The 1960s was a pivotal decade for all sorts of reasons. It gave us space exploration, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the mini-skirt, flower power and the Beatles. It also gave us the theory of the 4Ps in marketing thanks to E. Jerome McCarthy. Product, Price, Promotion and Place - the Beatles of the marketing world - but, like that other Fab Four, while they still maintain a relevance, it’s time to re-evaluate them. Time to admit that maybe they need another member to make them really sing - People.
The 4Ps: the Beatles of Marketing
Before we move on to discuss just why the fifth P is so important, let’s review the original band members and what makes them so important for your marketing.
Product (or Service): Your lead singer, your John Lennon. You need a thorough understanding of your product. Find its unique appeal and understand where it sits with regard to your competition, this allows you to accentuate the merits and distinct advantages of your offering, dialling up its appeal to prospective customers.
Price: This is Paul McCartney, the bass guitar (and sweet harmoniser) of the 4Ps, the bit that’s humming away in the background and that people love and gravitate towards. It’s not an easy thing to arrive at - bringing together a huge number of factors such as cost, intrinsic value, and the prevailing market demands. But it’s essential to determine the pricing strategy that works for you and will work within your market. Get the balance right and you’ll capture the perfect customers and your sales will rise up the charts, allowing the business to go from strength to strength.
Promotion: Hello Ringo! Promotion is the drum beat of the 4Ps, wielding the power to drive awareness of how you can help your customers. You need to steadily beat out campaigns that clearly convey the benefits and unique value proposition of your offering. Distinguishing your product from competitors and protecting your defensible space (more on which anon) is achieved with carefully planned content for every stage of the funnel - from awareness, to evaluation, to conversion not just shouting about how great you think you are!
Place: Which leaves us with George Harrison. Often overlooked, but a pillar of your success. Stop trying to move people around the internet - go to where they are! Place is where you find your customers - whether that’s on online platforms and social media or in the real world at events, on the radio or industry gatherings.
The Fifth P: Part One
Just as the Beatles would have been nothing without their manager Brian Epstein, so too your business isn’t a business without your people. They're the creative minds, the problem solvers, the ones that bring it all together; they shape your company's culture, define its values, and represent your brand and its values every day during their interactions with your customers.
It’s not rocket science - when your employees are motivated, engaged, and aligned with your brand's vision, they become the driving force behind exceptional client experiences. They're the ones who answer queries with a smile, create innovations from challenges, and make your customers feel loved.
Investing in your team's growth and well-being is not just a nice-to-have; it's a necessity. Provide them with the training, resources, and opportunities to thrive. Nurture a workplace culture that fosters creativity, collaboration, and a genuine passion for what they do. When your internal team is firing on all cylinders, your employer brand and thought leader efforts are guaranteed to create hit after hit.
A perfect example of this is one of our client’s initiatives: with their “ADCO is minding your head” campaign, ADCO initiated an Employee Assistance Programme to offer not just understanding, but access to counselling and referral programmes. It’s tangible proof of a commitment to invest in the team and one that was not only well received by staff, but picked up the Excellence in Health & Safety Award.
The Fifth P: Part Two
Now, let's talk about the other half of the People equation - your clients. Straining the Beatles analogy a wee bit, they’re your legions of screaming fans! Your clients are not just transactions; they are relationships waiting to be nurtured.
Understanding your clients on an emotional level is the hook that turns a tune into an earworm. Behind every job title lies a human being and they’re subject to the same range of human emotions as the rest of us on the planet. They’re driven by desires, fuelled by fears, and motivated by the pursuit of pleasure. By tapping into these emotional triggers, you can create messages and experiences that will really resonate with them.
But it doesn't stop there. Build up your fan base, get to know them intimately - their pain points, their aspirations, and their unique challenges. Tailor your products, services, and communication to address their specific needs. Show them that you're not just a vendor but a partner in their success story, and you are here to help, not sell!
Which is exactly the approach we recently took with Metec and the snappily titled Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) Recast 2023, which will soon become law in Ireland having been passed by the EU. Instead of going in with a direct sale, Metec took the approach of explaining to their customers how the new legislation might affect them, what might happen if you fail to comply and only then showing the role that Metec might have in a successful ESG journey. It’s a helpful approach that builds trust in a brand, nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone appreciates good advice.
Come Together, Right Now
The real magic happens when the forces of your internal team and your external clients come together. Your employees are the custodians of your brand, the ones who deliver on the promises you made. When they believe in your mission and understand the desires and fears of your clients, their interactions become meaningful, memorable, and impactful.
Just like at any live gig by the Beatles it all comes together when your internal team is not just trotting out the same old same old and pushing services, but solving problems, where they are not just responding but anticipating. This is the power of aligning your internal people with your client-focused mission. It's a gig where everyone wins - your team feels fulfilled, your clients feel valued, and your brand (or band!) shines.
A great example would be ADCO's Mairead Spotlight campaign, in which clients and potential employees had the opportunity to meet Mairead and embrace ADCO's message about fostering diversity to enhance the success of teams and projects. This campaign led to a 183.6% growth in followers on LinkedIn within just 3 months.
Here Comes the Sun for B2B Marketing
In the ever-evolving hit parade of marketing, it's clear that the fifth P, People, is taking centre stage. Your internal team and your external clients are the pillars upon which your success rests. By investing in your employees and deeply understanding your clients, you create a potent synergy that can propel your brand to new heights.
So, as you continue your rise up the charts, remember that it's not just about products, prices, promotions, or places. It's about the people - the heartbeat of your organisation and the heartbeat of your customer base. In this people-centric future of marketing, building meaningful connections, fostering trust, and delivering exceptional experiences will be the true markers of success. Embrace the power of People, and watch your brand flourish like never before.
Need help in getting your 5Ps up and running? Looking for a George Martin to bring it all together? Contact Tiffany, your fractional CMO here.