After the 4 Ps: The new marketing mix

After the 4 Ps: The new marketing mix


  • The 4 Ps of marketing mix hold significant relevance to this day for effective marketing.
  • However, rapid digitalization necessitates a more holistic formula: the 4 Es.
  • Overcoming hurdles like siloed data and updating aging systems are integral to the shift.

Following breakthroughs in marketing technology, the rise of IoT, and the explosion of social media, a multitude of marketing mix frameworks have emerged—urging brands to be seller-centric or customer-centric. The old days when marketers called shots are long behind us. 

In this blog, we explore the evolution of the marketing mix, the common challenges brands face when navigating its latest iteration, and tips for adapting the new mix to the digitized present.

The marketing mix

Coined by McCarthy in 1960, the marketing mix comprises four “Ps’”—product, price, place, and promotion—each foundational to any marketing strategy. He postulated that if we step into our marketing kitchen, customer acquisition and profits would be as simple as adding four “P” ingredients. A dash of price. A sprinkle of promotion. Guaranteed success!

Let’s expand on this:

Product: what brands are selling in terms of quality, packaging, design, branding, and innovation.

Price: the selling price, including discounts, payment plans, and credit terms.

Place: where brands are selling their products. This encompasses retail locations, delivery methods, distributions, and more.

Promotion: how brands make their products known through advertising, public relations, and other tactics.

Four Ps: necessary but not sufficient

The four “P” ingredients have withstood the test of time, but are they beginning to show their age?

Technology is driving changes in customer expectations. They are more connected and more tech-savvy. They seek the thrills of meaningful, relevant, and delightful engagement. Brands today are not just optimizing prices or selling their products; they also account for their customers’ desires, especially when consumers are increasingly calling the shots and choosing when, where, and how to purchase.

This trend calls for a stronger emphasis on the customer and their journey with the brand. However, the change of focus does not mean brands should throw out the four Ps either, because they are still necessary, though not sufficient on their own merit.  

So, what other ingredients should we add to the mix?

The new mix: a focus on customer journeys

It’s time to revisit the marketing mix and make it more reflective of today’s digital reality. The four Ps should now evolve to the four Es–experience, exchange, everyplace, and evangelism.

From product to experience

Curate a personalized experience that delights customers and leaves them eager for further engagement. Just like how every dish in a seven-course fine dining restaurant is a gastronomic experience, businesses should shift from only selling products to mapping out an individualized journey that helps customers form a connection with not just specific products, but their brands.

From place to everyplace

The route to purchase is no longer linear. Customers today can forge their own purchasing journey through multiple touch points. It is imperative for marketers to identify the most visited channels and understand the specific sequences in which audiences tend to navigate them. By uncovering such behavioral insights, brands can engage their audiences with far less friction for optimum impact.

From price to exchange

The transaction between seller and consumer is no longer solely about price and product. Customers want to know the clusters of value they can receive in exchange—rewards, discounts, relevant experiences, and more—tailored to their interests.

From promotion to evangelism

The rise of social media has changed promotional tactics and sites, with customers and those perceived as personally important to the former—influencers—being directly involved in promoting products and services. Brands must consider how they can cultivate their unique little universes where consumers feel recognized, comfortable, and empowered.

Challenges of the new marketing mix

Most brands would agree that customer centricity is key, but do they have the strategy and technology to make it happen? What’s stopping them from moving towards this goal, and the 4 E’s?

Siloed data sources

The first challenge is siloed data. Scattered data requires extensive time and resource investments for pulling information from various sources. This results in outdated, fragmented communications that prevent truly real-time customer experiences. This is why marketers are generally looking for an integrated, powerful CDP that unifies all data and provides an actionable, 360° view of every customer.

Data collection vs. customer privacy

Personalized customer journeys can be a tough juggling act. Consumers’ desire for omnichannel experiences is inseparable from their anxieties about data privacy, unsolicited advertising, and digital boundaries.

However, data still needs to be capitalized upon to recommend suitable product offerings and deliver digital interactions. A multilayered security approach will empower marketers to safeguard sensitive customer data, leading to increased customer trust and brand loyalty.

Giving digital experiences a personal touch

Digital experiences might seem cold and lack the human touch compared to in-person or brick-and-mortar encounters. Capabilities such as audience identity resolution and next-best experience management enable brands to determine the identities of their customers and distill individual propensities to better tailor individual journeys—at scale.

Elusive ROI attribution

Customers' journeys to purchase differ in length, pattern, and the touchpoints involved. This poses a challenge for brands without the right tools to attribute ROI precisely. To address this challenge, technology such as the Resulticks Smart Duo enhances digital touch points and offers brands a foundational mechanism for mapping paths to conversion and pinpoint ROI in detailed ways.

The way forward: realizing goals and strategies

This blog proposed the 4 Es to constitute a new iteration of the marketing mix for the current era, without necessarily deeming the 4 Ps obsolete. To put the new mix into practice, however, brands need to overcome legacy approaches, reassess outdated systems, and embrace new tools to achieve the central goal of customer centricity.

Connect with us today to see how we can help you address your marketing pain points. Schedule a demo with us.


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