PEOPLE – The 5th P in the Marketing
The social web is now so critical for companies that it’s time to update marketing textbooks, strategies, and approaches. PEOPLE, and the way the share opinions, recommendations, and personal stories are critical to a company’s success.
The importance of PEOPLE is obvious to most readers of this blog…so why the post? By looking at how companies treat the other 4 Ps, we can make recommendations on how to treat PEOPLE as the 5th P.
Businesses take action with the other 4 Ps by staffing an organization, investing money, & partnering with other companies.
It often comes as a surprise to those in service businesses that managing the marketing process – and, specifically, the branding process, involves a significant amount of focus on managing people – which could well represent the “5th P” in the marketing mix. Developing standards and processes, communicating those standards and processes, ensuring consistency in such things, for example, as how the phone is answered, “uniforms,” service standards, hand-offs between departments, how employees talk about each other, etc.
Too often as we focus on other important elements of the brand – like the logo, the name, the “company colors,” the design templates, etc., etc., in the service arena we have a tendency to forget about what is most important about the brand (reconcilability, performance and consistency) – the people.
It seems that adding the word “social” to any category escalates its importance. From the Social Customer to Social Commerce and from Social Business to Social CRM, the common thread that weaves everything together is people. It is people after all that are responsible for placing the social in social media. Everything else is just technology. So why is it that businesses still approach social media and the services and channels that connect this very human network just at it has traditional media in the past? Just as in the emergence of connected customers, this inherent behavior is simply part of the DNA. This DNA where perhaps the “D” stands for disconnected represents the very fabric of business and the very essence that requires evolution in order to genuinely connect with tomorrow’s customer, today.