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The 5th P

Posted @ 2:51 pm by Tim Ross | Category: Technology | 0 Comments

“Every industry is going to get fundamentally rethought and designed around people.”- Mark Zuckerberg 

“By 2016, social technologies will be integrated with most every business application.”- Gartner Group 2010

At SolutionSet, we spend a lot of time talking to customers about how social, mobile, and location-based technologies are changing the ways brand engage customers.  We are all familiar with the longstanding notion of “The 4 P’s of Marketing”, but the past four years have seen rise of a fifth P: People.  And People are not just another piece of the marketing puzzle, they have radically altered how we think of the other 4 P’s.

The notion of “the 5th P” has been chattered about for a couple of years now, so let’s talk about what role People (via social technologies) play in today’s marketing mix.

People and Product

People play an unprecedented role in today’s product development process.  Feedback via customer communities, support, and crowd-sourcing systems use people to help drive product design and development decisions.  Increasingly, companies are adopting flexible product platforms enabling people to customize a product to their needs and share the design with friends.

People and Price

The notion of collaborative commerce seemed cute ten years ago, but look at where we are today.  Groupon, with their time-based offer model, is the fastest growing company in history. Companies like ShopSavvy and RedLaser enable price transparency via bar code scanning. Edmunds tells you precisely how much other people are paying for the same car in your neighborhood.  Price is becoming like the spread on a football bet.  The bookie may determine the line, but peoples’ behavior drives it up or down.

People and Place

Some people love Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places.  Some people think it is a goofy game.  Whatever form it ultimately takes, the introduction of “place-based” social networking will change how local deals are thought of and distributed. Check-ins will give rise to a new market for coupons and competitive real-time customer acqusition.

People and Promotion

People spend more time today in social applications (mainly Facebook) compared to time spent in their email system.  Deal, product opinions, and even recent purchasing information (e.g. Blippy, Swipely) allow a seamless push between people, products, and promotion.  From the services standpoint, social is not a silo, but a critical piece of advertising, PR, direct, and digital marketing.

The combination of social, mobile, and location-based technologies will have an unparalleled impact on marketers. While the ultimate forms are still to be determined, we know the 4Ps have been changed forever.

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