Changing up the Four Marketing P’s

diamonddog Four-Ps-sm-1 Changing up the Four Marketing P’s

Time to Retool the Marketing Mix

One of the key learnings from an introduction to marketing class is the four P’s – product, place, price and promotion.  Marketing professor and author, E. Jerome McCarthy, first introduced the four P’s marketing mix in his 1960 book, Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.  These elements are still key to any marketing strategy today, but they are especially relevant for the marketing of consumer goods.  However, according to thought leaders, Richard Ettenson, Eduardo Conrado and Jonathan Knowles, the four P’s can restrict B2B marketers; therefore, they reinterpreted them into a new model called SAVE.  This acronym stands for solution, access, value and education.

Comparing the Four P’s to SAVE

  • Product vs. Solution
    Under the original marketing mix, tangible offerings and services were labeled products.  They are defined by their features, functionality or technological superiority.
    With the SAVE model, the S stands for solution and is defined by the specific customer needs it meets.  A case study is an excellent example of marketing collateral that supports the SAVE model.  This piece of literature is a critical component of the B2B sales process.
  • Place vs. Access
    Place deals with how the product will be provided to the customer.  It considers distribution and assesses the best channel for the product.According to SAVE, the A represents access, which takes a broader approach.  It encompasses an integrated cross-channel presence that considers a customer’s entire purchase journey.  Today that journey may include both brick and mortar locations and online options.
  • Price vs. Value
    Price is the amount the end user will pay for a product.  The price can be affected by distribution plans, production costs, markups and competitors’ pricing.Under the SAVE model, the V stands for value. Instead of stressing how price relates to the categories above, the benefits relative to price are articulated instead.
  • Promotion vs. Education
    There are the several marketing communication vehicles that are included in the promotion category.   Both digital and offline elements are included.  There are sales promotions for distributors or other channels.  Also, this category covers promotions targeted to end users.  Examples include Google AdWords, direct mail, special offers/coupons, advertorials, and press releases.   It is key to remember that promotion is just the communication component of marketing.Instead of promotion, education is the final component of the SAVE model.  Instead of blanketing the various target markets with the marketing vehicles mentioned above, education provides information relevant to a customer’s specific needs at each point during the buying cycle.

Ready to Change

The SAVE framework was introduced in 2013, but over the last several years it has grown increasingly relevant for B2B companies.  The team at diamonddog Marketing would be more than happy to explore how the SAVE model can be applied to your marketing strategy.  For further information, please feel free to contact us at or 847-269-1422.

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