Step aside, four PsMarketing needs a new framework that begins and ends with the customer. Marketing tools by themselves do not achieve marketing objectives. There is an intermediate step between the deployment of marketing tools and the achievement of marketing objectives. That crucial intermediate step is represented by the four 'As' of marketing. Based on our research, customers are looking for four things: acceptability, affordability, accessibility and awareness. What we have discovered is that, unless forced by extreme necessity, customers don't want to make trade-offs. The degree of success depends on how close to 100 per cent a company is able to achieve on each of the As.A simple formula is used to evaluate the overall marketing program. We refer to this composite measure as 'market value coverage,' which directly correlates to marketplace success: market value coverage = acceptability x affordability x accessibility x awareness...To succeed, a company has to do well on all four dimensions. The most successful marketing programs achieve close to 100 per cent on each dimension. Mediocre marketing programs tend to achieve high levels (i.e., close to 100 per cent) on two or three of the dimensions, but suffer a bottleneck in one or two.It is important to understand that the four As are not a mere semantic variation on the four Ps, even though each terms appear to correspond closely with one of the Ps. For example, there are many ways to create acceptability, beyond designing a superior product that meets customer needs. Branding is also clearly an important part of acceptability. For example, changing the name of 'prunes' to 'dried plums' raised the product's acceptability. Likewise, factors such as packaging, product ingredients and the image of channel partners all impact acceptability. For example, many manufacturers would love to have their products carried by Nordstrom, just as in the past, companies vied to have their products sold at Sears, whose "Satisfaction Guaranteed" promise was a powerful draw. Being in the right stores is akin to a Good Housekeeping seal, offering not just 'source credibility' but tacit approval as well...The advantage of the four As over the four Ps is somewhat analogous to the advantage of benefit segmentation over demographic or psychographic approaches. Benefit segmentation, which considers what benefits customers are looking for rather than who they are... [is seen as] a better way to segment than most alternatives. Likewise, the four As focus on what has to happen at the customer end for marketing to succeed, rather than simply identify the levers at marketing's disposal. The four Ps have focused strictly on the 'means,' while the four As bring in the 'ends.'|
'PSUs will emerge as global competitors'|
Q&A: Jagdish N Sheth, Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business School| Amit Ranjan Rai / New Delhi February 16, 2010, 0:35 IST|
There is little disagreement that emerging markets such as China and India will be the key drivers of the world economy in the days to come. Jagdish N Sheth, Charles H Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a renowned scholar on global business, goes a step further. He says emerging markets will also be the growth drivers for other emerging markets. Sheth also sees a role for public sector enterprises in India on the global stage. In Delhi for the launch of a compilation of his work, called Legends In Marketing: Jagdish N Sheth, he spoke to Amit Ranjan Rai on his current areas of work in marketing and global business. You have been working on a new marketing framework. What is it? The framework is called ‘the 4-As in marketing’, which are Acceptability, Affordability, Availability and Awareness. Along with my colleague, Rajendra Sisodia, with whom I have written three books, I have almost finished work on it. This new book is based on hundreds of case histories done over eight to nine...