Despite the many changes that affect marketing today, it's easy to get trapped in the past. People are comfortable with traditions, even when they stop working as well as they once did. In the field of marketing, this approach will only leave you trailing behind more innovative competitors. Let's look at the benefits of moving from the traditional "4 P's" to the "4 M's" for modern strategic marketing.
The Traditional 4 Ps of Marketing
Anyone with a traditional business background is familiar with the 4 P's of marketing, which are: product, price, place, and promotion. These four factors are still relevant for marketing. Certainly, you need to know what you're selling, how much to charge, where to sell it and how to promote it. The problem with the 4 P's isn't that they're wrong, only that they're severely limited. While you could get away with this approach 20 years ago, it won't get you very far in today's fast-paced digital world.
What makes the 4 P's outdated is that they keep you overly focused on yourself. All four are about you and your business. In order to succeed in today's marketplace, it's essential to look beyond your own preferences. Your customers, visitors, followers, and influencers are the key players in the new marketing.
The 4 M's of Marketing
The 4 M's are: make, manage, monitor, and measure. These principles are especially relevant for social media and influencer marketing, which are crucial for succeeding today.
- Make - This doesn't refer to making products (even if that's part of what you do) but connecting brand influencers and potential customers. It involves identifying the various stages of the customer journey, such as initial awareness of the product, research, or the point when they're ready to buy something. As you observe this process, you identify conversations between customers and influencers and see which strategies have the most impact.
- Manage - In addition to observing and identifying the stages of acquiring customers, you want to manage it as well. You find out which strategies, language, and styles encourage the customer along the path.
- Monitor - Monitoring relationships between customers, influencers, and platforms gives you a sense of the customer's environment. For example what type of interactions does he or she typically engage in before choosing a product?
- Measure - Measuring results is crucial to determine which factors create the best ROI. This includes metrics such as the accuracy of your targeting, engagement, and feedback, and the value of influencers on the campaign.
In reality, you shouldn't think of these 4 M's as separate, but as connected parts of your marketing strategy. As you make, manage, monitor, and measure, you'll also want to make changes. Constant feedback in the form of visitors, sales, engagement, comments, and other results lets you refine your approach.
A New Mindset for Strategic Marketing
The 4 P's or 4 M's are simply shorthand for the way we look at marketing. Such tools, however, are important in that they reveal a lot about our assumptions and points of focus. The 4 P's were more relevant in the pre-internet era. Today, with the growth of social media, influencer marketing and inbound marketing in general, you need a new approach.
If you really want to break from tradition in a constructive way, it's essential to understand the differences between old and new marketing. Maintaining an active presence on social media, identifying and connecting with influencers, and using the most efficient apps and tools are a good start. These, however, are only the tools and tactics of your business. Beyond this, you need an effective strategy.
What matters most of all is prioritizing the needs and desires of your customers. The traditional 4 P's keep businesses preoccupied with their own products. Many social media marketers are overly focused on metrics such as clicks, visitors, followers, and influencer reach. These are all relevant, but not sufficient. Keeping the 4 M's in mind helps you shift your emphasis on your customers and their needs, which is the real foundation of contemporary strategic marketing.