There’s a whole movement around replacing marketing’s 4 P’s with the more modern 4 C’s. And if you check out Paul Duany’s blog, you’ll get a taste of the conversation and controversy.
By way of review, Dunay’s 4 C’s of B2B Marketing are:
Content – the creation of a steady stream of engaging content
Connection – connecting with the audience you wish to attract
Communication – communicating with them in an ongoing conversation
Conversion – and then converting them at the illusive moment of need
In my opinion, the argument for the new model has merit – especially when you realize the 4 P’s were created in a physical world, with limited physical distribution and promotional platforms. Today, these platforms have been completely blown up by digital networks that relieve these limitations, giving customers new ways to “participate” in the provider’s world, not just “receive” what provider produces in the ways it wants you to receive them.
But – it’s taking control of the Product P (or at least influencing it) that put marketers at the strategic table in the first place. If marketers aren’t careful, they will migrate to this new model, putting a different type of limitation on it — which uses the model as a zealous promotional vehicle.
No one wants to go back to the days of promoting whatever engineers throw over the wall. So my advice to marketers that love this new model: make sure you implement the Connection C the right way: as a channel that informs your product and service strategy – not just as your promotional mix and lead generation engine.
If you lose the Product P you’ll migrate yourself backwards to being a supercharged marcom manager. If you have any aspirations at all of becoming a CMO or sustaining your role as CMO, you’ll take this advice to heart.
Getting a seat at the table means you have a handle on valid market intelligence that informs you about what customers want. It’s your admission ticket to the strategic talks.
The whole idea of the 4 P’s was to assure marketing got a seat at the table, largely through the Product P. By listening to the market (yes, we listened to the market even before social media) marketers adopted a “sense and sell” model versus the older factory model, commonly called “build and sell” (hence, the cliché “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”).
I still look at marketing plans from senior marketing executives – that are promotional plans, not marketing plans. If you adopt the 4 C’s in your zeal to become communicator of the year, you’ll become communicator the century, but never a strategic marketer. You can prevent this by using the Connection C as your path to the type of customer and market intelligence that gives you credibility to sit at the strategy table.
In a virtual world, the old model indeed needs a facelift, especially since mass market production is evolving to the power of niche markets and micro markets. For more on this, check out Wired magazine’s cover story, The New Industrial Revolution: the factory, the investors, the workers – obsolete. In an age of DIY manufacturing, all you need is a garage and a great idea.
Category: Marketing Strategy Tags: