The New 4 P’s of Marketing

This article was first published in the Marketer – Journal of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS).

SMPS Marketer 4 P’s of Marketing

Product, price, place and promotion are still referenced as the cornerstones of the marketing mix. However, today’s environment demands taking an equally hard look at four additional “P” factors for a thriving brand and real marketing ROI.


Today’s customers are seeking to do business with companies that demonstrate a greater vision – one that goes beyond promoting quality products and services delivered at a great price. Simply put, the traditional 4-P marketing mix of today is not enough. Companies need to think about their larger purpose.

Developing your firm’s purpose is an exercise in peeling back the onion. You need to keep asking, “Why?” “Why do we sell architectural services?” And then, “Why is that important?” And again and again, until you hit at that larger idea.

For some, their purpose might be quite straightforward and directly related to what they deliver – for example, taking a headache out of the buying process. For others, it might be much loftier and address broader societal issues – for example, creating quality of life for their employees. But whichever it is, brands that rise above will be those that tell the most compelling story about what they do to better the world.


Personality is what turns companies into living, breathing entities that customers want and can be in a relationship with – brands customers allow to become integral to their lives.

Related to the promotion “P” of the traditional marketing mix, personality includes the voice, tone and style used to communicate a brand message. However, it has a new dimension – personality addresses how a brand interacts with its target audiences.

What makes personality essential to the new 4 P’s is that this is what makes a company notable enough to deserve customers’ time. Brands that bore their audiences, or leave them indifferent, cannot possibly achieve the same ROI as brands with personality built to engage.

So, how do you create a brand with personality? Simple. You develop your firm’s attributes as though it were a real person. Does it have a sense of humor? Is it a genius type? Develop all the personality traits that you want your brand be known for, and give it a voice, tone and style that makes its personality shine through.


Today’s more social way of doing business allows companies to build real relationships with their audiences – but there is a downside: It takes time to build a real relationship.

So, you need to be persistent like never before. You need to understand that it will require more emails, more social media posts, more calls, more content, more everything to make a mark.

Firms that practice persistence will become industry leaders because, frankly, not many firms practice persistence. This means that your firm can make serious headway simply by not giving up.


Patience may seem similar to persistence, but it adds a twist that greatly influences whether or not your marketing will generate results.

Whereas persistence is about pursuing strategies long enough to see ROI, patience is about taking the time to experiment and fine-tune in order to get better and better at converting prospects to customers.

A firm that practices patience will continue to adjust and perfect its marketing program – forever.

At the beginning, I stated that the traditional marketing mix still stands, but proposed what are perhaps equally critical new P’s. This calls for leaving you with this one final thought:

Could our profession be at the point where we are more marketing scientists than marketing strategists? What other traditional concepts should we be revisiting?  If not to completely revamp them, but to simply look at them with questioning eyes.