Every Marketer…at some point early on in his/her career learns about the “FOUR P’s : Product, Placement, Price and Promotion”..
While these attributes are universal and timeless truths, there is also something rote about them that I worry keeps marketers thinking in terms of old paradigms. With the radical changes in customer behavior, we need a NEW set of P’s to help us focus our marketing…Three of my colleagues have done just that.
They’ve laid out “FOUR New P’s” that capture the ever greater expectations customers have of their brands :
- Pervasive. “Let me shop wherever I am.” The consummate “channel-surfer,” consumers move effortlessly across channels and technologies along their decision journey. Today, 56 percent of all customer interactions involve more than one channel or Brand Touch-point. Connectivity is expanding, with 21 percent of tablet usage, for example, now happening in bed.
- Participatory. “I have a voice and I’m going to use it.” Digital tools and social media have given consumers a powerful voice. From “Haul” videos to amateur bloggers to crowd-sourcing programs, today’s consumer demands to be heard. For online shoppers, online ratings and reviews are the most influential source of information. Brands must understand how to listen to their customers, empower them, and turn them into shopper-advocates.
- Personalized. “Make it relevant to me.” Thomas Romieu, the group digital director for LVMH, said that brands “need to make it easy to find what customers know they want, guide those who want to browse, and inspire others.” He was speaking about luxury shoppers, but expectations for relevance carry over to all of retail. Seventy-two percent of US consumers want to receive promotional offers that reflect their wants and needs. Personalized experiences are the new standard.
- Prescriptive. “I’m in control of the shopping process.” Consumers are now armed with tools and information that allow them to dictate not just what they buy, but where and how as well. Half of shoppers now use their smartphones to check prices while on the go, and 65 percent of them put off the purchase or shop elsewhere based on what they learn. Retailers who enable consumers to shop how they want are the ones who will keep their customers.
I’d recommend every marketer to tack them to the wall above their desk. In fact, every C-suite executive and Board-Member should do the same because without a clear-eyed focus on the customer, growth is going to be hard to come by.
What other customer traits are critical to your business, and how do those insights inform your marketing efforts ??