Rethinking the 4p's

In: Business and Management

Submitted By philiptiong94
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It's time to retool the 4 P’s of marketing for today’s B2B reality. As a framework for fine-tuning the marketing mix, the P’s—product, place, price, and promotion—have served consumer marketers well for half a century. But in the B2B world, they yield narrow, product-focused strategies that are increasingly at odds with the imperative to deliver solutions.

In a five-year study involving more than 500 managers and customers in multiple countries and across a wide range of B2B industries, we found that the 4 P’s model undercuts B2B marketers in three important ways: It leads their marketing and sales teams to stress product technology and quality even though these are no longer differentiators but are simply the cost of entry. It underemphasizes the need to build a robust case for the superior value of their solutions. And it distracts them from leveraging their advantage as a trusted source of diagnostics, advice, and problem solving.

It’s not that the 4 P’s are irrelevant, just that they need to be reinterpreted to serve B2B marketers. As the sidebar below shows, our model shifts the emphasis from products to solutions, place to access, price to value, and promotion to education—SAVE, for short.

SAVE
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Motorola Solutions, a pioneer of the new framework, used SAVE to guide the restructuring of its marketing organization and its go-to-market strategies in the government and enterprise sectors. Along the way the firm identified three requirements for successfully making the shift from 4 P’s thinking to SAVE.

First, management must encourage a solutions mind-set throughout the organization. Many B2B companies, particularly those with an engineering or a technology focus, find it difficult to move beyond thinking in terms of “technologically superior” products and services and take a customer-centric perspective instead.

Second, management needs…...

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