by: Jaimie Love
In simple terms, marketing can be defined as ‘putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.’
Which brings us to The Four P’s of the marketing mix. Remember those? Product, price, promotion and place. While these are always going to form the fundamentals, your modern marketing strategy needs a bit more.
When I attended school in New York, my public relations professor believed that The Four P’s were simply not enough. He revamped the concept, and ultimately taught us The Seven P’s of marketing, adding in perception, positioning and post.
- How are you being perceived by customers, competitors and the public?
- How are you positioning your brand in the market?
- What kind of social media presence are you building for your brand?
He evolved The Four P’s, paying special attention to “promotion”, knowing that social media was here to stay and going to be a game changer for businesses in all industries.
A lot has changed since The Four P’s were created. Social media has evolved beyond anyone’s expectations or predictions – especially in the last 10 years. That being said – it’s still like the Wild West out there, and sometimes you need a roadmap to help navigate unfamiliar territory. That’s where the A’s come in.
“Think of The Four A’s as modern customer expectations.
A digitally minded way to run your business.”
— Kelly Doody, Social School Founder
So, what are The Four A’s we keep talking about?
- Authenticity – We don’t need a trust barometer to tell us just how skeptical consumers are of the “big brands”. We, as humans, trust brands and people that feel really authentic and human. That’s why it’s time, as brands, to pull back the curtains, let people in, and just be real. Being authentic, real and human in our marketing has never been more important – because people are smart and can see right through it.
- Accessibility – In a world where there are so many touch points available to brands, there is an expectation that consumers will be able to reach out to the (real, live) humans behind that brand. Consumers want to be able to communicate with brands when, where and how they want. It’s the brand’s job to show up for them in just the right way.
- Authority – Are people going to choose you because you have personality and show up for them? No, you still have to show that you are the right choice. Be an expert in your field. Convey your authority and expertise through your content and modern marketing efforts.
- Advocacy – This is the sweet spot of modern marketing, where you’ve gone beyond creating trust, authenticity, accessibility and authority and now you’ve got advocates of your brand. They are loyal. They stand shoulder to shoulder with you. They love what you do. They are going to talk about you to whoever will listen. Brand advocacy is nurturing your customer relationships until you have a tribe of brand ambassadors out there telling your story.
It’s important to note that we are not replacing The Four P’s. Rather, we are expanding on them, or dare I say evolving them. The Four A’s are a more modern take on The Four P’s of marketing. While The P’s make up your Marketing Mix, The Four A’s are your Marketing Mandate.