughts on the marketing Ps

Posted by David Meerman Scott 09:05 PM on February 25, 2009

For decades, traditional business-school-style marketing has stressed the "Marketing Ps" (Typically the four Ps are identified as Product, Pricing, Promotion, and Placement, although some say there are five or six Ps including others like Packaging and Publicity).

Lots of people have gotten "clever" and added other Ps as a marketing gimmick to promote their consultancy or agency, so you see lots of other Ps out there.

My friend Steve Johnson always seems to forget one P, but happily substitutes "PowerPoint" as the final one. I've heard Steve say Powerpoint in a list of Marketing Ps a dozen times and I laugh every time.

Last year, I keynoted the TS2 conference. This is an event for exhibit and event professionals. As I was walking the show floor after my keynote, an attractive woman in one of the booths seemed to be rather popular. As I looked to see what was going on, someone leaned over to me and said: "That's Marketing Barbie. She's expert in the four Ps: perfume, polish, peroxide, and Prada." I about keeled over with laughter.

Anyway, if youre focused on the marketing Ps (choose any four), you're likely not marketing very well, because you're not telling stories.

This "Marketing P" approach is doomed to fail on the Web. Why? Because nobody cares about your products and services. Mumbo-jumbo about your products won't appeal to your buyers, because they simply don't care about you, your company, and what you do.

Success comes from the fact that people want to share stories with their friends, colleagues, and family members.

If you have been focused on the "Marketing P’s," then telling stories is different from the same old advertising and PR that you and your agencies have been practicing for years.

You’ll need to throw out some old ideas and pick up some new ones:

- Don’t obsess about being "on message."

- Don’t beg mainstream media to write about you.

- Don’t break the bank with expensive advertising.

- Do tell your story directly to an interested market.

- Do make it easy for people to share your content with others.

David Meerman Scott

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