Anyone with even the basic knowledge and understanding of marketing might have come across the ever-green concept of ‘4 Ps’ of Marketing, i.e., Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Most successful marketers and firms tend to mold their marketing strategies based on each of the 4 Ps. Effective planning and management of all these concepts ensure that marketing campaigns generate their required ROI (Returns on Investment).
However, the onset of digital media has changed the game. It is undoubtedly one of the major transformations of the industrial era. The purpose was to address marketing issues faced by manufacturers who dealt with tangible products. Therefore, much conventional marketing relied on a “push” strategy that includes mass communication and face-to-face marketing campaigns. With the increase in digitization, consumers and producers both realized the potential of digital media in attracting and communicating a vast audience primarily due to the constantly expanding digital audience.
4 Ps of Conventional Marketing Mix
Brand Marketing appeared as a concept during the 1950s and 60s as a strategy to sell differentiated consumer goods. Initially, the concept of 4ps revolved around tangible goods, product packaging, and its shelf life. Besides, the products were not that different from each other back in the day. For instance, a product like ketchup was more or less the same, regardless of the manufacturer.
The idea of creating a brand emerged by strategies tackling each of the four aspects of branding. To put it simply, having the right product, selling it at the right price, right place, and promoting it through the right means was the main aim of this concept. However, digital marketing is a bit more nuanced in comparison to traditional marketing. Business owners now have to worry about their SEO practices by utilizing free SEO tools alongside managing the conventional marketing strategies.
Transformations in the Concept of 4 Ps
The world has come a long way since marketing was an option considered only by multinational firms. From small companies to big businesses, the world has realized the importance of marketing and its impact on generating revenues. According to some marketers, the concept of the 4 Ps is now a bit outdated. It does not encompass the full range of digital marketing potential. However, others still consider as an essential part of marketing to create a brand’s actual value. Still, the principles captured by the concept of the 4 Ps are equally relevant to the modern interpretation of marketing.
Below, we have provided a detailed overview of how the 4 Ps work and transformations that took place in the past few years.
Under the traditional marketing mix, ‘product’ refers to tangible goods with proper packaging and branding. However, the concept of a product has significantly shifted due to technological advancements. A ‘product’ now includes conventional, tangible goods alongside services. With the explosion of the internet, there has been a new kind of product, i.e., the digital product. The product can include content, webinars, videos, research, or anything with a copyright claim.
It simply means that a product’s idea has now expanded from tangible goods to anything that is the company’s intellectual property with a copyright claim. Even social media has started to take this definition of product seriously. YouTube has a well-organized framework regarding copyright laws and strongly discourages plagiarism or content theft. Similarly, other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have also risen to protect copyrights.
For many, the concept of price refers to the perceived value of a particular product. A well-priced product is more likely to sell in maximum quantities. However, all customers view a specific product based on their value proposition, which results in varied perceptions of a product’s actual price. But generally, a product’s price is reflective of its inherent value to the consumer. Many factors such as overheads, manufacturing costs, shipping, and packaging also affect a product’s price.
But if considered from a digital standpoint, the pricing of digital goods follows an entirely different framework. Before creators can add price to their content, their audience expects them to provide valuable content free of cost in the initial days to develop trust. The prices can also fluctuate depending on factors such as customer feedback, reviews, and demand.
Having the right product placement plays a crucial role in determining its success. A shopping mall would successfully attract a large customer base when compared to a general store. This principle equally holds for digital products as well. Creating an informative and valuable course would only serve the creator well if the right target audience knows its existence. The concept of ‘place’ now includes websites and social media platforms. Having the right type of product on the right platform can significantly boost one’s revenue growth.
To understand it better, let’s consider the example of affiliate marketing which works on referral programs. Influencers with a loyal audience make huge waves in the digital community. Audiences now actively anticipate new content from their favorite creators since they find value in it. Those creators now hold power to make qualified recommendations to their audience for products they should invest their money in. Hence, influencer marketing and affiliate marketing have witnessed a significant jump with the advent of digital platforms.
The third aspect, i.e., promotion, covers how a business communicates its message to its customers. Companies that promote their products well and ensure that consumers’ accessibility to those products reaps the most significant benefits like increased sales and consumer loyalty. Examples like Pepsi and Coca-Cola reveal how the right distribution channels paired with the right promotional campaigns can create a global presence.
However, campaigns such as out-of-home billboards and expensive television ads are becoming outdated. Instead, digital marketing has allowed more targeted, better optimized, and cheaper options of delivering one’s message to the right audience. Not just that, digital promotion is also measurable and data-driven, unlike conventional tools. It simply gives more control to the marketer, who can tailor the campaign to suit the business objectives better.
Undoubtedly, marketing concepts have come a long way since the rise of industrial growth. However, it would be unfair to completely disregard the potential of the 4 Ps of the marketing mix and their relevance to the digital age. The elements under each mix have slightly transformed with the rise in digitalization. It is simply because it still provides the most comprehensive set of frameworks to understand the impact of marketing and can be applied to the up-and-coming digital marketing age.