While recently browsing Google+ (no, it’s not dead), I came across a post that insinuated that the 4 P’s of Marketing were long gone and will be replaced with the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing. This sparked my interest, of course. “How could the 4 P’s of Marketing, the foundation of marketing practices, be done and over with?” I thought.
Before diving deeper into the topic, let’s review the 4 P’s of Marketing and the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing.
The 4 P’s of Marketing, also known as the Marketing Mix, consists of:
The 4 C’s of Digital Marketing are:
Now, I agree with both concepts. However, without the 4 P’s of Marketing, the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing cannot occur. Therefore, my personal stance on this topic is that the 4 P’s are not going anywhere; we are simply adapting, innovating and evolving our current digital and online marketing practices upon the foundations of marketing.
An Evolving Field
When E. Jerome McCarthy introduced the marketing mix in 1960, the needs of consumers were drastically different. For instance, they relied on the daily paper, radio or television for information and promotions. They did not have the luxury of simply unlocking their iPhone and scrolling through a mass amount of social content. The marketing mix was created as a basis for marketers during that time period to base their marketing campaign and tactics on.
As our world and access to technology began to evolve, so did our marketing tactics. However, while they adapted to the available technology and resources, each strategy was based upon the Marketing Mix. In addition, the 4 P’s can also be translated into the 4 C’s of Marketing (note, not digital marketing):
- Consumer (wants and needs)
With this translation of the Marketing Mix, it is clear to see where the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing drew inspiration.
The 4 C’s of Digital Marketing are right on point for today’s business environment. Brands and businesses must be able to break through the advertising noise through creating original content, building a consumer culture, and establishing the human connection through their online and digital marketing efforts. Although ideal for the current situation with online marketing, the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing will not replace the Marketing Mix in the long run.
Let’s Bake a Cake.
In any subject, there are core concepts and principles upon which the rest of the subject is built. For instance, when baking a cake, one typically uses eggs, flour, baking soda, sugar, and milk to create the physical cake. Without these ingredients, your cake cannot be created. Now let’s say that you are a world-renowned baker. When baking your next masterpiece, you do not decide whether or not to use flour and eggs. In fact, you wouldn’t even give it a second thought. These ingredients are the foundation of your baked creation and without them you wouldn’t have your cake, pie, or whatever you happen to be creating. The same goes with marketing. Without the essentials (product, price, place, and promotion), could the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing even exist? My educated conclusion is no.
To reiterate, the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing are crucial for success in today’s business environment, especially online. However, to say that they will take over the Marketing Mix is, in my opinion, impossible. Perhaps in a few months we’ll see an entirely new form of marketing evolving off of content and digital marketing. The future for marketing is bright and has an outstanding foundation to grow from.
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