Wednesday, January 12, 2011

5 Ps of Marketing - What is the 5th P?

Anyone who has taken an entry-level marketing class can easily rattle off the basic 4-P’s of the marketing mix (Hint: Look at the blog’s title!), but as the ‘traditional’ marketing mix evolves, two important questions are being raised - Is it time to add a 5th P? and if so, What is the 5th P of marketing?

5th P of MarketingThe traditional marketing mix (product, place, price, promotion) is meant to define the marketing elements for successfully bringing an organization’s new product or service to market or evaluating an existing offer to optimize the impact on a target market. The credit for this original mix goes to E.J. McCarthy, a prominent American marketer, who first introduced the P’s back in 1960.

Since 1960, however, there have obviously been a lot of changes and advancements across the world of marketing. Most recently, the role of social media and web 2.0 have been taking the marketing world by storm. Due to these changes, several additional P’s have been proposed to be added to the original mix. Some of the front runners include:
  • People
  • Participation
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence
  • Passion
  • Perception
While the above list is far from complete for possible inclusions and the elements of people and participation are generally the top choices for inclusion into a revised mix, none of the above are strong enough or exclusive to stand on their own.

Instead, the similar elements of people and participation, whether it be people participating in web 2.0 sites such as Twitter, Facebook ‘like pages’, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Digg, etc. or people participating as brand ambassadors, should be classified as a part of the broader category place (where a product/service can be sold) and promotion (what is communicated about a product/service). Instead of a creating a new category, marketers need to view the above two as more transparent and as less controllable.
What are your thoughts? Should a 5th P be added and this blog’s title be changed?


  1. Allison i just wrote about 7 p´s in marketing mix. I have a blog in a very serious website in Perú South America. Here is the link, hope you can translated and enjoy it:
    I also have twitter account @rdelgadoe we could discuss this items anytime you want

  2. Dear Alison

    interesting read but when you mentioned "instead of creating a new category.......", the nice reading ended there.

    they key to launching a successful brand is to create a category and own it or be the opposite of the leading brand on the existing category. being first in the mind with a new category is the basic of brand building, as per Al Ries, the leading, and probably the all time leading, marketing expert.

    Now, the question of a brand manager is to ask how to position the brand in a new have to find the category first....for sure :-)


Thank you for visiting and for your comment! -Allison