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Marketing's New 5 Ps: Turning What You Know Inside out

by Jason McNamara  |  
March 18, 2008

With apologies to Philip Kotler, whose four Ps—product, price, place, and promotion—have been integral to any successful product or service marketing effort of the past 50 years, today's successful marketing hinges on five new Ps.

Whereas the Ps we studied in college are all from the provider's point of view, these new Ps focus with laser-like clarity on the customer.

But customer-centricity can't be the mantra of just the marketing department. Every group, from the boardroom to product leaders to IT, must place the customer at the core of every decision it makes.

Responsibility for evangelizing within the organization rests squarely on the shoulders of the CMO. After all, if the marketing chief isn't living and breathing customer focus every minute, and encouraging others to do the same, who will believe its importance?

The CMO's office must consistently demonstrate to the rest of the enterprise the value of looking at all products, messaging, and brands through the customer's eyes. The entire organization can then get closer to the hearts and minds of their prospects and customers, with the added benefit of proving the value of every initiative that the company undertakes.

The new Ps are composed of five equally important, tightly interwoven components, designed to more tightly integrate marketing in the future.

1. People

Certainly, the audience must be at the heart of any marketing initiative. That isn't news to anyone in your department. Smart marketers have always had an instinctive sense of what their audiences would respond to. But no longer is it enough to know about your target in aggregate. Perhaps "person" might be a better heading for this P—because now it's important to know your customer intimately, as a human, emotional being.

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Jason McNamara is chief marketing officer of Alterian (

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  • by Chris McCrory Tue Mar 18, 2008 via web

    Nice job with these additional Ps. I have some others to add as well. Look here:

  • by John Holsen Tue Mar 18, 2008 via web

    Good article! I'm submitting it to

    Over the years I've read quite a few articles about changing the Ps. For the most part, I thought the idea was ridiculous because every new addition to the marketing mix can still fit into the original 4 Ps. However, I've recently come to the conclusion that it's not about getting the latest concepts and technologies to fit neatly into categories; it's about creating a mindset that changes the way we think about marketing. If by changing the Ps we can change what we focus on in marketing, then it's time to break from tradition.

  • by plmurphy Tue Mar 18, 2008 via web

    Nope, another avant garde article that offers little substance. Similar to the current claim that marketing and sales are now consumer oriented. Like they have not been in the past? I like the original 4 Ps.

  • by David Mulobole, Business Executive, Uganda Wed Mar 19, 2008 via web

    Jason's 5Ps are a good addition to Philip Kotler's 4Ps. In my opinion, the 5Ps provide a quite useful context within which Philip Kotler's 4Ps can operate better. The 5Ps do not replace the 4Ps , they only complement them. Understanding of the original 4Ps is essential, while appreciation of Jason's 5Ps is beneficial.

  • by Marko Wed Mar 19, 2008 via web

    It's not Ph. Kotler who introduced to us the 4 Ps but E J McCarthy (see the references in Kotler's books)

  • by G.F.J. Bernie Wed Mar 19, 2008 via web

    There is another missing which should be included in Service Marketing contexts; Physical Evidence.
    And Marko is correct - the 4Ps are called McCarthy's 4Ps - my second year undergraduate students know this so it takes away from McNamara's article than he errs on such a fundamental point. Allowing for that, the article is a useful one.

  • by prashant shrivastava Wed Mar 19, 2008 via web


    this is really a good article. But I suppose there are total 11 Ps-
    product, prize, promotion, plcae, people, process, phisical evidences, plateform, partners, public openion and ultimately politics.

    As we all know that what coca cola did while emtering into INDIAN market. it has been banned in india in 1970's and again it has tried to penitrate into indian market in late 1990's . It has projected that it would support government in envionmental savings through ethical practices as well as it would open its own manufacturing division. That is a real example of how politics turns a coin.

  • by Vijay Naidu Thu Mar 20, 2008 via web

    Jason has provided the 'spects' to succeed in the today's marketing world.
    The consumer-centric spects every marketeer needs to put on.
    In a changing scenario the adaptability is the key. We have the platform in terms of software and technology but the consumer-centric mind set helps you deliver the right strategy at the right time and the right place.
    Good 5 P's to 'lock in' and keep constructing....

  • by ps Thu Mar 20, 2008 via web

    Again quoting that this is a good article but One can not eliminate or discard porter's Ps . I do agree that customer centric organization always succeed in today scenario. but they have to offer something ( Product / services) to satisfy their need in very minimal amount (prize) through various ways of informing them ( promotion) and through availability of product ( place - distribution).
    It seems to appear that this article is very much influenced by organizational behavior concept.

  • by Anzhelika Tue Mar 25, 2008 via web

    Nothing new about it.If we talk about tourism marketing there are actually 7p's: physical evidence,people,processes.

  • by Simon Hall Tue Apr 15, 2008 via web

    Great article, I've only read a few of the above comments but I agree with the comment on changing mentality. I like the point of processes and I guess you could equally also bring a point on 'perspective' where a broader perspective is required. Working in IT, marketing as a silo on its own rarely exists from my experience and marketing takes on a broader perspective including responsibility for P&L, and sales performance as well as tieing in the traditional aspects which drive marketing strategy and

  • by Carolyn Gardner Tue Apr 22, 2008 via web

    Great job at re-thinking the 5 P's. As Simon notes in the above comment, "Perspective" is another new and important P to consider. And guess what, I've got another one....your list of 5 P's is already up to 7 if you also add "Personalization" into the mix. Personalization on the web is becoming increasingly important because it makes every visitor have a unique and relevant experience that changes dynamically, in real-time, according to their individual behaviors and interests. With visitor expectations being as high as they are, this is the competitive differentiator smart marketers need to factor into the mix.
    Carolyn Gardner - Director of Customer Experience

  • by p bagli Wed Apr 23, 2008 via web

    Creative and informative job of bringing the 4 P's into the new millenium. However, the majority of sales done in this country are face to face by professional sales people. There is passive and active web investigation sure, but deals of every size are being closed by people who have the key to People, Passion and can greatly assist in the Process. THis downplaying of Sales is indicative in the 40% figure of those not understanding their customer. Sales is the voice box of the customer and I know so much of seems like disjointed, anecdotal noise. Listne carefully, the answers are there.

  • by Sunil Agrawal Thu Apr 24, 2008 via web

    Excellent work.
    Can extend upon the Strategies for implementation of the same.

  • by Dr.S.Davidson Wed May 14, 2008 via web

    Excellent article to any one who seeks some insight into Ps.I also enjoyed the comments,what a brilliant horizon of knowledge leadership!

  • by Doe Awunyo,Ghana Fri Oct 24, 2008 via web

    Good work though, but the 4ps still remain fundamental to marketing that any attempt add to it needs an extensive research and justification. well the new Ps relevant.

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