Marketing Mix

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The personalised marketplace: beyond the 4Ps

Ronald E. Goldsmith Professor of Marketing, College of Business, Florida State University, Tallahasee, Florida, USA


At the heart of most presentations of marketing management lies the time-honored concept of the 4Ps ± product, price, promotion, and place ± the Marketing Mix ± that Abstract summarise key decision responsibilities of Theories of marketing management and strategy need to evolve marketing managers (e.g. McDonald and and change to keep pace with Roberts, 1992). First formulated over 20 years changes in the marketplace and in ago by McCarthy (1975) as a pedagogical tool, marketing practice. As the next the concept of the 4Ps represents a parsimocentury draws closer, it is apparnious and comprehensive way to describe the ent that some marketing managers are basing their chief tasks of marketing managers. After relationships with customers on selecting a target market, marketing manpolicies and procedures called agers must develop a systematic plan to sell either ``individualisation'', ``massto these customers and create long-term customisation'', or as we prefer, ``personalisation''. The core of this relationships (Doyle, 1995). The marketing practice involves tailoring goods plan consists of decisions about product, and services to the individual price, promotion, and distribution. These are needs and wants of specific conthe major decision areas where marketing sumers, just the opposite of onesize-fits-all. We propose that permanagers allocate scarce corporate resources sonalisation is so important to to achieve their sales and profit goals. Little marketing strategy that it should has changed in this presentation since become one of the featured eleMcCarthy's original statement. Most marments of the marketing mix, alongside product, price, promoketing texts still feature the 4Ps as the tion, place, personnel, physical central, coordinating concept around which assets, and procedures, to form a the many other aspects of marketing practice new marketing mix, the 8Ps. are organised. The one major alteration to this approach has come with the advent of services marketing as a distinct managerial discipline (Lovelock, 1996). Services marketing theorists have taken great pains to distinguish services marketing from product marketing (e.g. Berry, 1980). A major portion of this The author would like to effort has focused on rethinking the marketthank Eileen Bridges, Leisa Flynn, and Jon Freiden ing mix and showing how it is different for for their helpful comments services. By demonstrating that the marketon a draft. ing of services requires different decisions than goods marketing requires, these thinkers present services marketing as a unique and distinct type of marketing. The services marketing mix differs chiefly from the 4Ps by Marketing Intelligence & Planning 17/4 [1999] 178±185 # MCB University Press [ISSN 0263-4503] The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at

Marketing strategy, Marketing management, Marketing mix, Relationship marketing, Mass customization

The traditional marketing mix

the addition of three new decision responsibilities that must be integrated to form a coherent and effective services marketing mix. By adding personnel, physical assets, and procedures to the marketing mix, forming the 7Ps, services marketing theorists staked out a new field of management theory and practice separate from the marketing of tangible goods (Lovelock, 1996). This conceptual advance has, in turn, caused a reevaluation of traditional marketing management thought by obscuring the boundary between goods and services, forcing the realisation that many products consist of elements of both tangible goods and intangible services. Our purpose is to present a reformulation of the 7P concept, retaining the basic principle, but reorganising the elements and extending its scope to encompass many...
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