The P’s of the marketing mix is the ABC of marketing studies. They started as only four and are now seven:
- Physical evidence
The challenge The Novice Marketeer is taking on is to adopt this business strategy so it can work for the common good as well as continue bringing profit. As much as I like it to work entirely for the common good the global economic model does not (yet) allow it. Of course, and I am happy to say that The Novice Marketeer is not the first place where this type of ideology is showing up.
A few examples worth looking at are:
- Marketing and the Common Good: Essays from Notre Dame on Societal Impact – “Through original research and scholarship from the influential Mendoza School of Business, this book looks at marketing’s ramifications far beyond simple economic exchange. It addresses four major topic areas: societal aspects of marketing and consumption; the social and ethical thought; sustainability; and public policy issues, in order to explore the wider relationship of marketing within the ethical and moral economy and its implications for the common good.”
- The Common Good of Business: Addressing a Challenge Posed by «Caritas in Veritate» – “Caritas in Veritate poses a challenge to the business community when it asks for ‘‘a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise’’ .The paper proposes the concept of the ‘‘common good’’ as a starting point for the discussion and sketches a deﬁnition of the common good of the business as the path toward an answer for this challenge. Building on the distinction between the material and the formal parts of the common good, the authors characterize proﬁt as the material part of the common good of business and work as the formal part that expresses the essential signiﬁcance of business.”
What I will try and do through The Novice Marketeer’s platform is to introduce a change in the marketing mix, not by adding another P as Positive and make them 8p’s. Instead, I will propose Positive to be applied to the already existing 7p’s. Call it the 7pp’s if you wish (I bet some of you chuckled saying that).
Through this blog, you will be able to follow the actual work in progress of this concept. Changes might and probably will occur from the start until the end, so bear this in mind. As a base, I will use the original 4p’s definitions by Philip Kotler. Here is the vision of what the concept of the 7pp’s would look like
The Common Good Marketing Mix
“Product means the goods-services combination the company offers to the target market.” A product is anything that is offered to a market to stratify the wants and needs of a target group of people. The product may be tangible or intangible, services, organizations and places. A positive product will mean the goods-services the company offers to also satisfy a common good want or need, such as environmental sustainability and ethical production process.
Placement is also known as intermediary or distribution. Placement is a process through which products and services are moved from manufacturers to consumers. The way of distribution defines how the product will reach its desired target market. To add positivity to the distribution strategies (Direct, Indirect, Intensive, Exclusive and Selective) companies can look at their footprint in the process. Creating a secure, high-functioning, environmental and ethical supply chain is one of the most crucial factors for any brand looking to succeed.
Price is the amount of money customers have to pay to obtain the product. This is where greed comes and as the global economy grew so did the greed and therefore for higher prices in products and services. One company against all odds and to the surprise of the bears and bulls of Wall Street took a different approach and had massive success. Tesla started selling at a high price (and not a really popular or great product at the time) and with the money developed a better product selling at a much lower price. The company is driven not by profit but by changing the industry for a more sustainable future. Profit followed because the consumers believed in the idea of a common good future. This strategy helped the brand create almost cult-like customers similar to Apple’s consumers. The stock market was the unbeliever and the loser.
Promotion is an important and probably the most unethical through times ingredient of the marketing mix as it refers to a process of informing, persuading and influencing a consumer to make the choice of the product to be bought. Promotion is done through means of personal selling, advertising, publicity and sales promotion. It is done mainly with a view to providing information to prospective consumers about the availability, characteristics and uses of a product. Marketers in the past had a huge success in promoting products for the common destruction, like tobacco. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to do the opposite and do really good in promoting products for the common good. Or a different approach can be to promote ideas like the “You can’t stop us” ad from Nike.
People can refer to the service provided by people but also to the people involved in the process of creating a product – the employees. It’s about getting the right people to do the right job. In the common good, there is the addition of looking after those people and not in a purely financial way. Creating a culture of solidarity and taking care of each other will eliminate tensions in the workplace which will lead to better and qualitative productivity. It will create loyalty which will come handy in hard times for both employees and employers. Unfortunately, in most parts, employer and employee relationships are the exact opposite.
This part of the marketing mix is tied to providing services. The process of providing a set service. As an example, I will use restaurants. The process from getting in the premises to getting out is a whole marketing strategy (or at least it can be). If there is a specific way set by the management to be greeted and seated. The attitude of servers and bartenders. When finished with the meal and want to take the rest to go, for the sake of the common good the restaurant could use environmentally friendly products instead of plastic tin foil or plastic containers.
Positive Physical Evidence
“The environment in which the service is delivered and where the firm and customer interact, and any tangible components that facilitate performance or communication of the service”. This part has a lot to do with the image or branding of a company. Here in the common good marketing mix, a big part will play transparency and co-determination. This could apply to supply chain, ownership, social activities and transparency within the organisation itself. Remember the Nike ad I mentioned earlier? Well, this might be good for the brand, but the company is also accused of using sweatshops to produce its footwear. If they are not being transparent about it, who knows which of the two actions will have a bigger effect on the future of the company?
This is a project that will most likely fail if not enough companies pick up on the idea or at least start picking up on it. I realise that this is a lot like a scenario for an impossible eutopia future world (the Star Trek Earth), especially after a year like 2020 and in fact a lot longer before that. We are just seeing the results from our previous actions now. However, we must do what we have to do and keep working for the future we dream of. The sooner we start thinking of the common good future not just our selfish one we will start seeing results of a different, better kind.