A recent book by a popular CRM expert declared the era of the 4 Ps effectively over. The author argues that product, promotion, price and place are no longer key to providing sustainable differentiation.

In addition, he says, the use of this marketing mix merely keeps the enterprise at par with the competition.

And while the author makes many compelling points, the key question remains: has the oligarchy been dethroned and is the reign of the 4 Ps over?

Simply stated, No; or, to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated!

The global economy has changed the game for all players. Competition has emerged from low-cost-labor Asia/Pacific countries and contract manufacturers. Outsourcing has spanned the globe—from Ireland to Russia to India. Powerful global brands like Samsung, Nokia and Lenovo are emerging and taking dominant form.

Consumers, once satisfied to take whatever products and services the market produced, are now more savvy, information-driven and have more choices than ever. Many companies and industries under threat from these forces yearn for simpler times.

Yet some companies are not only surviving in global economy, they're thriving. Some are regional players and others span worldwide empires.

A common denominator for these companies is that they leverage the power of the marketing mix (4 Ps) to achieve new heights, capture new markets and grow revenues at astronomical rates.

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Paul A. Barsch directs the professional services marketing programs for one of the top 10 software companies in the United States and blogs about the intersection and impact of technology and marketing (www.paulbarsch.com). He can be contacted at paulbarsch(at)yahoo(dotcom).