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Why Do Business Schools Still Teach The Famed 4P's Of Marketing

Why Do Business Schools Still Teach The Famed 4P’s Of Marketing, When Three Are Dead?

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Jerome McCarthy, in 1960, came up with a great idea on how to shrink all the components of any marketing strategy into Four P’s which includes Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. These 4P’s were very influential for students as well as marketing professionals for decades. But gradually the marketing policies changed and so did their relevant strategies. But the four P’s are still being treated as the Gospel, taught in almost all business and management institutions while their usage is dooming companies rather than enriching them. Among the four P’s, Promotion, Place and Price, are already redundant and do not offer much competitive advantage to a company. Though ‘Product’ is still important but we need to develop certain online marketing strategies like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Online Advertising, Social Media Marketing and other online marketing strategies for any product launch.


The Three Dead P’s:

Promotion is one of the dead P’s that are not used by many companies. There is simply no advertising project that can explain the exponential growth of some major enterprises. Take Zara, for example. It is one of the largest fashion brands in the world but it never advertises. Facebook has millions of users without any promotion and Google, until recently, has never promoted itself.

Steven Levy, the writer of Plex, a book on the rise of Google, notes that Google’s founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page rejected an elaborate marketing strategy put forward by Scott Epstein. The reason they did so was that they wanted to use their resources to create better technology, to build more sophisticated infrastructure and to hire brilliant people. They did not want to waste millions of dollars on marketing campaigns. As history unfolded, it is evident that Google didn’t need marketing. Its search engine did all the talking on behalf of the company. But not every company is Google and not all have a product that is so powerful. In a world that is digitally empowered, only the best services and products survive. There is a decline in promotions but brands still matter. It only means that less value is given to its advertisements and more to the quality of its offerings.

The other two P’s, Place and Price, are equally superfluous. Place has become much less important after the ecommerce boom online. Price also has less potential of having any strategic marketing advantage over competitors. Many companies have to let the market decide the cost of their products because of price comparison sites like Pricegrabber.com, Tripadvisor.com and Bizrate.com.

Product is Important:

There are number of platforms from which consumers can get information of a new product launch. So, it is important to research and develop best online marketing strategies like online advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, traditional media advertising (TV, Print or Radio) or more. Today’s marketer mainly considers ‘Product’ to for any significant advantage in the market. A great product is the only way a company can build itself from the ground-up. Design excellent products and they will take your brand name to new heights. Good products will also serve as marketing strategies by themselves. Products define the Golden Rule for today’s competitive markets, the more the value of your product, the greater the value of your brand.

The value of a product is determined by its usability along with the emotional connection of the consumer to the product. Incredible designs ensure amazing emotional value. Bold company actions on a social platform and free services work on the same principle. But in the aftermath of the advertising era, there are no simple or easy solutions for establishing emotional value, except producing exceptional products.

The single-P marketing golden rule will have weighty and acute consequences on marketing strategies. The companies should learn how to organize their marketing policies split their budget and concentrate more on product research and development, design and making a name for themselves.


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