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/ From 4Ps to 7Ps: Towards an Integrated Marketing Mix

From 4Ps to 7Ps: Towards an Integrated Marketing Mix

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In technological developments and ever-evolving market dynamics, the marketing field continues to experience transformative changes. At the heart of this evolution lies the Marketing Mix theory, a basic concept that has undergone major changes and refinements over the years. Our recent exploration in the article "Supporting the Internationalization of SMEs: Marketing Mix" highlights the 4Ps—Place, Price, Product, and Promotion—as pillars of this theory, originally conceived by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960.

Realizing the importance of adaptation, marketers in the late 70s realized the need for a paradigm shift, giving rise to the expanded Marketing Mix in 1981. Created by Booms & Bitner, this model evolved beyond the traditional and classic 4Ps, by introducing three additional components to the marketing mix realm namely the comprehensive 7P Marketing Mix. Beyond conventional pillars, 7P includes People, Process, and Physical Evidence.

Diving Deeper into the Unique Characteristics of 4P and 7P:

People (Human Resources):

Located at the center of the 7P model, this component underscores the huge impact that personnel can have on customer satisfaction. Every interaction with a company's customers leaves an indelible impression, emphasizing the importance of evaluating after-sales support and advice.

Process:

Sharp evaluation of efficiency in delivering products/services to end customers. Often overlooked, this aspect addresses a customer's first experience with a company, covering the intricacies of the sales process, adequate handling of technology issues, and inherent customer-centric processes.

Physical Evidence:

Providing clear assurance to customers about the product, this involves presenting real evidence, testimonials and reviews from third parties who have had positive interactions with the company.

The demarcation between 4P and 7P is not just an addition of components; This lies in the goals each model wants to achieve. While the 4Ps remain relevant, especially for small businesses dealing with standard products, the 7Ps offer a deeper understanding of customer needs and expectations. The choice between these models depends on the nature of the business. For companies that specialize in services or offer highly differentiated products, the 7Ps model is paramount, namely creating customer satisfaction through customized experiences and strong after-sales support.

Additionally, the 7P model serves as an invaluable compass in navigating the dynamic landscape shaped by digital transformation and the rise of e-commerce. In an era where customers are not just passive consumers but are intelligent and selective entities, the 7P model provides a consumer-centric perspective. This paradigm shift aligns with the evolving way customers discover and purchase products, providing a holistic framework. While the 4Ps are fundamental, the 7Ps bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary marketing strategies, ensuring businesses remain agile and in tune with the dynamic needs of today's consumers. In essence, the evolution from the 4Ps to the 7Ps reveals a profound chapter in the ongoing narrative of marketing innovation.


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