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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason McNamara is chief marketing officer of Alterian (www.alterian.com).