Strategic shift in marketing mix – from 4P’s to 4E’s: Amit Diwan, Marketing Consultant, Pay U
Companies graduating from the traditional 4Ps to the new age 4Es will be the ones that will maintain or develop a competitive edge writes Amit Diwan.
With the rise in the number of marketing platforms, consumers today are bombarded with brand communication wherever they are. Nowadays brands are recognizing that a large number of viewers fast-forward through TV commercials, switch radio channels during ad-breaks or are even subscribing to an ad blocking service online, if the ad is not relevance to them. With technology revolution, things are not same anymore and that is where brands are moving beyond trying to just outshout their competitors or focusing on sales alone, you will see a big strategic shift in the basic fundamentals of marketing where brands are no more confined to the 4Ps - Product; Price; Place; Promotion; rather are evolving or have evolved to the 4Es of Marketing - Experience; Evaluation; Environment; Engagement. By modernizing the old marketing mix and focusing on the consumer’s needs and wants, marketers today are more inclined towards creating an integrated marketing strategy that drives business exponentially, by making consumers experience or engage with their brand and become brand advocates or evangelists.
Today the traditional approach of finding a single unique benefit and promoting it everywhere does not hold good neither the ‘one ad for all’ theory fit anymore. Brands have to understand the end-to-end consumer experiences, right from the ‘decision making journey’ to the ownership lifecycle, who influences the purchase? Where & when does the purchase take place? What do they do after the purchase is made? Accordingly define their Go-to-market strategy.
Giving consumers an immersive and unique experience is the key. Regardless of whether the experience involves sampling of the product or service, or just allows consumers to create positive brand association – activation will always draw consumer’s attention and lead to an excited and engaged audience that is thrilled to share their unforgettable experiences with everyone they meet. Such stories will be heard with much more acceptance and open arms as compared to any traditional advertising.
Gone are the days when pricing used to be very simple, where consumer paid the price and gets the product. In today’s Omni channel environment, consumers shop anytime and everywhere. They expect “unlimited” product ‘choices’ with a quick feature to feature comparison against the prices, and all this from the convenience of a new retail place called – their Smart phones or Tablets. Educating & accompanying the consumer in their selection process or the decision making journey plays a critical role in the process of driving purchase decision. They would rather choose the solution/product/service that offers the highest value and with which they can resonate to.
As a marketer we need to understand and learn the entire spectrum of possibilities in reaching this new age consumers. It’s no longer just about grabbing their attention at the retail level by doing right product placement & visibility. It is important to understand the consumer journey and intercept them at their place, time and at their comfort, when they are more likely to be receptive. Thus brands need to create an environment for them to experience and easily access the products at their convenience, which in today’s world could be a physical location or online through social media, website, or other channels.
These days it is not only important to promote the products we are selling. One must learn how to take things a step further by turning the consumers into brand evangelists. If you are promoting or selling a product solution, take it further by educating and training the potential consumers about the key benefits of the solution. In the changing time, the role of a promotion is not only to inform and create interest anymore but rather has evolved to providing a consistent and positive message aligned with brand value and experience.
In the world of social media where every consumers has a view point & ability to influence his/her peer group, the traditional way of approaching with a single minded preposition might not work anymore, the brand has to give that experience to the consumer such that he/she gets inspired to actively engage with the brand. If you give an experience to a consumer that is memorable, positive or even exceptional, then that experience is what they will share as their own story of the brand to their circle. Such stories will be heard with much more acceptance and open arms as compared to any traditional advertising.
The key to any successful brand engagement is the deep routed understanding of brand and consumers insights. The whole idea of a brand engagement is a unique blend of 1) word of mouth, 2) power to Influence and 3) highly penetrated social media network. The real reason why the 4Ps are dying is nothing but the change in consumer behaviour and their expectations from brands. Companies graduating from the traditional 4Ps to the new age 4Es will be the ones that will maintain or develop a competitive edge.
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