4Ps – have they lost their real meaning?

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Little did Jerome McCarthy, the brains behind the 4Ps or the marketing mix know that 60 years later, his creation would’ve gone a different track altogether! Well the 4Ps, later evolving into 7 – from a service angle or 4Cs – from a consumer point of view may have just lost its essence. There are numerous examples that can be quoted supporting the earlier point. Let’s take a closer look at it starting from the basics or the 4Ps.

Products by no means have gone up in quality! I would speak to a few people who are above 50 now and they would just sit and complain on the difference in the quality and value derived from a similar product they used to purchase 10 or maybe 15 years ago. Yes we agree that the options have gone up thanks to globalization, but with it has the quality come down. Consumers somehow don’t seem to have a great opinion about the cars manufactured nowadays as far as the build, and interior quality is concerned compared to that of a car say 8-10 years ago! But this is just one example.

Talking about the prices, well don’t you just feel that the phone model that is just ideal for you or the HD pack of a DTH provider are sometimes just priced above your budget?! Of course if you have the money, you’d go for it. Marketers know that consumers are ready to pay for the best and hence they can price them high with greater margins. Its time they start delivering value based on the product quality and the price rather than fleecing consumers!

The distribution channels seem to be in the consumers favour with various models coming up to eliminate different layers. Farm fresh vegetables in multi brand outlets are helping consumers fight the price wars. Also, with the growth e-tailing, consumers have the freedom to shop at the comfort of their couch, which again cuts different levels of distribution. So no complaints about this, although as a process we may be lagging behind our foreign counterparts!

Thanks to innovative promotional ideas in different media, the consumer seems to have an overload of information. He would see a similar promotion or even the same ad while watching the TV or taking a break and surfing the net or even watching videos on YouTube! Whatever may be the case, intense competition has made promotional activities highly commoditised as you get to see them everywhere! Slide Ads, BTL Campaigns, Adsense, Commercials, Prints – you name it; promotions are there everywhere! Mr. McCarthy, is this what you had envisioned on promotions?!

Well we only hope that things work out in the best interest of the consumer and not the promoters of the companies! What do you say ?

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