Blog Insight

Marketing is a mindset, not just a department.

The four Ps of product, price, placement, and promotion—also known as the marketing mix—are a foundational concept taught in business schools globally. Yet with the rise of digital technologies, and performance marketing tools and platforms that have proliferated over the past few decades, the discipline of marketing has increasingly focused on promotion as its primary function.

Promotion

In numerous organizations, marketing teams are composed of digital marketers, content creators, and social media specialists whose purpose in life is to land a message on the screen of a prospective customer. While that function is absolutely critical to a company’s success, it’s just one of four key marketing functions. Let’s take a look at the other three and explore why they are equally critical elements of the marketing mix.

Product

It’s intuitive that product ownership inside an organization might reside within an engineering, development, or R&D function. After all, those teams are typically the groups tasked with building and delivering the product. Where a marketing mindset helps is in ensuring that all products—current and future—are informed by customer and market insights. Is your product lineup optimal? Is your feature-benefit matrix aligned with your customer segments? This is where customer and market insights are essential.

Price

Pricing is a complex subject, and approaches to price optimization vary widely based on industry, supply chain dynamics, and overall business strategy. One central truth, however, is that if the value exchange between seller and buyer is out of balance, your business is dead (either you’ll sell nothing or you’ll lose money on every transaction). Within an organization, ownership of pricing strategy can live with finance, sales, and even the CEO, but the mindset behind the ultimate pricing decision has to be centered on value exchange, which is fundamentally a marketing concept.

Placement

In the current COVID era, B2C channel strategies are being turned upside down. Any company that previously relied on retail must be looking at e-commerce alternatives to get their products to customers. For some, that means changing their thinking and approach to the online behemoth Amazon.com. For others, that means investing in direct-to-consumer (D2C) infrastructure. While the shift to e-commerce is not a particularly insightful fact given that we’re all reading this from home, it is one that’s based on a new customer truth, and one that’s likely to stick around for a while.

Time for a Change

Changing thinking about marketing from mere promotion to the broader concept of value exchange forces companies to explore the intersections of the marketing department with other functions within an organization. And even if product, price, and placement don’t all roll up to the CMO, it’s imperative that the teams that own these functions think like marketers.