The *NEW* 4 P's of Marketing for the Digital-Age Marketer

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Consumer behavior and technology change at lightening speed, and so do marketing tactics as marketers strive to keep up.

This blog post is brought to you by the letter P!

The basic marketing principles taught by college professors have traditionally been the classic textbook Marketing Mix, also known as the 4 P's:  Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. What are you selling? How much are people willing to pay? Where is your store located? How are you getting the word out?

What's changed? Well, everything: the internet, mobile phones, social media. People think differently, shop differently, and respond to brands differently than in the old school days of marketing. While some of the 4 P's characteristics remain staples in marketing planning, there are many more considerations for today's digital marketer.

Here are the *NEW* 4 P's of Marketing to add to the Mix:

1. Personality - Every brand has a personality, just as its customers do. The magic marketing mix here is adjusting your brand's personality to fit your customer profile or persona groups.

  • What is your brand's voice in online conversations and in 140 characters at a time on Twitter?
  • How does the look and feel of your brand translate in not just print or on your website, but in all of your collective YouTube videos or instagram and Pinterest images?
  • What is your writing style in social media status updates and blogs? Is it serious, funny, informative, educated, child-like and playful?
  • What are your brand guidelines in digital? Is your brand consistent in email, web, and across all social networks?

2. Pictures- It's true, a picture says a thousand words. The average consumer is busy and doesn't have time to read a thousand words from every brand seeking to connect with them. It makes sense that photo-driven social media sites are rapidly gaining users and dominating the social media space.

  • Instagram, Pinterest, and video apps, such as Viddy and SocialCam allow brands to get their message across in a more impactful, emotional way in a real-time format.This is a win-win for marketers who are creating content that their audiences are connecting with and sharing across multiple online channels.
  • Visual storytelling is all the rage in today's content marketing strategies.
  • Infographics turn boring statistics into viral content that spreads faster than the flu.

3. Platform- Platform is the new placement. When deciding where to go, or what social network to set up a profile on, marketers must first research where their customers are going.

  • Brand name and product/service keyword and hashtag searches on Twitter and Social Mention will give you a clue of where the conversations are happening (for free!). If you monitor, you will know where to go.
  • Monitoring your competitors online will also help point you where potential customers are.
  • Don't get caught up in trying to beat your competitors to the next best "shiny new social network." Focus on your customer's conversations and be engaging on those platforms.

4. Performance- Now more than ever, marketers have access to data! Not only can you target your presence on select social networks, but you can measure shares, likes, clicks, and all kinds of interactions with your brand online. Content strategies can be adjusted on the fly.

  • Google Analytics is a good indicator of how many people view your website, where they go on your website and how they got there.
  • Every social media management tool has some level of free or paid analytics available from HootSuite to Radian6 and everyone in between. Demo them all and see what works best for your team and budget.
  • Inbound marketing services, such as HubSpot are designed to connect web, email, and social media within one online tool to track consumer relationships- even integrating with your customer databases.

The *NEW* 4 P's offer a whole new frontier for digital marketers to be more effective in communicating with customers and uncovering new business opportunities. I'm excited to see what the future holds for the next generation of P's.

What trends have you seen?