• Alec Drake

What Happened to the Four P's of Marketing?

Updated: Aug 20

For many years, the mantra in broadcast marketing was the four P's of Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.

Each quadrant of the four P's was touted as a focus for managers to drive optimal audience levels and revenues. Three combinations of Place, Promotion, and Product were interchangeable in building value. Managers struggled with Price and its role in defining value for the other Ps. The pricing decision was driven by less sophisticated systems about what rates should apply to various inventory. As we will see in my subsequent blog posts, "Price" will move higher in rank with the four Ps, as yield management plays a crucial role in responding to revenue pressures due to consolidation, debt loads, and a fluctuating marketplace.

One "P" Today is Missing.

Today's focus puts "place" in the rearview mirror as the digital revolution has stormed past radio towers and physical signal limitations. Location no longer builds value in a physical sense as it did years ago. The new addition to replace "place" is attention. In a vastly crowded media space, consumption by ears and eyeballs is key to driving revenues.

Product or "Content" remains at the front of the line

Content, proclaimed as king, is still valid by many measures vs. the emphasis on the world of big data and scale-driven corporate strategies. Data and scale are vital if you have the right content to engage and unite a community of listeners or followers. The product competition has never been stronger or offered so many choices to consumers. A strong sales team will always underperform with a weak product; the product is a front runner and drives value for consumers and revenue for the creators.

Promotion at every level is critical.

When the four Ps first arrived, "Promotion" mainly was station appearances, sponsored concerts, and guerilla marketing on the streets. Websites and streaming moved promotion into the digital realm and started a journey to reaching everyone, everywhere. The promotion "P" today is as strong as ever and is engaged in every facet of how we think about pushing our content value out to the world. Promotion "P" will take a back seat to the product "P" when the value for the end-user is missing.

The big question of Price still looms overhead.

Many iterations later regarding our pricing strategies in broadcast, we are still bound to some old standards on how we price. Systems and data had penetrated far beyond the early days of the spreadsheet when computers landed in sales departments. Some platforms now price inventory before managers or sellers even see it. There is still much room for negotiation if we consider terms and conditions a lifeboat to avoid unnecessary discounts.

Price is at the forefront of many sales conversations (sometimes too early), and we still need to search for better yield as traditional revenues are shrinking. How we frame the topic of price in a sea of media choices avoids being trapped in a commodity box.

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About Alec Drake:

As President of Drake Media Group, a content creation, and sales consulting company, Alec is on a mission to share his unique perspective on best practices to enhance sales performance and drive revenue. The company offers a range of consulting expertise including sales operations, team and individual coaching, yield and revenue management strategies, event sponsorship formats, and sales marketing.

Drake Media Group, LLC retains exclusive rights to the original content in all articles written by Alec Drake, contained in any podcast appearances, or articles published on third-party platforms.

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