The 4 P’s of Marketing Aren’t Enough Anymore!

4 Ps of MarketingEveryone knows the 4 P’s of marketing…

  • Product
  • Promotion
  • Price
  • Place

But Gino Biondi, vice president of sales & marketing at Zenith Products, has suggested that the 4 P’s of marketing aren’t enough anymore.  Instead, he believes it takes a baker’s dozen of P’s to represent the many facets of product, channel and brand marketing.

Gino’s 13 P’s of marketing are…

  • New Ps of MarketingPerformance
  • Product
  • Place
  • Placement
  • People
  • Projection
  • Programming
  • Packaging
  • Public Relations
  • Promotion
  • Proliferation
  • Price
  • Positioning

P #1: Performance

No marketing plan is worth its weight without specific and measurable metrics and goals.

  • Profit
  • Sales
  • Share

Performance should be the first P.  It lets you know how the brand is performing and allows you to set performance goals.

P #2: Positioning

This P establishes the brand road map.

  • Relevant and meaningful consumer Insights
  • Attributes
  • Functional benefits
  • Reasons-to-believe
  • Emotional benefits
  • Brand essence
  • Brand character
  • Brand tone
  • Iconology

P #3: People

The idea that there are multiple targets to consider is the basis of this P.

  • Primary bull’s-eye consumer – demographic, psychographic, attitudinal, & behavioral
  • Secondary target purchasers or influencers – moms, kids, teachers, doctors, etc.
  • Stakeholder customers/retailers/resellers – If they don’t carry it you can’t sell it.
  • Sales professionals, installers, service people – sales people like to sell it, the installer prefers to hook it up and Customer Service likes to take the calls.
  • Internal employees – passion and word of mouth gets generated internally first.

P#4: Product

Product is the foundation of the Brand.

  • Tied to the Positioning key attributes
  • Differentiated key benefits
  • Innovation
  • Cost base versus your competitor
  • Volume
  • Meeting/exceeding quality expectations

P#5: Packaging

Packaging can be the most impactful marketing tool.

  • Form is a key communicator and provides key benefits – an upside down bottle of ketchup changed the industry and mustard, mayo, shampoo…
  • “Green” packaging or wasteful materials impacts attitudes.
  • Quality has an emotional response – sloppy fit and finish or crooked labels says a lot about the brand
  • Graphics  need to be compelling – authentic, modern, innovative, nostalgic, youthful, serious, fun
  • Services too – trucks, vehicles and uniforms.  Think Molly Maid, Geek Squad, UPS, Even name tags on a store clerk

P #6: Proliferation

How far should the brand extend is the thought behind this P.

  • Product proliferation can be key to distribution, shelf expansion or consumer needs
    • Flavors, varieties, colors, fragrances
    • Promotions, seasonal
  • Proliferation can be bad!
    • It creates operational complexity and increase the risk of underperforming SKU’s
    • What is the supply chain tolerance level in your company?
    • Non-value added features add cost that may not be recovered
  • Customer exclusivity may require SKU proliferation as well.

P #7: Promotion

This famous P should get a narrower view.

  • All brands need promotion strategies for both consumers and customers
  • Relatively short-term or loyalty building vehicles
    • To prevent switching to another competitor
    • To induce switching from a competitor
  • Promotion can be used to create excitement around seasonal opportunities.
    • Halloween, Spring cleaning, Back-to-School, Tax time
  • Create brand excitement and pull-through
    • Sweepstakes, contests, themed events

P #8: Projection

Brand Communications is the theme of this P.

  • Translating positioning into compelling creative and copy
  • Integrated Marketing is at the core of Projection
  • Every medium is different and how you use it should be treated uniquely
    • Mass media
    • TV, print, radio
    • Digital
      • Social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube)
      • Blog posts
      • Internet, web site, viral, e-commerce
      • Direct, outdoor, mobile, event
        • Sports marketing, sponsorships, entertainment
  • Consider ethnic audiences as well

P #9: Public Relations

PR is the cherry on top of the cake.  When fundamentals are in place PR creates a genre for the brand.

  • Cause-related marketing (charities) – Breast Cancer, Victory Junction Gang, Habitat for Humanity
  • Major relevant events – hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, anniversaries, milestones
  • Word-of-Mouth
  • More realistic and relevant with real user or third-party endorsements.
  • Spokespersons

P #10: Programming

This P tackles media choice.

  • How much should be spent on media?
  • How much should be allocated to the different mediums?
    • TV
    • Digital
    • Print
    • Radio
    • Outdoor
    • Direct
    • Non-traditional

Be sure to measure the effectiveness of each medium.

P #11: Price

Price has multiple components and needs unique strategies and plans for each.

  • List pricing
  • Everyday Low Price (EDLP)
  • High/Low pricing
  • Hybrid EDLP with opportunistic promotions

Critical to the decision is your channel and customer strategy, competitive situation, portfolio mix and consumer pricing sensitivity.

P #12: Place

With this P you need to think broadly…from global, to region, to channel.

Global: International challenges require putting the previous P’s together to determine the merits and overall strategy of succeeding on a global basis.

Region: Regional differences do exist.

  • Economic, climate, culture, population, etc.

Channel: Requires deep analysis to determine trade-offs and if presence is needed.

  • Club, mass, home improvement, grocery, convenience, sporting, industrial, electronics, specialty, hardware, dollar, drug, distributors, office, etc..

P #13: Placement

Gino considers this to be a bonus P that considers the ideal place in the store where products and services should be located.

  • How do you get it there?
  • Front  or back
  • Which direction from the aisle?
  • On the counter or checkout?
  • Near adjacent categories?
  • Near complimentary purchase categories?
  • Which position on the shelf?
    • Quality
    • Brand block
    • Size
    • Variety

By thinking through Gino Biondi’s 13 P’s of marketing, you will thoughtfully consider your brands range of options and maximizing your marketing effectiveness.


Can This Business Be Saved? How To Create A Product Line Review Strategy For A Big Box Home Center

How to Sell Lowe's and Home DepotWhen a buyer calls a line review, it galvanizes the entire team.  And when you are the top supplier, you are always the target. The competition wants your business and the buyer wants more margin. One way or the another, it’s going to cost you.

Because the business world is filled with teamwork and collaboration, Doug Thompson and I are teaming up to share how we would each respond to specific sales and marketing situations.

We’ll take a challenge and independently approach how we’d solve it, blend the thinking (or debate the merits of each approach), and come up with an approach to keep the business

How can we hold our distribution as the dominate supplier at both big box retailers despite a product line review for our category?

IMG_0122Our challenge: what if a line review was called and our buyer wants something new and different from the other box. And to make it even more realistic, the buyer is also hinting that they are looking at going private label on a portion of the business. Best of all, we got the phone call to come in and pitch.

To give focus to our thinking, we have selected the ladder category since one major brand, Werner Ladder, appears to us to have the majority of the category at both big boxes.

Here’s our thinking “out loud” so you see the collaboration and teamwork behind our conclusions.

“If the buyer isn’t seeing growth, then it’s all about profit”

Greg: This request is really about the buyer wanting to differentiate from the other box. The private label hint suggests that Werner Ladder is not driving top line sales for the category.

If the buyer isn’t seeing growth, then it’s all about profit.  Either we as the incumbent brand drop our price or the business is going elsewhere.

“The buyer wants a concession but he is also looking for an advantage”

Doug: We know that both boxes are trying to increase the percentage of private label in their aisle.  In most businesses a few key SKU’s make up a majority of the sales, and finding a source for 3 items covering ~$200M is bound to get someone’s attention.

Yes, the buyer wants a concession but he is also looking for an advantage. I think you immediately look at two things.

  1. Creating an advantage.
  2. Determining how real the PL threat is.

“Creating an advantage starts with product differentiation”

Greg: Creating an advantage starts with differentiation.  There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • Improving the set by shifting the mix to higher volume skus.
  • Value-added accessories to drive ticket (a ladder stabilizer, for example, on all extension ladders).
  • Improvement to the product that could drive a greater margin in addition to differentiation.
  • New price points.
  • Offering to create an OPP ladder that has fewer features or lower rating.

It may not be affordable, but adding an aggressive promotion plan designed to drive sales along with one or more of these ideas would clearly get the retailer’s attention.

“I think it is time to put together some brainstorming sessions to find out what innovations consumers wish they had on a ladder”

Doug: I am not sure that you want to push more volume into core SKU’s, that will only make it easier to private label in the future.

As ladders have a huge safety component, I think a de-featured ladder for $10 or $20 less might not sell if the story and accessories push the consumer to at least an MPP (mid price point) ladder. I am thinking the path may be to split the volume.

Add a feature onto the current product to make a premium version, and take something out to make a cheap one. Pros won’t touch a cheap ladder so you will probably shift them up. Consumers will probably go cheap unless you have a gadget that attracts them.

I think it is time to put together some brainstorming sessions to find out what gizmo consumers wish they had on a ladder.  I’ve got a couple of ideas already.

“Holding your space as the dominate brand requires you to be both nimble and smart”

Greg: Finding out what shoppers want is critical. Not only will it give us confidence that the innovation we offer will perform better on the shelf, but it will also allow us to be category experts.

Staying the dominate brand requires you to be both nimble and smart. Big box customers include both DIY and pro customers. By asking both groups what they want, we’ll be able to share what’s important and why to the retailer.

We can then build a bay that maximizing the sales potential based on that retailer’s core consumer, even customizing our mix and assortment based on common store clusters.

More importantly, we’ll learn from those consumers and pros how to best communicate on the packaging. It’s a critical step to improving bay navigation and helping consumers quickly and easily find the right ladder for them.

“Let’s go walk some stores and see what we insights and issues we can pick up from the guys who are talking to customers each and every day”


Doug: Agreed. Any kind of trademark and overarching packaging themes will help protect us from competitors.

The ability to help segment your offering by store helps keep the small players out as well. I’ve got qualitative research set up for next week for both consumers and professionals, let’s see what we get out of that.

I also have a friend at the testing lab, let me give him a call and see if he has seen any unusual activity from other companies looking to certify new products.

Let’s go walk some stores and see what we insights and issues we can pick up from the guys who are talking to customers each and every day.

That’s how we’ll dig up the facts that will help us tell our story — and create differentiation for each customer along the way!

Good Selling!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.

“Congratulations! We Are Putting Your Category Up For A Product Line Review.”

4016829091_9228f9fc51The news came by email at 6 pm…our biggest account was putting our category into an unscheduled line review.

Now everything was uncertain…our forecasts, our budgets, our plans.

Suddenly, without warning, we were faced with fighting for our space on the shelf.

Was it really unexpected?

frustrated-with-salesNothing sends a bigger shock wave through an organization than the unexpected line review.

Rumors fly and productivity decreases. Suddenly everyone is focused on “how could we not see this coming.”

Start off by asking yourself what really prompted this line review:

  • Did the retailer’s goals change? Is profit now more important than sales or the opposite? Is the merchant merely driving the corporate message down to you?
  • Was it “time” for a review? Had years past since the last time a formal review was conducted?
  • Is the category drifting or POS comping negative? Does the merchant need to show there’s a plan to upper management?
  • Did the competition heat up? Is there a new player or compelling new product in the category?

Regardless of if the answer is the category is tanking and the competition is sensing blood or the merchant just needs to have a clear plan to take to management, the focus you apply to the line review should be the same.

Put yourself in the merchant’s shoes

brent_729-620x349The merchant has no loyalty to you. That said, if you have performed well as a vendor, there’s not a lot of reason to create confusion at the shelf. Strong partners support one another.

You bring focus and insight to the category (for both the retailer and your product line) through:

  • Market trends
  • New products
  • Assortment planning
  • Competitive insights
  • Promotional plans
  • Packaging and merchandising
  • Service and support performance

Done well, you will only reinforce your value to the merchant. They, in turn, can confidently support you to their management as the vendor of choice.  It’s truly a win-win.

Build a plan that solves a problem

be seen as the category expert and offering a logical and compelling case about why you should be on their shelfYour moment of truth is your pitch to the retailer.

Chances are, the team will include the merchant, their assistant, their boss, possibly a planner and many times an unrelated category’s merchant. That last one is where all the tough questions will come from.

Their job is to be the spoiler – without having to have your merchant be the “bad guy.”

Your job is to build a story that is compelling from start to finish.

Focus on answering questions that your customer is trying to solve:

  • What are the shopper insights?
  • What are the category insights?
  • What does the financial analysis suggest?
  • How can the assortment be optimized?
  • How can we drive conversion through merchandising and promotion?

Regardless of the reason for the line review in the first place if you answer these questions well, you’ll be seen as the category expert and offering a logical and compelling case about why you should be on their shelf.

The retailer is not the expert in your category – you are

If the retailer wins, you winBelieve it or not, the retailer is not the expert in your category – you are. But they do have perspective. Perspective from other categories they manage and from hearing what your competitors are saying.

But what they need to know is how they are going to improve sales and profitability. Maybe not overnight, but definitely within their fiscal year. It’s how they will earn promotions and make their bonus. Consequently, any recommendations you make should help them win. Because if they win, you win.

So pitch your presentation in a way that shows:

  • Clarity of the alignment between the retailer’s shopper and who buys your brand.
  • Insights on what’s happening in the category, why it’s happening, what it’s impacting and what – together – you’re going to do about it.
  • How your recommendation brings differentiation, innovation and excitement to the category and directly addresses market and shopper trends.
  • A clear picture of how you are bringing the best financial program, the best products and the marketing plan that delivers the most value to both the retailer and their shopper.

The merchant is evaluating your credibility as well as your recommendation

Think of it this way, the merchant is evaluating your credibility as well as your recommendation.

If you come in with clear plan – one that’s supported every step of the way with facts – you’ll be in a better shape because the merchant will be able to use your recommendation and data in supporting the decision to go with you and deliver the goals the merchant’s management team has for the category and department.

Good Selling!

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Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.