Thursday, March 20, 2008

The 5 P's of Marketing

Most areas of study have an origin that everything builds upon, and that "origin" is usually drilled into your heads from day 1 until you get your degree. Economics: supply and demand. Biology: cell theory and evolution. For marketing, it was "the 4 P's": product, price, promotion, and place. Other "P's" have formed, including people, personalization, process...and participation.

Participation is something that I've seen lately for a few different brands. Many companies have done it: allow the public to submit ideas for your marketing plan, whether it be for a new product, design, or advertisement. I've never really heard of a failed plan that involves participation. Feedback from potential consumers is invaluable - it just depends on how you use it.

Many brick-and-mortar businesses, mostly in the food industry, have little kiosks where you can fill out a comment card and drop it in a box. Starbucks injected some life/technology into that idea and just formed a community site for users to share their thoughts on various topics such as their products. Starbucks has done a good job of making news lately as they struggle with sales. This, I'm sure, will only increase the press they've been getting and it would be cool to see them implement some user ideas.

As leaders in saying "Damn the Man!" to record companies and taking advantage of the digital music popularity, Radiohead has turned to the online community for another business decision. They're holding an online video contest for anyone to submit a music video for any of the songs on their latest album, In Rainbows. There will be an opportunity for users to vote for their favorite video, and Radiohead will use those votes along with their own judgment to decide on the winner, who will get $10,000 to create their music video. Radiohead is a very creativity-inspiring group with an eclectic group of fans, so I'm eager to see the winning video.

One other participatory plan that I noticed goes to the diamond...the BASEBALL diamond! (There's a knee-slapper!) Do you know one of those guys who can tell you the batting average, HR count, height/weight, and astrological sign of some player from 1986 who you've never even heard of? "Those guys" are all over the place...spitting out statistics and facts like it's their job. But the funny thing is it's NOT their job! So why don't professional teams take advantage of the overflow of sports knowledge among Ordinary Joe's? Well, some teams apparently are. The St. Louis Cardinals started a contest for people to submit scouting reports on college baseball players that normally wouldn't get attention from the team scouts. Can you imagine being responsible for sending a player to the Major League who could potentially become a star? And instead of the enormous commission that a professional scout would get, they get tickets to a pair of games! Kind of a weak prize...buck up Cardinals.

So, as you can see, participation can help in a wide variety of businesses. Anyone know of any other recent business moves like these ones?


Tom Whalen said...

Did I ever tell you about Red Sox opening day at Yankee Stadium in 1967 when Billy Rohr had a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth when that damn Yankee Elston Howard got a hit and ruined it?

Anyway, nice to see that Mom and my "contributions" to Fairfield University actually engendered interest in the field of Marketing that persists.

kev's awesome GF said...