Marketing isn’t easy. If it were, successful business owners would be numbingly commonplace — and that’s simply not the case. (In fact, 30% of businesses fail within the first two years.)

Thanks to digital transformation, I’d even argue that your digital marketing strategy is more crucial now than ever before. Embrace digital transformation marketing, and you’ll scale your business to new heights. Ignore it, and you risk becoming obsolete. 

So, what’s a motivated business owner to do? 

It’s time to revisit the 5 Ps of marketing. 

I don’t care if you’re selling a product or a service. The 5 Ps of marketing are a crucial component of any successful marketing plan — and a proven framework to connect with your customers at each stage of their Buyer’s Journey

Let’s take a closer look at the 5 Ps of marketing and why each tactic matters for your business. 

What are the 5 Ps of marketing?

You might be thinking:

“I’ve heard of the 4 Ps of marketing — now there’s a 5th one, too?”

The original concept of the 4 Ps of marketing dates back to the 1960s when E Jerome McCarthy revolutionised marketing theory. In an era that focused largely on flashy, creative-driven marketing, McCarthy proposed the idea of a marketing mix — one that utilized psychological and sociological principles to drive marketing strategy.

McCarthy’s marketing mix incorporated customer behaviour, but it stopped a step short of naming the 5th p: people. Today, marketers realise that people (your staff and customers) are invaluable components of any successful marketing strategy. 

Now, here’s what you need to know for 5 Ps marketing success:

1. Product

I want you to remember this: 

Your customers don’t care about what you’re selling or why you’re selling it.

They do care about their needs and desires and whether or not your product moves them closer to pleasure or further from pain. 

So, what’s your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) — the big promise and benefits that you offer to your customer? This is the part of your product that compels your audience to purchase.

It helps to remember the 4 Stages of Awareness, too:

  • Unaware
  • Pain Aware
  • Solution Aware
  • Product Aware

You might have the most compelling UVP in the world. However, if your customer isn’t yet aware that they have a problem, it’s probably not going to mean much to them. 

Let’s take a quick example: 

Say you sell robotic vacuums. Someone who lives in a small apartment with no pets might not see much need for your product. However, imagine this person (we’ll call her Mary) moves to a large home. With all her extra space, Mary decides to rescue a dog. The only problem? Mary now has fluffy white hair all over her brand new floors — large floors that take forever to sweep. 

Mary is now very pain aware — and she’s ready to move to solution and product awareness. 

You might notice we’re already touching on the 5th P (people). That’s good. After all, the 5 P’s of marketing don’t operate in silos but work seamlessly together as part of your marketing flywheel.

To sum it up: You can’t manufacture demand for your product. Instead, focus on your UVP and connect the dots to the needs of your target customer.

2. Price

It’s hardly any secret that running a successful business means making money. Well, your pricing strategy has a lot to do with your profit. 

Simply put, the more value your customers perceive, the higher you can price your product or service. 

Just think of a luxury handbag. Women are willing to spend top dollar because of the perceived value of the item (even if it’s of similar quality to a knock-off version.) 

Competition and market buying power will also influence your pricing strategy. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • What is your customer’s buying power? Do they have (or can they find) the budget for your product?
  • What do your competitors charge? How can you differentiate your product from the rest?
  • What is the perceived value of your product? How can your UVP influence this perceived value?
  • What is your pricing model? If you’re selling a service or a subscription, will you charge monthly or annually? 

3. Placement

Placement refers to where you’re distributing your ads and marketing material, whether geographically or digitally. 

Where is your target audience already spending time? Are you showing up in front of them with the right message at the right time? This is especially important when your customer becomes solution aware — you want your product to appear as the answer to their problems. 

Geographic properties matter, too. A dentist in rural Minnesota will likely have a different location-targeting strategy than one in Manhattan. 

Getting the place and timing of your marketing message right isn’t easy, but it will dramatically improve your results. Talking to your customers every week can help, too.

4. Promotion

Promotion is your marketing strategy in action. Promotions could include (but aren’t limited to) marketing channels like:

Placement and promotion go hand-in-hand. A deep understanding of your Buyer Personas is also crucial to successful marketing placement. 

Now, before you start throwing out marketing material on each and every platform available, I recommend reviewing the six steps to a digital selling strategy that works. This framework, plus the rest of the 5 Ps of marketing, will set you up for lasting success.

5. People

The last P of the marketing mix might very well be the most important: people.

Put your customer at the heart of everything you do, and watch your business explode. Consider every touchpoint with your target audience, including their experience with your brand after the sale. 

Don’t neglect your employees, either. Invest in staff satisfaction and training, and your customers will notice the difference. 

When you put your people first, the rest of the 5 Ps of marketing become more impactful. So, take the time to get to know your customers. Use real data to understand their goals, pain points, motivations and how they make decisions — and woo your customer from the get-go.

How to apply the 5 Ps of marketing

Each of the 5 Ps works hand-in-hand to create a marketing strategy that strengthens your relationship with your customer — and grows your business as a result. 

However, when it comes to the 5 Ps of marketing, there’s no such thing as “set it and forget it.” Just as your business grows and evolves, your marketing strategy must too. 

There’s just one thing…

It’s not easy being a Jack-of-all-trades. After all, you didn’t start your business to obsess over KPIs and growth metrics. Luckily, we did.