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Is the 4P’s of Marketing Old News Now?

Is the 4P’s of Marketing Old News Now?

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Perusing the principles of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, you've perhaps pondered their present-day pertinence. These four pillars, the 4P's of marketing, have long been touted as the bedrock of any solid marketing strategy.

Yet, as we surge forward in the digital age, the landscape of consumer behavior and marketing mediums is evolving at a rapid pace. It raises the question, have the 4P's become passe? Could there be a more relevant model that better caters to the needs of the modern consumer?

We invite you to evaluate the efficacy of these time-honored principles and consider a shift towards a more customer-centric approach.

Key Takeaways

  • The 4P's of marketing have limitations and fail to emphasize the solution provided to the customer.
  • Consumer behavior is changing, and customers now seek solutions that genuinely address their needs.
  • Digital marketing has revolutionized traditional strategies, with content marketing playing a crucial role in building trust and relationships.
  • A customer-centric approach, prioritizing solutions, access, value, and education, is necessary in today's marketing world.

Have the 4P's of Marketing Become Outdated?

So, have the traditional 4P's of marketing – Product, Place, Price, and Promotion – become outdated in today's digital age? It's a question that's been asked by many modern businesses. The four Ps, also known as the Marketing Mix, are classic principles that have guided marketers for decades. However, the digital revolution has led to a shift in the way businesses operate and market their products.

You, as a Chief Marketing Officer, may be wondering whether these principles still hold water. Stanford University, a leading voice in business education, suggests that the focus on product features, as dictated by the four Ps, may not be as effective in the modern business landscape. It's not just about the product anymore. It's about the solution it provides to the customer.

Instead of focusing solely on the product, place, price, and promotion, you could consider a more customer-centric approach. The S.A.V.E framework – Solution, Access, Value, and Education – is one such approach. This framework places the customer's needs at the forefront, potentially leading to better customer satisfaction, loyalty, and improved marketing return on investment.

The Limitations of the 4P's of Marketing

While the 4P's of Marketing have served businesses well in the past, they now fall short in several key areas, failing to meet the evolving needs of today's digital marketplace. The old 4P's focus heavily on product technology and quality, but in the modern age, these aren't significant differentiators anymore.

You see, the 4P's of Marketing, namely Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, don't emphasize enough on building a strong value proposition. It's no longer just about having a great product, but about conveying its value convincingly to your potential customers.

Moreover, the 4P's can distract from the real marketing advantage – being a trusted problem-solver. In the 4P's scheme, you're often preoccupied with product attributes, missing out on opportunities to leverage your expertise and credibility.

Lastly, the 4P's of Marketing aren't agile enough for the fast-paced, ever-evolving digital world. They're rigid and don't adapt well to the dynamic nature of modern marketing. To stay relevant, they need to be complemented with a new framework that aligns with the current landscape.

The old 4P's of Marketing have limitations that can't be overlooked in today's digital age.

1 The Changing Landscape of Consumer Behavior

As we acknowledge the limitations of the traditional 4P's of marketing, it's equally crucial to understand the evolving consumer behavior that's reshaping the marketing landscape. The changing landscape of B2B and B2C encompasses a shift in preferences and purchase processes, greatly affecting how marketing models are run. Modern buyers can learn more about products and services before making a purchase, which has revolutionized customers' entire purchase journey.

The digital age has presented marketers with three important challenges. Firstly, customers can't live without solutions that genuinely address their needs, making it essential to offer value beyond the product. Secondly, access to digital and cross-channel platforms is becoming more relevant than physical location. Lastly, the perception of value has taken precedence over price.

To adapt, it's recommended to shift from the traditional 4P's to a more customer-focused approach. This not only involves offering products or services that solve problems, but also creating a stronger bond and connection with customers through content marketing. In this way, you can better educate them about the benefits of what you're offering, thereby building trust and loyalty.

2 The Rise of Digital Marketing

Propelled by technological advancements and increased internet usage, digital marketing has rapidly ascended to prominence, revolutionizing traditional marketing strategies and channels. It's no longer about just product, price, place, and promotion; the rise of digital marketing is changing the game.

Now, content marketing is king, and you, the modern buyer, are in control. You can access information anytime, anywhere, making it crucial for marketing and sales teams to provide content that isn't just engaging but also solves a problem. You're looking for a trusted source of problem-solving, and that's where compounding marketing comes into play.

Through consistent, value-driven content on social media and other platforms, businesses can become that trusted source. They can build a relationship with you, understand your needs and preferences, and tailor their offerings accordingly. Compounding marketing, where the benefits of marketing efforts multiply over time, is key in this digital age.

3 The Need for a Customer-Centric Approach

In light of the digital marketing revolution, it's clear that a shift toward a more customer-centric approach, prioritizing your needs and problems, is more than necessary in today's marketing world. Companies need to work tirelessly to understand the value you seek, and devise solutions to meet your demands.

Long gone are the days when product features and technology were the sole focus. Now, it's about you, the customer. You don't want to just buy a product; you want solutions to your problems. To cater to this need, companies must get involved with customers' needs, providing accessibility and top-notch service across various channels.

Sure, price is important, but isn't value more significant? Companies must communicate the value of their product, not just the price tag. This is where the customer-centric approach shines.

Moreover, you're not just interested in buying; you want to learn, to understand. Thus, companies should educate, using informative content marketing to build trust and foster long-term relationships with you, their valued customer. With these strategies, companies are better equipped to address your real concerns, aligning more with the modern marketing landscape.

Introducing the S.A.V.E. Framework

Now, let's dive into the S.A.V.E. framework, a customer-centric marketing approach that prioritizes solutions, access, value, and education over the traditional 4Ps.

This framework, a direct response to modern buyers' needs, undercuts the product or service-based marketing approach that Jerome McCarthy's 4Ps have long epitomized.

The S.A.V.E. framework shifts the focus from products to solutions. This means, as marketers, you're not just selling a product or service; you're selling a solution to your current and potential customers' problems.

It's not about the place anymore, it's about access. Your customers need to access your solutions anytime, anywhere.

On the third point, value takes precedence over price. You shouldn't just focus on pricing, but rather on how you can provide value and create a long-term marketing asset.

Lastly, education is favored over promotion. You're not merely promoting your product, you're educating your customers about it.

The S.A.V.E. framework underscores these important differences it emphasizes from traditional marketing. It doesn't just acknowledge that marketing has evolved, it provides a roadmap for marketers to effectively meet the demands of today's savvy consumers.

1 Solution: Addressing Customer Needs

To truly thrive in today's competitive marketplace, you need to reorient your mindset from simply selling products to providing solutions that address your customers' unique needs effectively. This shift requires you to understand and solve their problem better than anyone else. If your product fails to solve a specific customer issue, it's almost certain you'll lose that customer to a competitor who can.

A deep understanding of your customers and their concerns can help marketers provide and create more tailored solutions. This process involves listening to feedback and digging into data to uncover insights that reflect their real concerns. When you prioritize these issues and provide solutions that directly address them, you build trust and loyalty with your customers and improve customer satisfaction significantly.

Further, using your products or services to aid customers and improve their lives or businesses can set you apart from competitors. It's not just about making a sale; it's about making a difference. Remember, when your focus shifts from pushing products to solving problems, you'll find your offerings align more closely with what your market actually wants and needs.

2 Access: Meeting Customers Where They Are

Let's dive into how meeting customers where they're can significantly enhance your marketing strategy. Modern buyers no longer follow a linear path. Instead, they operate across multiple channels, making it crucial for your business to provide a seamless cross-channel experience. That's where 'Access' in the S.A.V.E. framework comes into play, replacing 'Place' in the traditional Marketing Mix.

As businesses operate around the clock, they must ensure product accessibility at any given moment. It's about reaching your target market wherever they are, on their terms. For instance, the Marketing Officer for Motorola once said, 'Our customers aren't always going to come to us. We need to go to them.'

As marketers look toward this approach, it's clear that 'Place' is becoming less relevant. Instead, an omnichannel presence is critical to meet the needs of customers effectively. This shift in focus is being acknowledged by marketers around the world, as they strive to build trust and offer support to their customers across different platforms.

In essence, 'Access' is about being proactive, going to your customers, and meeting them where they are.

3 Value: Providing Value Beyond Price

Shifting gears to 'Value', it's essential to understand that modern customers often seek more than just competitive pricing; they crave products that offer tangible solutions to their problems. This is where you, as a modern business, can act strategically. You need to focus less on product features or usability, and more on the inherent value of your product.

It's not about creating the next great new thing; it's about creating a product your customers can't live without because it solves their problems in a unique way. This concept, which has evolved from the traditional '4P's' model created by Jerome McCarthy, emphasizes the importance of providing value beyond price.

You can achieve this by understanding your customers' needs, tailoring your product to address those needs, and then communicating the benefits. When you do this effectively, you're not just selling a product; you're creating a much stronger connection with your customers. You're becoming a trusted solution provider.

The result? Customer loyalty, improved market share, and a sustainable competitive edge. That's the real power of 'Value: Providing Value Beyond Price'.

4 Education: Empowering Customers with Knowledge

In the realm of modern marketing, empowering your customers with knowledge, or 'Education', is a formidable tool that trumps traditional promotional strategies. The education of a product is a crucial element in today's marketing landscape. By providing potential customers with information and advice about your product, you're not just selling them something; you're also empowering them with knowledge.

Researchers stressed the importance of this educational approach, which allows customers to understand the value of your product, how it can solve their potential problems, and why they should choose it over others. This knowledge makes them feel confident and informed, fostering trust in your brand.

But how can you disseminate this knowledge effectively? In today's digital age, the world's knowledge is at your fingertips. Use your online platforms to share valuable content about your product. This could be in the form of blog posts, instructional videos, FAQs, or interactive demos. Use these tools to educate your audience, addressing their concerns and offering solutions.

The Benefits of the S.A.V.E. Framework

Building on the concept of educating your customers, the S.A.V.E. framework offers further advantages that align perfectly with today's marketing needs. It helps you avoid increasingly unproductive technological arms races and focus on creating a Help Scouts presence that's about more than just product sales.

The S.A.V.E. principles look a bit different than the classic ones, but they're more relevant to the digitally connected world. Instead of pushing products, you're providing solutions that align with customer needs. This isn't just a nuance; it's a major marketing asset. It helps in building a convincing case for your brand and differentiating you from competitors.

Access, another S.A.V.E. principle, means creating a cross-channel presence that supports the entire customer journey. You're not just selling; you're building trust. You're offering value, not just in terms of price, but in the benefits your product brings.

1 Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

As you emphasize providing value and creating long-term marketing assets, you'll notice a significant enhancement in customer satisfaction. This shift from the traditional 4P's of marketing – Product, Price, Place, Promotion – to a more customer-oriented approach, can drive this enhanced customer satisfaction.

Paying attention to product features that your customers truly need is paramount. This means going beyond just selling a product or service based on features. It's about understanding and solving their problems better than anyone else, thus improving customer care.

Your marketing mix should also take into account the customer journey. Ensure you're accessible across various channels, giving your customers the convenience they desire and raising the bar for customer satisfaction.

Moreover, your communication strategy plays a crucial role. Clearly stating the benefits of your product gives it a pricing power. Coupling this with free, useful information through content marketing can build trust before a purchase is even made.

In essence, the 4P's of marketing haven't become outdated. They've just evolved to focus more on the customer, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.

2 Increased Customer Loyalty

While enhancing customer satisfaction is crucial, it's equally important to focus on fostering customer loyalty. This can be significantly improved by providing ongoing value through your products and services. You, as marketers, should aim to build a strong solution-based product that directly addresses the needs of modern buyers. This is a surefire way to foster increased customer loyalty.

But don't stop there. Making your brand accessible across various channels and delivering top-notch customer service can further enhance this loyalty. Modern buyers value customer care and service now more than ever. They appreciate businesses that make a genuine effort to connect and engage with them.

Your communication, too, plays a vital role in this. Be clear and compelling about the benefits of your product. Educate your customers about what they stand to gain by choosing you over the competition. This not only contributes to increased customer loyalty, but also positive customer outcomes.

And remember, it's all about connection. By providing value and fostering a strong customer connection, you're not just increasing loyalty, you're creating a long-term marketing asset. That's the power of customer service and care in today's market.

3 Improved Marketing ROI

In addition to fostering customer loyalty through superior service and value, you should also focus on improving your marketing return on investment (ROI) to ensure sustainable growth. This improved marketing ROI leads marketing and sales to a higher level of performance, where every dollar spent can be traced to its impact on your bottom line.

You may focus too much effort on product technology, forgetting the crucial role of marketing. This imbalance can lead to a marketing fall, undermining the success of your product regardless of its technological merits. The classic methods of marketing, like a banner ad or press release, can still work. But, they must be part of a comprehensive strategy that includes digital and content marketing, to maximize your ROI.

Don't fall into the trap where you pour resources into areas that don't yield returns. Track the performance of your marketing efforts. Analyze what works and what doesn't. By doing so, you'll ensure that your investments in marketing lead to tangible results, boosting your overall ROI.

Implementing the S.A.V.E. Framework in Your Marketing Strategy

To effectively implement the S.A.V.E. framework in your marketing strategy, you'll need to shift your focus from traditional methods to a more customer-centric approach. Recognize that the art of striking deals goes far beyond product functions and technological superiority. Instead, it's about providing great customer solutions, which is a key aspect of the S.A.V.E. approach.

Have the 4P's of marketing become outdated? Yes, in many respects. As used by marketers around the globe, the 4P's often fail to address the real needs and wants of today's savvy customers. Enter the S.A.V.E. framework, which redefines the marketing strategy to be more about the customer than the product.

When implementing the S.A.V.E. framework in your marketing strategy, focus on solutions rather than products, access instead of place, value over price, and education over promotion. This approach tackles the question: 'What solution does my product or service provide?' It also highlights the importance of accessibility, demonstrating value, and educating customers about benefits over features.

Embrace the S.A.V.E. framework and discover a new, effective way to reach, engage, and satisfy your customers.

1 Assessing Your Current Marketing Mix

Before diving into the S.A.V.E. framework, it's crucial you assess your current marketing mix to understand its strengths and weaknesses. As B2B marketers in three out of four companies can use information from their current marketing mix, it's an invaluable tool in your arsenal.

Assessing your current marketing mix involves looking at what's working and what isn't. You need to identify where your strategy may be falling short and where it's exceeding expectations. This comprehensive review allows entrepreneurs and marketers to focus their efforts more effectively.

Remember that the value of deals goes far beyond the financial aspect. Consider your customer relationships, the potential for future business, and your brand's reputation. Use this information to guide your marketing strategy and allow your sales teams to focus on areas that will yield the most return.

Keep in mind, the marketing mix isn't just about the four P's anymore. As your business evolves, so should your marketing mix. It should reflect changes in your market, customer behavior, and business objectives. So take a good look at your current strategy before moving forward. A well-assessed marketing mix can be a game-changer.

2 Identifying Customer Pain Points

Understanding your customer's pain points is a crucial step in refining your marketing strategy. It's all about knowing what your customers care about, what frustrates them, and what obstacles they face. This isn't just about selling a product or service; it's about solving a problem better than anyone else.

Identifying customer pain points isn't always easy, though. You can't just guess at what your customers are struggling with. The reality is that none of us can read minds, so you need to actively listen, empathize, and understand from the customer's perspective. Use tools like surveys, customer feedback, and social media to find out what your customers are really thinking.

3 Tailoring Your Offerings to Customer Needs

Once you've pinpointed your customers' pain points, it's essential to tailor your offerings to address these issues effectively. This is where the Marketing Mix comes into play, allowing businesses to adjust their strategies in response to customer needs. You must genuinely believe in the superiority of your product, not just for its features, but because it delivers on what it has promised to the problems faced by your customers.

In an age where many businesses are vying for consumer attention, tailoring your offerings to customer needs sets you apart. It's not just about selling a product or service anymore; it's about providing a solution to your customer's problems.

Product developers have a crucial role here. They need to focus on creating products that answer to customer's needs, rather than focusing on incorporating fancy, unnecessary features. Remember, consumers are drawn to products that offer them the best solution to their problems.

Believing in your product and ensuring it offers a genuine solution won't only improve customer satisfaction but also enhance your brand's reputation. Always remember, your product's superiority lies in how well it meets your customer's needs.

4 Communicating Value and Educating Customers

Shifting your focus to communicating the true value of your offerings and educating your customers can significantly enhance your marketing strategy. Time is spent educating customers on the solutions you provide, not just the products or services you sell. It's about making a convincing case to explain why they should invest in your offerings and how they'll benefit in the long run.

Communicating value is about more than just stating what you offer. It requires you to delve into the important differences that set your offerings apart from the competition. In doing so, you help customers make informed decisions, which in turn builds trust and loyalty.

The traditional Marketing Mix may overlook the educational aspect, where a significant amount of time should be spent educating customers. By providing relevant information, you're not just promoting your products; you're also becoming a trusted resource.

Are the 4P’s of Marketing Still Relevant in the Era of Instagram and Social Media Marketing?

In the era of Instagram and social media marketing, the 4P’s of Marketing – product, price, place, and promotion – are still relevant. However, integrating the use of the best Instagram business tools can enhance the effectiveness of these traditional marketing principles in reaching and engaging with target audiences.


In conclusion, while the 4Ps of marketing may have their limitations, they're still a valuable tool for crafting effective strategies in today's competitive business environment. The Marketing Mix, consisting of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, has been a cornerstone of marketing for decades. It helps you frame product features, price in relation to competition, the connotation of brand, and promotional efforts, like your presence on Twitter.

However, modern buyers are savvy. They're not only looking at your product features or price but at the overall value you're offering. The connotation of your brand plays a huge role in their decision-making process. Your presence on Twitter, or any social media platform, needs to resonate with your target audience.

This new outline follows the specified HTML heading format and incorporates SEO best practices. It starts with an attention-grabbing main title using tags. Each primary heading is formatted as and provides a clear and concise overview of the section. Subheadings under each primary heading are formatted as

To boost your marketing strategy, let's dive into this new outline that follows the specified HTML heading format and incorporates SEO best practices. This new format focuses on the growing influence of modern buyers and the shift from the traditional Marketing Mix model.

Modern buyers are no longer swayed by mere product features. They demand solutions to their problems. In this new framework, you're encouraged to look beyond the product features and focus on the usability of a product. This change can give your brand a fresh, final look that resonates more with your audience.

Think about how you can make your brand give solutions, rather than just products. This approach will also improve the accessibility of your brand, amplifying its presence across various channels.

Further, the emphasis is on value over price, highlighting what consumers gain from the product rather than what it costs. It's about educating consumers on the product's benefits, building trust, and fostering loyalty.

Following this outline not only enhances your marketing strategy but also aligns it with SEO best practices. It's a win-win for your brand, making it more relatable and accessible to the modern buyer.


In the end, it's clear that the 4P's aren't completely obsolete, but they're no longer enough on their own. The digital age demands a shift towards the S.A.V.E. framework.

By focusing on Solution, Access, Value, and Education, you're not just selling products but engaging customers in a meaningful way.

It's time to revolutionize your marketing strategy, and S.A.V.E. is your roadmap to success.

Are you ready to make the change?