15th May 2014

Whatever Happened to the 4 P’s? Traditional to Digital Marketing

Whatever Happened to the 4 P’s?

For decades the watchwords for savvy marketers have been product, placement, price and promotion. The four P’s of marketing were the ONLY guidelines for a complete industry and they were slavishly followed, scratch that, and insert ‘Obsessively followed’ in its place. I have to admit there were some fantastic uses of the four P’s that were works of genius, but they all followed the same rules. As a marketer we have to ask ourselves, ‘How relevant are the four P’s to today’s market?’

With the advent of the digital age EVERY industry has changed. No longer do people wanting to buy a car pour over Thursday’s nights ‘Weekly Herald’ classified ads or call the theatre to know the times of the latest movies, even medical professions use the internet for information and education, so as the audience has moved to a different way of searching for products and services the marketers need to move to follow them – and then over take them. You can’t lead from behind. So it’s really time for us to let go of the 4 P’s, and roll in… the four C’s of digital marketing.


The key of digital media is the art of creating EXCELLENT content. Content is King. Success in the digital marketing arena relies on creating great content – and a lot of it. Is it easy to maintain work of a sufficient quality to keep people engaged? No, not really, and extremely time consuming, but it has to be done to cut through the white noise of the internet that threatens to drown you out at every junction. Doesn’t sound that hard? Just bear in mind the average attention span of a person these days is 7 seconds – that’s one second less than a goldfish… you’ve got to grab them – and you have less than 7 seconds to do it in.

Digital advertising has opened up a whole new arena in marketing creation. There is a huge range of devices that can be incorporated into digital advertising – video, animation, audio, image, image manipulation – the list goes on. It’s a wonderful opportunity to create something truly engaging by using mixed media marketing and blazing a trail for others to follow. The marketing concepts are truly limitless.


Curation is one aspect of digital advertising that is vital but sometimes overlooked in concept meetings. Forget what the word curation conjures up – a museum worker tortoise shell glasses and a mustard colored vest won’t help you here. The art of curation is being able to pull information out of the material and get it organized for use and reuse. This needs to happen on two levels. Your chosen demographic needs to be able to draw out the important information that leads to buying behaviour from the marketing you produce and then be able to save it for use and later reuse. There are so many options for curation that the campaigns can be limitless, the challenge is how to get your customers to find them and motivate them to use them. You really don’t have a choice of whether you use social media or not, just a choice of how well you use it.

Digital marketing also needs to be able to auto-curate a campaign. Nearly all digital platforms have the ability to accept any format so anything you create for one digital campaign can be used on another. This is essential for company branding and company image. It has never been easier to upgrade or extend a marketing campaigns range by creating, storing and organizing the right media.


One aspect of marketing that is new to the digital age is the interrelationship of all the different social media platforms. It used to be that you could dominate one area of marketing, say commercials, and that would carry your marketing in other areas, but this one stream dominance no longer washes with a tech savvy audience. 50% of the world’s population is under the age of 30 and 53% of those would rather lose their sense of smell that their technology. Did you also know that Grandparents are the fastest growing demographic on twitter? If you don’t have a strong presence across all digital media and social platforms your chosen demographic may already be in front of you and pulling away quickly.

Digital media connects people. Digital marketing connects people to people and to the products and services they need. It also connects all the different media together to affect your audience and to create a buying behaviour. Mixed media marketing is the way forward, connecting marketing media to the people.


Marketing is no longer an experience these days – it’s a culture. People log onto social media and cyber space and browse for something to do. The influence of social media on daily life is huge. People cook by it, educate themselves by it, relax by it but most importantly shop by it. The figures bear that out; 53% of people recommend products on Twitter and 93% of all purchases start on the internet. That is not as surprising as the fact that 90% of people trust social media shopping recommendations when only 14% trust advertising. The digital age is now a culture, so your mixed media marketing needs to adapt to that fact and work with it. It’s the difference between success and failure.

If you really want to see how well capitalizing on the four C’s of digital marketing works, take a look at this Calgary Marketing company. They own it like a boss! It’s time to take ownership of how the market is changing and lead from the front. Its’ easy – when you know how.