At the recent Growth Summit I attended in Amsterdam, Verne Harnish spoke about how marketing is changing and it being the greatest barrier to growth currently for ‘gazelle’ organisations. When I learned about marketing (many years ago!) it was all about the 4p’s (product, place, price, promotion) which Philip Kotler first wrote about in the 1960’s. More recently the marketing gurus have been talking about the 4e’s.
Product is now Experience
Place is now Everyplace
Price is now Exchange
Promotion is now Evangelism
Let’s look at what this all means…..
Experience: In marketing subjects we were taught to focus on the product, now we need to think of the entire customer experience – what experience does a customer have when purchasing and using a product or service? (a great book to read on this is The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine Ii and James H Gilmore).
Everyplace: There was a time where we could define the location that a customer would encounter our product or service – a hotel only had to worry about the customer once they entered reception. Now they need to consider all of the mediums as they convey their message: web, YouTube, SMS, countless social media websites, product placement in on TV or in movies – the list goes on (a great book to read on this is Changing the Channel by Michael Masterson and Mary Ellen Tribby).
Exchange: There was a time where we all understood how price worked with the customer. You kept it lean to ensure that it was not a factor stopping you from competing. Today we need to be aware of the value of things. In particular, we need to know what it takes for a consumer to give us precious commodities like their attention, their engagement and their permission. We need to know the value (to us) of our customers – what they really bring to us in revenue and proﬁt? In exchange what are we willing to offer our customers for their attention, their engagement and their permission? (a great book to read on this is Pricing with Confidence: 10 Ways to Stop Leaving Money on the Table by Reed Holden and Mark Burton).
Evangelism: Promotion isn’t enough any longer. Now it is about creating a mission and brand experience that are so inspiring to consumers that they engage with you – and share their enthusiasm with others. What makes evangelism so powerful today is how it marries the oldest form of persuasion – word of mouth – and the newest – social networking. Just look at how Apple has been able to dominate the market by developing an evangelistic approach in its staff and its customers (a great book to read on this is The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven… by Fred, Markey, Rob Reichheld)