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Partnerships – The new “P” in the 4 P’s of Marketing

Have the traditional 4 P's of Marketing shifted to include Partnerships? Here's why some believe the today's list includes Partnerships, Personalized, Positioning, and Purpose.

A short history of the 4 P's

The “classic” 4 P's of Marketing – Price, Product, Promotion, and Place – were introduced in 1960 and had a long, virtuous run. However, Sean MacDonald, Chief Digital Officer at McCann Worldwide, now argues that changing Millennial and Gen Z consumer behavior is making these 4 P's obsolete. He has proposed  a new set of the 4 P's of Marketing: Partnerships, Personalized, Positioning, and Purpose.

“Partnerships” is one of the new 4 P’s of Marketing. And to no one’s surprise, we wholeheartedly agree with Sean! We keep hearing similar sentiments from our network and customers as well.

The classic 4 P's of marketing

Original Classic 4Ps of Marketing

The “classic” 4 P's of marketing are place, price, product, and promotion. By carefully integrating all these marketing strategies into a marketing mix, companies can ensure they have a visible, in-demand product or service that is competitively priced and promoted to their customers.

Declining relevance of the original set

Here's why today's consumer trends are making the old list less relevant:

  • Price as an indicator of value is insufficient – Millennials and Zoomers want brands to mean something and to embody their values and sentiments.
  • Promotion – Canned promotions don't work. Unique stories do.
  • Place – The internet is a pervasive common denominator for learning, finding, and influencing products and services. So, there’s less opportunity for “Place” differentiation.
  • Product – Millennials and Xoomers aren’t as focused on collecting physical things as earlier generations. They prefer new experiences.

How to market using the new 4 P's

Today’s marketers are facing an unprecedented challenge: how do you meet the needs of these cohorts whose preferences are different yet whose spending power is increasing by the minute?

Let’s examine MacDonald's new 4 P’s – Purpose, Positioning, Personalized, and Partnerships, a bit more closely.

Purpose – Millennials and Zoomers are a higher consciousness generation that are very inclusive and look for brands that share their values and sentiments.

For example, companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook have committed to reducing carbon footprint and promote clean energy. “Their influence is huge,” says Eduardo Insunza, Director of Global Strategic Customers at Iberdrola. “These guys have a lot of market power.”

Positioning – With such strong experience-oriented mindset, context becomes especially important for a generation more focused on life-changing experiences than on things.

For example, in April 2020, Apple showcased how we can still connect, communicate, and create even if stuck at home. They offered a vision of a united humankind finding new ways to express themselves and show support for one another during challenging times.

Personalized – This new generation wants something they can put their stamp on, and one that feels personal to them.

For example, to mark its 20th anniversary, easyJet launched a campaign that used customer data to build individual stories, like when and where they first travelled with easyJet, and then predicted where they might go next. They emailed over 12 million personalized stories. Open rates were over 100% higher than the average easyJet newsletter and saw 25% higher click-through rates.

Partnerships – When brands favored by Millennials and Zoomers work together, there is both a halo effect and referral opportunities.

For example, Uber’s partnership with Spotify lets Uber riders easily stream their Spotify playlists whenever they take a ride. This makes the Uber experience feel more personalized and encourages Uber riders to subscribe to Spotify Premium. Both brands gain access to new, broad audiences in this business alliance.

Why do we care about the new list?

Seeing “Partnerships” listed was exciting to us, but what does it mean for Pronto's Ecosystem Management platform and for our customers? As we dug into MacDonald’s article, we saw our characterization of ecosystem relationships and design assumptions align squarely. But, more importantly, we are elated to see how seasoned experts in the industry are recognizing how quickly this market is undergoing a paradigm shift – partnerships and ecosystems are critical to building a sustainable competitive advantage and delivering on your value proposition.

1. Our platform supports many partner categories and goals.

Whether you're managing a non-GTM technology partnership that focuses on integrations or a go-to-market strategic partnership, we've built features to support them all. We see partnerships as a 1 + 1 = 3 scenario where combining unique strengths produces a sum greater than its parts.

2. It's collaborative, not hierarchical.

We want you to succeed individually and together. Pronto is built on fostering trusting and transparent relationships where every partner is treated equally, including getting shared access to data within a secure environment. We help automate each company's workflows, not just a lead partner's.

3. There's a collaborative ROI of your ecosystem that you might not have unlocked yet.

Through the lens of the new 4 P's, the traditional definition of value is evolving from “the benefit that a customer gets by using a product to satisfy their needs” to “the values of the buyer which may serve a high personal, societal, or global purpose is key.” It also ensures that what we say and do is personalized and includes relatable narratives that come from our customers and partners. It is something we can learn and share with our customers.

Wrapping it up

The new 4 P's offer insights for companies to survive and thrive as the buying power of Millennials and Zoomers grows by the day. Recognizing how the power of partnerships and ecosystems address this major paradigm shift, Pronto’s Ecosystem Management platform supplies ecosystem leaders a secure, flexible, and scalable system of engagement that can bring immense value to partnerships teams.

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