For more than half a century, marketers have relied on the 4 Ps of marketing, a framework first written by E. Jerome McCarthy in his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. McCarthy’s formulation, which includes price, product, promotion and place (distribution), has informed the bedrock of product and marketing management since 1960.
Over time, the 4 Ps have lost some of their luster—not because of defects in the concepts themselves, but because markets, economies and industries have matured since McCarthy’s book came out. The marketing mix was up for a complete refresh; price elasticity, product ladder management, promotional and distribution champion and challenger testing were in order.
All of which led, in the late 1990s, to a new framework created by Creative Solutions: the 4 Es. In the same spirit as Continuous Quality Improvement, the 4 Es framework encourages businesses to compete with themselves before taking on competitors. Think of it as a supplement to McCarthy’s tried-and-true marketing mix. As a concept, it addresses marketers’ inability to adapt to change and their tendency to understate consumer response to having more choices as an industry matures.
The aim was to create something that was a bit more dynamic and responsive to facilitating change rather than waiting for it. The elements include: Earn, Engage, Evolve and Energize:
• Earning-driven marketing establishes offer development and delivery at a profit the consumer is willing to pay for.
• Customer Engagement is critical to customer satisfaction, and thus to repurchase, up-sell, cross-sell and retention rates. To illustrate, JD Power did some research some years ago which showed very high customer satisfaction rates for a specific car brand. However, repurchase rates were very low. The reason had a lot to do with life stage events. Some people like a specific product and have no complaints but buy other brands as their needs change.
• Evolve and the interdependence of the 4 Es model: Evolving is about responding to ongoing supply and demand considerations by challenging static product and feature attributes and recognizing rivalry impacts.
• Lastly, you need to Energize your proposition. In financial services, for example, the category is never top-of-mind—and when it is, it often draws on negative associations. Breaking through mind clutter with relevant messaging that creates desired associations and calls to action are critical success factors.
Of course, the 4 Ps and 4 Es are just models we can use to create winning end-to-end marketing campaigns. To see this kind of discipline in action, and how it can boost your ROI and bottom line, take a closer look at Creative Solutions.
Interested in learning more? Call us at 302-543-8533 or email us for a free consultation.