December 30, 2004
Weblogs and the Power of the Fifth P
As part of my commitment to doing more 'open source writing', this is a zygote of an article on the subject of the Fifth P and how weblogs are the quitisential manifestation of the Fifth P in marketing strategy.
By allowing their employees to have weblogs and forge relationships directly with customers in their brand community, organizations like General Motors, Microsoft, Stonyfield Farms, Nike, and Jupiter Research have been credited with acquiring something they've long lacked: an approachable human face.
Any thoughts? I'll post the full thing here when it's ready. It will be a 1000 word feature...and end up somewhere.
Dana, if you remember you and I had this discussion over the 5th P of marketing. I called it 'Personal' http://www.pheedo.info/archives/000069.html. I was using it to define blogging and how blogging has helped marketers get personal with their customers. I think the 5th P should be added and taught at Universities. It is vital in today's consumer controlled economy.
I have to disagree that 'People' can possibly be the fifth P of Marketing, because 'People' are the subject and the framework of all marketing. They are beyond the four Ps.
When did you last hear of marketing targeted at anything other than People?
The people you can hire, interact with, and reach are the reason for the P for Place having importance.
The people who will deliver, or receive it, are the reason for the P of Promotion having importance.
The people who will buy and sell are the reason for the P of Price having importance.
The people who need certain features, personally value others, and devalue others are the reason that the P of Product has importance.
Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, are the four Ps of marketing and all rely on people already.
No where in the four P's of marketing do we have the framework to deal how our employees forge relationships and act in the community of our customers. I concur with you *if* you're viewing from the 'indside - out', however, when you look at the context of the Gallup work, it looks at the "People" of the company in question, specifically, the employees of a company.
With the heavy emphasis in makreting on relationships, community, conversation, CRM and the like, the People, as an element of the marketing mix, placed at each of the brand-touchpoint opportunitiesk are critical and should have a strategy unto themselves.
The marketing mix is based on a very old set of values and views of the market. Recent research, especially in the delivery of financial services, puts responsive service and customer treatment at the top of the list for choosing a bank or financial services firm (I'd bet that a few other industries would deliver similar results). In other words, the brand touchpoints, the people, are critical to success in wooing and retaining customers.
No where in the current 4 P's do I see the ability to focus on the brand touchpoints, customer experiece *as it relates to the people that serve them* and the relationship that companies desire to form with customers.
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