The Forgotten P

We’re going to begin our closer look at the 7P’s of marketing with ‘People’ because even though it is technically the 5th P, really everything at your company starts with ‘People’.

In our blog defining the 7P’s of marketing we shared definitions for all the Ps. Here’s a quick reminder of the official definition for the 5th P: People are the part of the marketing mix that is made up of those who engage directly with consumers.

This means your ‘People’ element comprises of all the individuals in your team that in some way interact with a customer. They could be a salesperson, social media guru, direct e-mail campaign manager and so on.

Academic Reference:
The inclusion of People into the marketing mix officially happened in the early 1980s when the original 4Ps of marketing framework from 1960 by McCarthy (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) was updated to the 7Ps of marketing (adding People, Process and Physical Evidence) by Booms and Bitner.

Why People Matter:
The reputation of your company lies in the hands of your employees because everyone who comes in contact with a customer makes an impression on them.  Many shoppers don’t see a difference between the item they are buying from the employee that is selling it to them. This means that opinions for your products are services are formed, both good and bad, starting from the experience the customer has with your employee. Your team’s abilities and how they are trained have a massive impact on customer loyalty.

But here’s the thing, while getting your marketing team right is important, actually this principle of valuing your team should be applied to the whole of your organisation because 21st century businesses of all types are increasingly impacted by advances in technology. These advances are creeping into the functions of several different departments dragging behind members of the marketing team who assist with any element that now has a customer touchpoint. So you see, having this new technology in various functions means marketing has a role to play across the enterprise. But challenges can then arise when your marketing team isn’t meshing well with the other departments in your organisation.

For example:
* Marketing aids sales in the creation of their pitch decks
* Marketing aids customers service in the creation of their service plan
* Marketing aids designers by providing information about the user experience
* Marketing aids technologists by providing information about what products and product features customers would like to see come to market

Your Team is an Asset:
If you’re starting-up or running a growing business leveraging the expertise of your team is a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. With the business environment being so crowded these days, quite often, this special difference you have in your team is actually your competitive advantage and communicating this to your customers can help motivate them to buy from you and stay with you.

So if ‘People’ have been in the marketing mix now for over 35 years why is it that companies sometimes forget about the staff that makes it all happen?

iOpener Institute for People and Performance:
To help us take a closer look and explore just why ‘People’ are so important to your marketing mix and how you can keep them central to your plans, we’re pleased to announce that the iOpener Institute for People and Performance has joined “Show me my Customers” as a supporter in order to allow us to share their ‘People’ expertise with you.

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iOpener is based in Oxford, UK and operates internationally working with their customers to co-create thriving communities of employees who deliver amazing results for the organisation. iOpener was founded more than 10 years ago by Chairwoman Jessica Pryce-Jones. Ms Pryce-Jones and CEO Julia Lindsay have grown the consultancy to deliver programmes globally. The iOpener team includes a deep pool of mastery-level facilitators and coaches backed by a brilliant team of project managers. They work with all types of organisations and even teach Personal and Professional Development (PPD) sessions for Executive MBA degree programmes including at the University of Cambridge and London Business School.

We’ll be sharing more about iOpener and how they develop and implement ‘People’ strategy as our live case study continues. In the meantime, if you’d like to get additional weekly updates about how to improve performance within your team from iOpener directly, sign-up for their blog here.