This article is based on a speech given to the Marketing Indaba in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in 2015
How relevant are they today?
In the 1950’s the American Marketing Association suggested that marketing could be formalised with a focus on the disciplines of pricing and channel management and product management to add to the higher profile marketing promotions responsibility. This was phrased as the marketing mix or the 4Ps – Product Price, Promotion and Place (or channel) by the AMA President Neil Borden. When the 4Ps were incorporated into Phillip Kotler’s Principles of Marketing in the 1960s they became a cornerstone of marketing and have remained so to this day. The question is: Should we still base our marketing on this construct or should we move on?
There have been several attempts to modernise or overhaul the Marketing Mix including an attempt by Kotler to change them to a different 4 Ps. People, Processes and Physical Evidence were added in 1981 by Boon and Bitner to cater for the service industry. However the venerable 4Ps have proved amazingly durable. The most interesting attack on the 4ps was in a paper by Skibstead and Hansen “Why do the Business School’s still teach the famed 4Ps of marketing when three of them are dead?” Continue reading