Marketing Mix Remix: 4 Ps for the 21st Century

The term Marketing Mix was coined in 1948 by Neil Borden,  who was then a professor at the Harvard Business School and James Culliton,  who was dean of the business school at University of Notre Dame.  In 1960,  then marketing professor at Michigan State University E. Jerome McCarthy laid out the original 4 Ps: Product,  Place,  Price and Promotion.

Half a century later,  the 4 Ps  are still considered to be the marketing strategy gold standard.  Over time,  the marketing mix list was expanded to include nine Ps,  with Process,  Position,  Profit,  Packaging and People added.  In whatever number,  the Ps served marketing departments throughout the world for several decades.

But we’re in a new century now and the marketplace has changed.  It is time to re-think and re-tool the Ps for today’s B2B service-oriented economy.  Eduardo Conrado (Senior VP and Chief of Marketing at Motorola),  Richard Ettenson  (Thunderbird School of Global Management)  and Jonathan Knowles  (CEO of Type 2 Consulting in New York City)  have presented a reinterpretation of the Ps that tacks toward offering solutions,  which is what the Freelance consultant’s current and prospective clients value today.  Their model has updated Product to Solution;  Place to Access;  Price to Value: and Promotion to Education:  SAVE,  a perfect acronym if ever there was one.

Conrado,  Ettenson and Knowles posit SAVE as the centerpiece of a 21st century solution-selling strategy that encourages marketing and sales practices that take a client-centric perspective.  The SAVE model gets one into a solutions-oriented mindset and helps a Freelance consultant to devise marketing strategies that target specific client needs.  SAVE emphasizes the value proposition of the B2B solution that is being offered and creates the context for the Freelancer to position him/herself as a trusted source of expertise,  advice and problem-solving.

SOLUTION,  rather than Product /Service

  • Describe your services and bundle your service packages according to the client needs that they meet instead of merely presenting a list of services offered,  with descriptions of their functions,  features and benefits.  Don’t make clients have to think about how to use your services.  Show them exactly where your service fits.  Clients are over-worked and distracted,  so save a step and visualize things for them.

ACCESS,  rather than Place

  • Institute an approach to delivering products and services that is mindful of the client’s entire purchase journey,  from the initial project specs meeting through post-project follow-up support and billing.

VALUE,  rather than Price

  • Articulate the benefits of your services relative to price,  instead of stressing how price relates to production costs,  profit margins,  or competitors’ prices.  Present your value proposition in a way that ensures you’ll be perceived as being well worth the money.

EDUCATION,  rather than Promotion

  • Provide information relevant to your clients’ specific needs at each point in the sales cycle.
  • Re-think and re-tool a broad-brush advertising message and media outlet choices.  Maybe a webinar that helps clients sort out approaches to meeting specific business needs will be more convincing than an advertisement.  A relevant case study,  presented as a story, is invariably convincing,  helping clients to visualize where and how your services can address business needs effectively.

Eduardo Conrado and his marketing team at Motorola used SAVE to guide the re-structuring of its entire approach to marketing and sales strategy development.  Motorola now designs strategies that build a strong case for the superior value of their products by presenting them as solutions that solve problems,  shifting the perception of their sales professionals to that of trusted experts and advisers.  Like Motorola and other multi-nationals,   Freelance consultants who plan to maintain their relevance in a merciless marketplace are advised to bring our marketing strategies into the 21st century as well.

Thanks for reading,

Kim

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11 thoughts on “Marketing Mix Remix: 4 Ps for the 21st Century

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