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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

3Ps of Marketing are dead!!

Vandana Subramanian
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Vandana Subramanian
The first session in a marketing class is always about the "4Ps of marketing", namely product, place, price, and promotion. The intangible good or service that the company offers "the product" is the only term which is still alive, which makes the remaining 3Ps a history.

This leads us back to the question: Are the business schools dwelling on prehistoric content? Or are they so much in love with the famed theories that they are unwilling to come to the present scenario and realize that times have changed, and so have the theories. Companies are now being more adaptive and flexible - creating trends rather that following those which were set by someone long ago. The biggest of the companies-Body Shop, Starbucks, Facebook, and Google-have all succeeded without spending even a penny or almost negligible amount on advertisements. How they reached the current stature, is because of their product offering. The products offered by these companies were trend setters, which spread like a wild fire around the world, thus minting customer based on the word-of-mouth publicity. Google has become so often used that people have forgotten that it is a brand name, they say "Just Google", instead of saying "just search on the internet". The logo "Intel Inside" has made Intel a famous chip manufacturer than any of its competitors (for that matters the logo helped the company more than any advertisement ever could).

For $72, Office 2011 for Mac includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Communicator, Remote desktop; while at the same price Office 2010 Professional Plus for PC includes all these features plus Access, Publishes, OneNote, InfoPath, Groove, Communicator. The Dell Inspiron 15 R, which costs $750, has more hard disk space (500 GB), longer warranty (3 yearsin-home service and 3 year accidental damage), but customers still prefer to go in for the $1099 Apple 13 in. MacBook Pro having 1 year manufacturer warranty and has a lower storage capacity (320 GB). It is all about the brand. These companies have refined their products so well and have paid attention to the tiniest details that they are able to command a premium price for their products--which means that given your product is good, the customer would be ready to pay whatever price you demand.

Back then, the place where the company was located was of the highest priority, as being nearer to the markets meant more coverage and made the products accessible to the company. Companies used to pay premium prices to get the location closest to the customer dwelling, which not only led to soaring real estate prices, but also gave a budding opportunity to the suppliers of the raw materials. With the internet revolution, a huge number of companies have moved online, and many e-shops have emerged, which cater to their customers from remote destinations. Now a manufacturer sitting in Cambodia can sell his products to a customer in Finland; people now prefer to buy products on eBay or Amazon, rather than go to the shopping mall across the road. The convenience in terms of time saved while travelling and the increasing security over the e-payments has eaten the share of the traditional setups. Companies today have dedicated logistics (many are outsourced) to ensure the timely delivery of their products to the customers regardless of the geographical barriers.

Thus, even though the 3Ps of marketing are dead, the B-schools still cling on to them; it is time they accept the fact and move their focus from what was done to what new the companies are doing in the field of marketing.

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