Rethinking the Marketing Mix – The Journey from 4Ps to 4Es
When 4Ps of marketing were first proposed in 1960, most likely no one had thought that they would become one of the most enduring frameworks of marketing. However, these marketing mix have remained a fixture for decades now. But change is in the air and
the savvy marketers are gearing up to be at the forefront of what is coming up next.
As we see, with the rise in the number of marketing platforms, the way of marketing is undergoing tremendous changes. Amidst the technological revolution, things are not the same anymore and brands are moving beyond outshouting their competitors or emphasizing
on sales alone. What we see now is a strategic shift in the basic fundamentals of marketing mix comprising of the 4Ps – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Rather every marketer is now more inclined towards creating an integrated marketing strategy
that drives business growth by making the consumer engage with their brand and become brand advocates. Therefore, what we see now is a modernization of old marketing mix from 4Ps to 4Es – Experience, Evaluation, Environment and Engagement.
In today’s world, it has become extremely essential for the brands to understand the consumer needs and their journey right from the decision making step to the ownership of the product. It is important for the brands to think through the customer psyche
and invest in finding answers to questions like ‘Who influences the purchase?’ ‘Where & what time does the purchase take place?’ ‘What do they do post purchasing the product?’ and so on. Keeping this mind, the marketers are now redefining their ‘Go-To-Market’
From Product to Experience
In today’s time, rendering an immersive and innovative experience to the customer is the key. It doesn’t matter whether the experience involves sampling of the product or just facilitates a positive brand association for the customer; activation is successful
in garnering customer attention, leading to an excited and engaged audience that believes in sharing their fondest brand experience with their social circles.
For instance, the famous energy drink brand – Red Bull is known for providing great brand exposure through various sports and other similar events conceptualized around the brand’s theme of “Red Bull Gives You Wings.”
From Price to Evaluation
Until recently, a simple process was followed by the customers wherein they paid the money and bought the product in return. But now the prices are no longer fixed and rather depend on feature to feature evaluation of the numerous products available in
the market. Since the customers struggle more and more in this complexity; educating, and guiding them becomes crucial in the process of influencing their purchase decision and show them what they will gain in return.
From Place to Everywhere
As we enter into the world of fast-forwardness, it becomes all the more essential for the brands to capture, anticipate and drive customer’s mood, at all places and time. They need to understand and respond to customer queries on the spot. Therefore to
meet the modern marketing needs, adoption of an Omni-channel strategy becomes a mandate that allows them to conveniently reach their customers wherever they are. Thus, to capture the attention of the modern consumers, brands need to create an environment
for them to experience and easily access the products at their convenience which can be through a physical location or online channels.
From Promotion to Engagement
As we all know, the customer journey does not end at the point of purchase. If the product is liked by the consumer, he/she is most likely to recommend it to their family and friends and likewise if the product is disliked by the consumer, it is often
banned in their house for the years to come. Before investing in a product or service, instead of just relying on the brand for the information, customers often resort to multiple sources of information including blogs, forums and social networks.
Therefore in today’s time, just promoting the product is not enough. The role of promotion is no longer confined to informing and creating interest amongst the audience anymore but rather has evolved to providing a consistent and positive message that
resonates with brand value and experience.
While the traditional advertising approach is still prevalent, the way to reach the customer has been transformed totally. Brand advocacy and customer evangelists are important aspects to provide customers with the trust and value to engage with the brand.
Thus, brands need to focus on providing an experience that inspires the customers to actively engage with the brand and an experience that they can further share with their peers.
Amidst the fast-changing consumer behavior, brands try various methods to stay abreast in the market. To do so, they are constantly re-visiting their marketing strategies; strengthening their online presence and interacting with their customers more than
ever. Needless to say, the 4Ps of marketing mix are now taking a backseat due to the ever-evolving consumer behavior and their expectations from the brands. Therefore as a vital approach, brands are gradually shifting from the 4Ps to the 4Es to maintain
or develop a competitive edge.