The concept of the Marketing Mix has been around since the 1950s when Neil Borden introduced it as the ingredients for an integrated set of marketing “tactics” to create a higher value relationship with customers (what we now refer to as “CX” or “customer experience.”) In the early ‘60s, a marketing professor named E. Jerome McCarthy created a mnemonic for his students: the “4Ps,” which refers to the four categories within the marketing mix. (Some may have first heard about the 4Ps in this Mad Men episode.)
Here are the original 4Ps of McCarthy’s marketing mix:
- Product: Select the tangible and intangible benefits of the product.
- Price: Determine an appropriate product pricing structure.
- Promotion: Create awareness of the product among the target audience.
- Place: Make the product available to the customer.
Marketing is always evolving. By the early 80s, marketing researchers and authors Bernard H. Booms and Mary J. Bitner introduced the Extended Marketing Mix, expanding the 4Ps concept to 7Ps and adding service marketing to the original focus on product marketing. The Extended Marketing mix added:
- People: Have the right people; they are as much a part of your business offering as the products/services you offer.
- Process: Deliver the service knowing this is part of what the consumer is paying for.
- Physical Evidence: Focus on the physical elements of your service even if the bulk of what the consumer is paying for is intangible.
Defining the Marketing Mix Even Further
Our Marketing Mix history lesson continues with a mnemonic introduced by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers in 1997 to complement (but not replace) the 4Ps of traditional marketing. As they said at the time, “One-to-one marketing is genuinely oriented around a different dimension of competition—the customer dimension, rather than the product dimension.”
If the 4Ps help define how an enterprise should behave toward all customers within an aggregate or mass market, then interactive, one-to-one marketing requires a strong customer focus with a complementary marketing mix. This realization gave birth to the 5Is:
- Identification: Know who your customers are, in as much detail as possible.
- Individualism: Offer a benefit to each customer, based on what that customer needs.
- Interaction: Create a dialogue with the customer to gain a greater understanding of both their articulated and non-articulated needs.
- Integration: Coordinate all activities with respect to each customer, one customer at a time, across the entire enterprise (all functions, divisions, and geographies).
- Integrity: Secure the trust of the customer by never violating their privacy or abusing their information.
At one time, it was suggested that the Ps should be mapped directly onto the Is for the ultimate Marketing Mix. Instead, Peppers and Rogers explained the disciplines represent two different dimensions of competition. They suggest marketers can use both strategies “more or less simultaneously,” with the 4Ps used to acquire new customers, while the 5Is help them keep their most valuable customers loyal and profitable. This suggestion sounds a lot like how we talk about direct mail’s role in omnichannel marketing.
If you’re looking for the most effective marketing mix for your program, or would like input on crafting the right direct marketing strategy to achieve your goals, contact me here to talk about your Qs regarding Is and Ps.
Subscribe to SpeakingDIRECT to have new articles delivered to your inbox as they post. We promise to keep it fresh and interesting.