Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 6 "p"s of marketing - open for debate

OK - here's a topic that's surely up for debate: I believe there are 6 "p"s of marketing.

Those of us that studied marketing in university/college some ____ years ago learned the 4 "p"s of marketing: Product | Pricing | Promotions | Place.

The dominance of the internet in the marketing mix has expanded that list to 6, in my opinion. There are articles that talk about 4, 5, 6, 7 and even 8 "p"s, and the words that start with "p" aren't always the same. I've seen 'People' and 'Process' included in many lists, but I don't believe they contribute to the act of creating demand (the definition of marketing) as much as the other categories (open to debate!). I've also seen 'Physical Evidence', described (by as 'the ability and environment in which the service is delivered, both tangible goods that help to communicate and perform the service and intangible experience of existing customers and the ability of the business to relay that customer satisfaction to potential customers.' ... HUH?!?!?

Here's my list:
  1. Product (How do you shape your offering to match consumer needs and build demand?)
  2. Pricing (How does your pricing strategy support your positioning and generate demand?)
  3. Place (Where do you need to be to reach your audience?)
  4. Promotions (How do you tell people what you have to offer?)
  5. (new) Positioning (What is your reputation? How do people describe your company? Why would anyone buy from you?)
  6. (new) Conversations (Are you participating in the conversations that are taking place about you and your industry?)
OK, that last one doesn't start with "p", but I couldn't find an applicable and adequately descriptive word that did. The best I could come up with is "People Talking". Yep, I thought it was lame too. We've got 5 "p"s and a "c". Deal with it.

Social media, in case you were curious, fits clearly into the Conversations category. In fact, it was the catalyst in creating the category. Social media participation is just as important to the marketing mix as promotions or anything else. Deal with it. Embrace it.


As you create a marketing plan for your business, or as you make decisions to help build interest and demand, be sure to consider all 6 marketing categories. Promotions alone, which many businesses confuse for marketing, is insufficient for driving significant demand. You need to be creative and intentional in all 6 categories to be giving marketing the attention it deserves.

It also means you're that much more likely to build demand for your products and services, and what is there that's more important than that?


How is your list different, if at all?


Samual said...

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BlackMagicSEO said...

I prefer the 7 "p"s:

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

All humor aside, great article, a lot of small businesses overlook the basics when it comes to marketing. Whether it's online marketing or making the 'first touch' with potential customers, a new/small business isn't going to go anywhere without a solid marketing plan.


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Glenn Cressman said...


Thanks for correcting my 6 Ps and enlightening me! Love it.

Glenn (author)

By the way, if you didn't notice, I have updated my web site and now blog at This blog won't receive any new posts. Hope to see you over there!

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