The 9P’s of Marketing- A Framework for the Social Media Era

For so many years, those who have been engaged in the marketing profession, have always used the 4P’s as the basic framework for their work in this area. This concept, however, has been challenged in recent years by many Social Media pundits as being irrelevant in this era of two-communication and direct engagement with audiences. I beg to differ, however, and contend that they are still quite relevant and should be the foundation of initiatives within marketing and its various disciplines,  including Social Media.  In order to adjust to the times, it is essential that the 4P’s, like anything in business or life, need to evolve. It appears that this is definitely the case with many now advocating further extensions of the concept to where it now includes even many more P’s.

Just recently, in a talk in India, Philip Kotler, an icon in the marketing world, author of Kotler on Marketing and many other books and textbooks, as well as a distinguished professor at Northwestern University, elaborated further on the concept. He explained that the 4P’s needed to be expanded to include Pace, Passion and Public Relations as additional components. This was outlined in a blog posting by Pitch On Net.

THE 4P’s

For those who are not familiar with the term, the 4P’s were the creation many years ago by marketing professor E. Jerome McCarthy. He felt that marketing really should be focused on 4 key concepts: 1)Product;  2)Place; 3)Price; and 4)Promotion.  I totally agree, as without subscribing to these your success in business will be greatly compromised. To be successful, you need:

1)A great, quality product(s) that satisfies the needs of the consumer.

2)A location either online or in  a brick and mortar facility where you can be readily found.

3)Pricing that is competitive in the marketplace. If a luxury or unique item something which is positioned accordingly.

4)Promotional activities that create the necessary awareness and demand for the product. It could be the greatest product(s) in the world, but if no one knows about it, you’ll never sell any.

An Additional 2 P’s

With the inclusion of  Pace, Passion and Public Relations as additional components of the P’s of Marketing, it is apparent that a continued evolution of this concept  is truly taking place. In addition, I’d like to add a couple of of others to round out this list. These include:

5)People, as these are critical to any marketing equation.  Brian Solis, a well-known media strategist and author of Engage, and The End of Business As Usual, clearly explained why this should be listed in a blog post which he wrote in late 2011. 

6)Persona, as this becomes part of who your company is and what it represents. This was so eloquently stated by professional writer, Pamela Rossow, in a guest blog post she wrote for this blog last June: ” The Additional 3P’s of Marketing & Social Media You Need to Know.”

THE 9P’s

Factoring in additional P’s is not really a brand new concept. In fact. the term 9P’s/Nine P’s was first utilized as a marketing concept in 2007 by Professor Larry Steven Londre of Londre Marketing.  His additional P’s included:

1)Partners/Strategic Alliances



4)Planning or Marketing Process


I’m confident that the items listed above, as additions to the 4P concep,t will continue to expand as conditions change. It’s only natural. In the meantime, I’d like for you to embrace the concept of the 9P’s+ of Marketing and use this as the framework for structuring your work in the marketing and Social Media arena. These are really the foundation for any successful marketing efforts.



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