When it comes to marketing mix, forever we have heard about the 4 P’s. In 1960,
Edmund Jerome McCarthy(Source: Wikipedia.org) shared what we know as the 4 P’s.
For those who need a refresher, this would be Product, Price, Promotion and Place.
While these 4 P’s are still in play, there needs to be a new addition to consider
in your marketing mix…Participation.
It’s safe to say that since 1960, there have been a few changes to the business
environment. I don’t know, maybe a big one may the something called the “internet.”
With the internet and thanks to the explosion of social media and review sites,
business and marketers have a great opportunity to actually know how their brand,
products or services are used and perceived. In today’s marketing, this 2-way
communication with your customers provides exciting opportunities.
Participation allows you to improve your business in many ways:
- You hear directly from those who like or dislike your brand, product
or service. Both pieces of information are critical. Armed with this information,
you can adjust and manage your marketing and/or product/service strategies to meet
- Customer communications can provide valuable content. According to SalesForce,
“In an effort to create engaging experiences, high performers (marketers) listen
closely to their audience and make use of reader-generated content.”
- Today’s consumer uses this communication to make their purchasing decisions.
In the past, consumers relied on manufacturers or service providers to educate. Now,
consumers have countless options to read and understand other’s experiences through
reviews. This is very powerful!!!
Of course you can look up the definition of the initial 4 P’s on a number of sites.
So we will not be listing those here. As for “participation”, we will provide a
definition to help close the loop for you and give you a complete view of the 5 P’s.
- Participation – Providing consumers the opportunity to share input on
your product, service or brand. This can be achieved through marketing touch points
such as reviews, social media, emails, surveys, 3rd party sites, etc.
Feedback must be genuine and sincere to provide true value with an organization
leveraging both positive and negative feedback to create and deliver an improving
We’ll leave you with these questions, do you provide your customers a voice and do you listen
and utilize this information? Hopefully the answer is yes. If not, it’s never too late to incorporate
the 5th P and get participation working for you.
Rich Sowa is a marketing strategist and a founder of Marketing of Things,
a marketing agency specializing in strategy and content creation for brands and businesses.